Plumbing leak

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H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Nov 11, 2017
I returned home Sunday afternoon to find my garage where I have my mill and lathe full of steam with water dripping from the ceiling. The hot water supply line on the water heater had sprung a leak and was spraying hot water. My three year old lathe was a uniform brown color covered with rust because I had left the dust cover off. The mill, however, was virtually unaffected even though it was closer to the leak but it was covered. Fortunately, the rust is very light and essentially rubs off so I plan to disassemble it and clean and oil everything.
I talked to my buddy who is an insurance agent and he tells me that they recommend that all water supply lines be replaced every five years. Seems excessive until this happens! I even had a water leak detector with auto shutoff installed at the water heater but it failed to activate for some reason.
Lessons I learned from this:
-Use the best water supply lines you can buy and replace them periodically. Sounds like the corrugated copper are preferred by some plumbers. The one that failed was a flexible hose with stainless steel overbraid as are most of the others in the house.
-Test my leak detectors more often.
-Cover the machines when not in use.


Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Feb 13, 2014
My heart goes out to you. We just finished replacing over 1000 sqft of flooring on the ground level and 100 sqft in the master bath upstairs after tear out and asbestos abatement. Supply line to toilet in upstairs bath, leaked behind baseboard into downstairs for no more than 24 hrs. Happened mid June, just finished the work last week.about a month of dehumidifiers and fans 24/7. Now I turn off supply to house and power to hot water heater when gone for a whole day or more.
Good luck,


Apr 30, 2015
I think the corrugated copper are preferred because they will tend to pinhole first before breaking allowing you time to catch it
I've never had one let go on me- I replace 'em with every new heater (6-9 yrs)


Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Feb 28, 2012
Replace it with good old type "L" solid copper pipe it'll last forever. Do not use type "M" it has a much thinner wall "L" is for long lasting "M" is for mickey mouse.
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