Installing anything yourself can be tricky, but water supply lines are especially challenging. They aren’t exactly a DIY project, and it’s tough enough to find the right height for them. But if you want a new sink or toilet, you definitely need to know how to install their supply lines properly. There has to be enough room for different disposals, vanities, sinks, and more. We have researched how high off the floor your water supply should be installed.
The distance between the floor and a water supply line can change based on the purpose of the installation. Supply lines are usually placed high enough from the floor to accommodate a standard sink faucet or toilet. For example, this means that most water supply lines will be installed around sixteen to twenty-one inches from the ground for a sink faucet. This changes for toilets and if the piping is roughed in from the wall or floor.
Water supply lines are both very important and frequently subject to change. So, it’s important to know everything about their installation. Keep reading to learn how high up the water supply lines should be placed, how tight you should make them, and how they can be different when used for toilets or faucets.
How high off the floor should water supply lines be?
There are different methods of installation based on what the water supply lines are being used for. The size of the fixtures and any additions to this equipment will also determine the height of the water supply lines.
If you are attempting to install the water supply lines yourself, then you are probably working with either a toilet or a faucet of some kind. In either case, there are several factors you should consider.
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Are toilet and faucet supply lines the same?
Before you begin installing anything yourself, you need to understand what supply lines are and which ones are best for your fixtures.
A water supply line is always designed to carry usable water from the mainline to your various fixtures. In other words, toilet and faucet supply lines are the same. The pipes that are different underneath these familiar fixtures are probably drain lines. Drain lines help carry away wastewater from your home and help lead it to your local sewers.
Water supply lines are usually made of PVC, copper, or cast iron. The best material for the job is copper, which you can use for your toilet or faucet. Copper can be recycled, so it’s better for the environment. It is also famously durable enough for tubing that must carry water.
However, your supply lines may also be made of PEX tubing. This is crossed polyethylene, which is cheaper and flexible enough to compete with more conventional materials. You can read this post to learn if PEX plumbing is easy to install. Although it’s unlikely, it’s still possible that your toilet and faucet are using different materials for their supply lines.
The biggest difference between faucets and toilets is the height of their installation. Naturally, a sink is much taller than a toilet. So, the faucet’s water supply line may begin on the wall instead of the floor. The faucet’s supply line will also reach much higher. But for sinks in the kitchen, you may also have to consider any additional equipment attached to the fixture.
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How high should I install my faucet supply lines?
The main goal is to make sure there isn’t much bending involved in supplying water to any fixture. Bends will only decrease your water pressure.
Specialists like Finest Bathroom advise that most conventional sinks stand somewhere between thirty-one and thirty-six inches tall. Water supply lines will usually sit around two to four inches above the sink’s drain line. This means that most of your faucets will require a water supply line that sits around twenty-one inches from the floor.
However, keep in mind that faucets in a kitchen will be different from a bathroom. That’s because there is probably some kind of garbage disposal involved. When a garbage disposal is built in, the sink’s drain line will be installed lower than usual. This would allow enough room for the additional feature.
This can sometimes happen when the sink has deeper bowls than usual, too. Since the drain line of the faucet typically dictates the supply line, your water supply line will be lower too. In fact, batch feed disposals are even more of an obstacle.
At this point, the drain line may sit around fifteen inches from the floor. That means the supply line should be installed around seventeen inches from the floor. You can install things this way even if you aren't sure you want certain additions to fixtures right now. You may want them in the future.
How high should I install my toilet supply lines?
The water supply line for a toilet is somewhat tricky. If the supply line extends from the wall, then it should generally sit around two inches beneath the water tank. Given most standard toilet sizes, your supply line should sit around eight inches from the finished floor. However, if your toilet is taller, then you should account for the extra height.
A toilet supply line occasionally extends from the base of the back wall and connects directly to the sink’s supply line. In the case of a horizontal supply line, you would want to measure around six inches between the center of the toilet and the center of the supply line.
Bear in mind that some water supply lines extend from the floor for both toilets and sinks. This is sometimes a feature in homes that are subjected to much colder temperatures. If the walls are too cold, it can freeze the water lines.
What size are most faucet supply lines?
There are two primary sizes for a water supply line. They can be either half an inch or three-quarters of an inch. Most water supply lines have tubing that is half an inch in diameter. The main line of the home is the piping that uses a three-quarter diameter.
Your toilet and faucet supply lines likely have the same tubing width. For example, the official California Plumbing Codes agree that the minimum pipe sizes must be at least half an inch for a typical flush tank urinal and most sinks.
However, the connectors on the ends of the tubing and the shutoff valves can vary. That’s because shutoff valves are quite different. But they are necessary in order to control your water flow.
Faucets can have three different types of connectors, with two classifications. They can either have an outside diameter or a slip joint design.
How tight should water supply lines be?
Tightening any kind of pipe correctly is going to be crucial if you want the right kind of performance. Water supply lines are certainly no exception. It may surprise you, but most interior plumbing doesn’t require everything to be much more than hand tightened.
The majority of supply lines will suggest that you hand tighten the piping into place. After that, you can use pliers or a wrench to twist another half turn. However, some pipes may require even less, such as a quarter turn.
Either way, supply lines will likely function normally when you can’t twist them into place by hand anymore. All you need to do is tighten the supply line enough to prevent any kind of leaking.
Can you over-tighten a water supply line?
It is absolutely possible to tighten a water supply line too much. It is always better to err on the side of caution, or hire a professional for the installation. You can read this post to learn how much it costs to install a bathroom sink and faucet.
If you twist a supply line too tightly, you can damage all of the piping’s interior. You can damage the internal structure enough that your water will not flow correctly.
Specialists like Kew Forest Plumbing advise that you can potentially warp the metal threads inside a supply line, or destroy rubber O-rings that support the interior.
Water supply lines are an unusual but essential part of the home. That’s because they spend most of the time removed from view, and only the daily function is noticeable. But now you know just how to replace the supply lines if they’re damaged. Or you can freely install a brand new toilet and faucet. No matter what the occasion is, you can now choose the best water supply lines and correctly get your water flowing again.