plumbing flex linesUsing flexible copper plumbing lines to install things like a water heater or water softener can really make things easier. Plumbing purists love to hard pipe these items but, I really like the flex lines.

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I think flex lines are more convenient and faster than hard piping in an appliance. However, flexible lines can diminish the interior diameter of the pipe. If you make a sharp turn with a flexible pipe, you could easily restrict the volume of water able to flow through that pipe. Not so with hard piping. With hard piping, you use fittings and lengths of straight pipe that will not decrease, because they do not bend.

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Also, since hard piping is soldered in place, you have fewer problematic areas. On a flex line, for example, you may have a rubber washer fail which causes a leak. This won’t happen with hard piping, although a poorly soldered joint can fail. If a joint fails with hard piping, it is a real challenge to fix since you need to heat up the joint to pull it apart and repair it. With flexible lines, you can just unscrew the joint, replace the washer, or clean up the threads and re-assemble everything back together. There are good and bad with each style, and each installer has his preference.

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