I am installing 1/2" copper pipes to supply water to my own new gas heater. The pipes need to pass around corners that are full of obstacles. I am not a professional plumber but know that I normally would need to use various kinds of compression fittings to connect pipes in order to go around the obstacles.

However, I also notice that flexible tubes like the one shown in the pictures are available. And actually, below the basin, these tubes are used to connect the faucet to the water supply valve. Now, I am wondering if these flexible tubes can be used in the section that go around the corner instead of copper pipes connected by various kinds of fittings.

Is it a practical solution? Copper pipes installed by professional plumbers rarely involve flexible tubes so I am wondering if there are some other concerns I'm not seeing. Note, the pipes are installed indoor only.

flexible tube

flexible tube

2 Answers 2


There are flexible hoses made for connecting to water heaters but they are usually only a few feet long and are only meant to make it easier to swap the heater for maintenance. They are also much larger, usually 3/4" size, because they are feeding the entire house. The hoses you show in the picture are 3/8" and are only meant to serve a single small fixture.

If you are trying to go around obstacles consider using PEX tubing. You can connect a push-in fitting (like sharkbite) to the copper end and then run flexible PEX around the corner as long as you support it every few feet. However you may need to switch back to copper for the last 18" near the heater due to code restrictions on using PEX directly to the heater. The push-in fittings are more expensive but can be used for PEX to copper connections and require no soldering.

  • Could you please site the source of the "code restrictions"?
    – Tester101
    Nov 28, 2012 at 18:50

Whoa - you are talking about a gas line right? There are flexible gas lines usually intened to connect the rigid copper pipe to the the applicance or water heater. Don't use flexible pipe around corners. Do it right. Find out if compression fittings are allowed in your area. Also, a gas line should be pressure and leak tested after its connected. You may want to get it professionally done.

  • I'm pretty sure the question was about water lines, not gas. A gas supply line would generally not be copper anyway.
    – user558
    Nov 29, 2012 at 3:25
  • my question was about water pipes only. I've edited it to clarify my intention
    – JavaMan
    Nov 29, 2012 at 6:30

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