By Shane Darville, P.E., CFEI
Toilet supply lines provide a great service to all of us, but when they break, the results can be costly and devastating. Of course, in keeping with Murphy’s law of water leaks, the break will be upstairs or will happen while everyone is gone – or sometimes even BOTH! When something like this happens and flooding to a home or business the losses are sometimes irreplaceable and repairs are long and time consuming. There are times you are just an unfortunate victim of circumstance, if the toilet supply line fails in an upstairs apartment, or place of business but water flows down stream.
A common failure of a toilet supply line is a crack at the base of the threads in the plastic fitting that attaches to the toilet tank. This is usually a failure due to tensile stress, but it is most often blamed on ‘overtightening.’ However, calling it a failure due to overtightening implies a failure on the part of the installer, when that may or may not be the case. A forensic engineer is needed to tell whether or not the installer performed their duties properly.
Figure 1. Cracked Toilet Supply Line
Depending on the manufacturer, installation instructions may only indicate to hand tighten the fitting to the toilet tank. If that is the case, evidence of how it was installed may include looking for tool marks on the barrel of the fitting or to look for signs of misalignment on the threads or rubber gasket. So, while ‘overtightening’ may be the easiest explanation, the cause of failure is usually far more complicated.
Unfortunately, water leaks will happen, so when they do, give Bison a call to help you wade through the mystery!
Contact us today to see how we can investigate and testify about a water supply line that is involved in your case!