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The basics of installing a toilet water supply line on your own

New White Toilet with Lid Up

Many homeowners take pride in their ability to do regular maintenance throughout their house without requesting the help of a professional. Anyone who is familiar with "Murphy's law" knows that overconfidence can easily backfire when it comes to even the simplest home repairs. The area where the most costly mistakes take place tend to be the home's plumbing, as a leak or a flood of any kind can quickly exacerbate an initially minor issue.

One simple plumbing job that many homeowners may feel compelled to address without the help of a professional is the toilets water supply line. You may notice that this hose, which connects the base of the toilet to the main plumbing line in the wall, is either looking rusty or has a full-on leak that is turning your bathroom into a floodplain. In theory, this is a basic enough procedure to execute, as the ends of the supply line simply screw into their respective outlets. However, there are still numerous mistakes that can be made which will result in a mess that is not only wet, but, more likely than not, pretty disgusting.

The first troubleshooting step you should take is to invest in a new supply line that is of the finest quality. Most supply lines feature hand-turned compression nuts on either end with reinforcing ribs that are designed to make installing the line a breeze without the need for extra tools. Many amatuer plumbers think that they are doing themselves a favor by taking a pair of pliers to these compression nuts to ensure they are perfectly tightened. Instead, this excess pressure simply causes the nut to crack and a waterfall to come pouring out of your tank after the first flush.

Be sure to buy supply lines with metal nuts, if at all possible, to use on your toilet. A good alternative to that is a plastic nut that has a rubber compression reinforcement that will expand around the opening after it gets a chance to settle. Before starting the project, be sure to have the water turned off in the bathroom just in case. After tightening these nuts by hand initially, go back after the rubber reinforcement has had time to settle and give it an extra twist to make sure it is firmly installed. Whatever you do, don't reach for the pliers.

About John C. Flood
At John C. Flood, we are committed to a standard of excellence and quality that no other Arlington, VA plumber can offer. With more than 100 years experience providing plumbing, air conditioning and electrical contracting, we have unmatched skill and expertise satisfying our many area customers.

We also offer energy saving Management Plans that will save customers on utility expenses in the long run. We are open seven days a week and offer customers regular rates no matter when they need us to stop by their home or business.