Toilet Supply Leak
Q: How do I prevent my toilet supply hose form leaking?
I returned to my house one day to find that the first floor was flooded with about 3 inches of water from a leaking toilet supply hose. How can I prevent this from happening again?
—Heriberto Gonzalez, Whittier, Calif.
Richard Trethewey replies: Amazing how much water can spray out of those skinny little hoses, isn't it? If it was the connection that leaked, it could be that it wasn't tight enough or a washer gave way. It's a good idea to check the connections periodically. Even the smallest amount of seepage there is a signal to turn off the water and investigate immediately.
But if it was the supply line itself that failed, most likely a hose became brittle with age. In that case, your best defense against breaks is to use a chromed-brass supply tube. Novices might find them a little tricky to bend and cut, but I've never known them to crack open. The next best thing would be to install a flexible hose jacketed in stainless steel.
By the way, the FloodSafe supply hoses made by Watts Water Technologies will close automatically when they sense a drop in water pressure, which might indicate a leak. Such a device may save you some worry the next time you're away. However, they're not suited to houses supplied by wells; the normal pressure fluctuations may trigger the valve to close even when there isn't a leak.