Flexible water liner: species, purpose and operation
- Features and benefits
- Stainless steel
A few years ago in almost any bathroom one could see large clutter and intricacies of steel pipes connected to various plumbing. Washbasins and showers were connected to them through a variety of couplings and adapters. As a result of this connection, all corners of the bathroom were occupied with massive structures from pipes that regularly broke down due to hydraulic vibrations and shocks.
With access to the sanitary market of the new flexible liner “nut-nut”, it was possible to solve not only the problem of rapid destruction of the water supply system, extending its service life to 10-15 years, but also freeing up space by expanding the free area of small bathrooms.
Features and benefits
The flexible system consists of a movable elastic hose, covered on top with a metal sheath. Its length can start from 30 cm and reach 5 m. At the ends of the liner there are nuts and fittings with rubber seals that are attached to the main pipe and to the plumbing element or household appliances. Color markers are applied to the metal braid, which indicate the scope of application of the hose. Only hot water should flow through the red-marked hose, extremely cold water through the blue-marked hose, and double color indicates the versatility of the product.
You can also find eyeliner with yellow stripes on sale. It is designed to connect and work with gas equipment, but it can not be connected to water. The inner surface of the flexible hose of such an eyeliner is impregnated with special substances, which in no case should not fall into the drinking water.
Flexible eyeliner almost completely replaced the hard steel pipes due to the large number of advantages.
- Unlike old massive pipes, thin flexible pipes take up less space and allow you to place sanitary products at a great distance from the main pipe without cluttering up the space around the walls and the floor.
- The flexibility of the hose allows you to move already connected appliances and connect it even in the smallest rooms.
- The product does not need welding and is connected almost with “bare hands”. This not only allows you to save money spent on the purchase of welding machines, but also to connect independently even to a beginner.
- Higher, compared with conventional pipes, the reliability of the product extends their service life to several decades.
- Such a flexible tube is more resistant to external damage and internal hydraulic shocks.
Flexible eyeliner, though much better tough, but has its drawbacks.
- The product does not tolerate tension and twisting, they can damage and deform it.
- It is forbidden to install a flexible liner next to an open fire. The exception is a gas hose in a metal sheath, although it is recommended to mount it so that it cannot reach the fire on the stove.
- If water is supplied simultaneously to several rooms, then the flexible eyeliner begins to vibrate and, as a result, creates a low hum.
In the plumbing market, you can find two different categories of flexible connections - adapters and extenders. Adapters are common hoses for supplying water to showers, sinks, or washing machines. Their length rarely exceeds 0.5 m. With the help of an extension cord connected to the adapter, water is supplied to those sections to which an ordinary hose cannot reach.
Characteristics of piping and the first and second categories are similar and look like this:
- the diameters of the outer and inner radius of the pipe are 12 and 11.5 mm, respectively;
- nominal pressure is 8 bar, and the maximum reaches 10 bar;
- minimum bend radius is 60 mm;
- maximum allowable temperature of 70 degrees;
- work resource is at least 10 years;
- the hardness of the rubber hose 75 Shore;
- maximum torque of the valve at the ends of the hose 50 Nm.
The production of flexible liner is still at the development stage, but a wide range already exists on the market. They are classified according to various characteristics, for example, by braid, by type of fittings or by internal filling. The most common of these is the classification by type of braid.
One of the most popular types of flexible liner is reinforced liner. It consists of two parts: the inner rubber hose and the outer steel sheath. Hoses of different lengths are wrapped with steel of a certain color (blue for cold water, and red for hot), fittings or nuts with rubber seals are attached to the ends.
The maximum operating temperature of such an installation is +90 degrees, so it is not used for the installation of heating systems. Nevertheless, it is very convenient to connect to the mixer, washing machine or boiler. The advantages include:
- convenience and speed of installation, from all tools one wrench is enough;
- greater flexibility than other species;
- greater strength compared to polypropylene pipes, as the reinforced liner is reinforced with metal.
The disadvantages of reinforced products include:
- rapid wear of thin rubber seals;
- rapid wear of the braid with frequent bends.
It is worth the reinforced product significantly lower bellows linings, but wears out a little faster. Its average service life is about 2-4 years.
The bellows is a steel corrugated pipe up to 2 meters long, which can stretch and shrink to the required values. Brass nuts with rubber gaskets are installed at its ends, which are able to withstand sufficiently high temperatures. Such a metal accordion can withstand drops from a minimum temperature of -50, up to a maximum of +250 degrees. It is often used to supply water to heating systems and cooling systems, for example, for fan coil units or split systems.
The advantages of such a corrugated liner are:
- high reliability and durability;
- resistance to water hammer and temperature difference;
- such eyeliner does not burn and can be mounted even near an open flame;
- it is hygienic and completely safe for humans.
Of the minuses, you can select only:
- high price;
- strong noise generated by the flow of water through such a pipe.
The service life of a flexible pipe can reach 25 - 30 years, however, it is very expensive. It can be used not only for water supply, but also for gas.
Stainless steel hoses are cheaper than bellows, and they last longer than ordinary reinforced ones. Their length can start from 50 cm and reach 1 m. At the ends of the stainless hose, as well as the reinforced hose, there are ordinary nuts or fittings. With their help, you can connect the liner to both conventional and angular adapters. Among its advantages are:
- high corrosion resistance (higher than other pipes);
- democratic price;
- ease of installation;
- resistance to fire and sudden changes in temperature.
There is only one drawback to such an eyeliner - with a low quality rubber gasket or insufficient tightening of the locking nut, this eyeliner begins to leak at the joints and quickly becomes unusable.
Materials and sizes
The flexible eyeliner of different types can consist both of one material, and of a combination of several. Internal elastic hose made of rubber or rubber.
Rubber hoses are most often used to connect to the toilet or washing machine, as drinking water can not be served on them. Rubber has a peculiar smell, which is transmitted to the water that goes through it. In addition to the inner hose, the eyeliner is braided on top with a reinforcing material that protects the fragile hose from external damage. It can be made of various metals or synthetic materials.
This braid is only suitable for the supply of water with a temperature not higher than 80 degrees. It is highly susceptible to corrosion and its service life does not exceed 5 years.
The braid from a stainless steel increases service life of an eyeliner from 5 to 10 years, at the same time the maximum water temperature increases to 95 degrees, and pressure to 10 atmospheres. One of the varieties of stainless braid is a metal pipe, called bellows.
Nylon braid will last about 10 years and is able to withstand heating up to 110 degrees. In addition, its working pressure is increased to 20 atmospheres, which significantly increases the price of such products.
The galvanized wire braid is not durable and flexible, however, and the price for it is much less than for other materials.
The main dimensions of the flexible hose are the hose length, inner and outer diameters. At the same time, the diameter of not only the hose itself, but also the caliber of fittings located at the edges, is important. The diameter of modern hoses rarely exceeds 1-2 inches. Most often on sale you can find liners with diameters of 3/8, 3/4 and 1/2 inches.
With regards to the length of flexible pipes, it differs significantly from manufacturer. Most often, the line starts with products 500 - 600 mm long, and ends with large industrial pipes, reaching 5000 mm.
Flexible eyeliner is used almost everywhere, its purpose - to connect the plumbing fixture with a water pipe. With it, you can bring water to the faucet, located near the kitchen sink or on the sink in the bathroom, you can connect washing and dishwasher machines and various pumping stations. They supply water to the toilet cistern, shower and boiler. They are mounted to supply water to the sprinklers (the sprinkler system is an integral part of the fire extinguishing system, irrigation heads and pipes leading to them water).
In addition to conventional plumbing systems, flexible connections are used in many different devices. For example, gas pipelines, technical pipes or pipes in various cars.
How to choose?
In order to choose the right eyeliner for each specific case, It is necessary to take into account many nuances:
- Braid should be chosen depending on which room will be the installation and operation of the pipe. The nylon tube should not be mounted near a fire, and metal in rooms with high humidity.
- The size should be such, so that the pipe does not stretch when connected, but you should not buy too long products either. If the length of the hose is chosen incorrectly, it will either be loosely attached or twisted with loose rings, which will quickly destroy the braid on the folds.
- There should not be a harsh rubber or chemical smell from the hose. Such an eyeliner is strictly forbidden to use for supplying drinking water, it is suitable only for technical needs.
- The product should not be too light. - This is an indicator of poor quality material. The highest quality product is made of stainless steel or brass fittings, and the most low-quality - of silumin and zinc. There are hoses with plastic fittings - these are practically disposable products.
- The purpose of the liner must match the operating temperature and pressure., specified in the accompanying documentation. It is not necessary to connect the hose in a blue braid to the battery or gas stove - this can lead to minor troubles, and to these emergencies.
- The hose should be bent well no defects should be visible on the housing. Packaging must be selected one-piece and with appropriate labeling.
Italy is a manufacturer that has long proven itself in the construction industry. One of the best Italian eyeliners are products of the company. Parigi High prices due to the reliability and durability of their liner. All fittings are made of high strength nickel and will last at least 15 years.
No less popular foreign manufacturer is the company. Mateu from Spain. The products of the middle price segment are found in almost every third apartment. Its distinctive feature is the use of PEX hoses made of polyethylene. The same liner of this brand can be used for supplying cold water and for installation of the heating system.
Bulgarian liner Equation also quite common in the plumbing market. Despite the high quality and affordable price, reviews of real buyers vary widely. This is most likely due to the fact that the more popular a product becomes, the more fakes it gets on the market.
Domestic manufacturers are represented today by companies such as "Aquatekhnika", "Monolith" and "Giant". Their products have a lower price, and the quality is often not inferior to foreign pipes. Buyers leave a lot of positive feedback on these models, however, they often indicate some discrepancy between the technical characteristics in the passport and the product itself. Despite this, the impression of the Russian plumbing is generally positive.
How to connect and how often to change?
The connection of the flexible connection to the plumbing and the water pipe itself is carried out with the help of a fitting and a nut located at different ends of the product. This process is quite simple, the main thing is to follow certain rules.
- Before proceeding with the installation, it is necessary to visually inspect the supply line for defects and crimping quality.
- It is impossible to increase the eyeliner using another eyeliner without auxiliary fittings. Technically, this is possible, but such a connection will not be too strong and will begin to pass water over time.
- You can not twist and pull the hose, bend it until a break and strongly stretch.
- The bend radius of even the softest liner should not be less than 70 mm.
- The eyeliner is never put into a fit. If the length of the purchased product is insufficient, it is necessary to purchase a new, longer one.
- You can not put a flexible liner in those places where it will pass through the ceiling. Also, do not hang various objects on it and use it near an open flame.
The old eyeliner changes to a new one after the expiration date specified in the documentation. Sometimes at this point it is still intact and looks strong enough, but damage can occur inside.
In some cases, the pipe starts to leak or rust long before the end of its service life. Then it must be immediately changed by purchasing products from a more reliable manufacturer. Only high-quality materials and the correct manufacturing techniques will allow the flexible connection to last for the entire period allowed without breakage.
For information on what to look for when choosing a flexible liner, see the following video.