It is even a worse nightmare if there are no plumbers available for such emergencies. The water heater at your home is one of the most important and expensive appliances.
Surely you do not want to mess the machine by using a wrong connector or a water heater hose that doesn’t take the load or gets loose after several minutes, hours, or days.
The result of such mishaps can cause water flooding in your heating room/basement or can cause severe electrical and mechanical damages.
There are several occasions where your plumber might charge extra dollars for a standard or cheap quality connector; therefore, it is imperative to learn what you are dealing with and then look at fixing the issue.
We advise you to buy a water heater hose only after knowing its complete capabilities, negative and positive points.
For that reason, we have curated five flexible water heater hoses that are the best in the industry.
Our Expert Picks for the Best Water Heater Hose
We will provide an honest side-by-side comparison of these products so you can choose the right one for that emergency you’ve been dreading.
Let’s start with the first one and gradually move to the last:
#1 Winner: SharkBite U3088FLEX18BVLF
- Product Dimensions: 18 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches
- Manufacturer: Cash Acme
- Material: Stainless steel
- Item Weight: 10.9 ounces
- Warranty Description: Limited 25 Year
SharkBite U3088FLEX18BVLF is our first choice and thus comes on the first position in our best water heater hoses list. This product has excellent consumer feedback because of its unique push to connect technology—a perfect pipe connector when it comes to the specs.
Let’s have a quick look at the positives and drawbacks, along with our buying advice that will help you determine if the connector is useful to you or not.
- This water heater supply connector bagged the first place on our list because of its easy installation feature. The connector is extremely easy to connect. You do not need any tool, plyer, hammer for the installation. Cut the pipe, push it, and the shark grip seal will provide a tight seal without any extra device. You can quickly push to create a water-tight seal.
- It can save you plumber money, as you can easily do it independently. Take ten minutes out from your schedule, and you’ve got yourself an entirely connected hose that will stay on for years.
- You can also use this connector for your house’s primary water shut down the outlet if the water pressure is according to the company’s instructional pamphlet.
- You can use this lead-free hose connector for commercial and residential use.
- The outer shell covering has a knitted plus braided pattern of stainless steel, making it easy to bend and adjust according to your needs.
- Sharkbite can easily connect to CPVC, PEX, copper, and PE-RT pipe. The variety of materials to connect to makes this product versatile.
- This connector costs $29.98, which is a little pricey. Still, we feel that the price is perfect considering the money you will be saving by calling a professional plumber. Plus, the hassle of calling, booking, scheduling, and waiting is eliminated by ordering this heater hose connector.
- Few of the users have complained about the degradation of the inner lining. The rubber inside the metal mesh lining melts, and black rubber flakes find their way to the bathtub or sink water.
- SharkBite U3088FLEX18BVLF has an extra added benefit of shutting the water supply with an additional shut down valve for the users’ safety and comfort. This feature is not present in any other models, and a benefit like this can be useful.
We recommend buying this product if there is no plumber in your area as the installation is effortless, simple, and fuss-free. We would recommend checking your area’s chlorine level in the water.
A lot of chlorine can cause rubber erosion, which will travel from your water heater supply tank to your taps’. Be mindful about this one thing.
#2 Runner-up: Eastman 0437736
- Product dimensions: 36 x 0.75 x 0.75 inches
- Manufacturer: Eastman
- Material: Copper
- Item weight: 14.4 ounces
- Warranty Description: You can request the manufacturer’s warranty from the customer service.
Eastman 0437736 connector comes second on our list because of its durability and robust quality. The hose has a copper body different from the rest of the products we are reviewing today.
Let’s take a look and find out the benefits and negatives of this product.
- This water heater connector has a ¾ inch female inlet pipe and measures 36 inches in total length.
- This metal connector is made out of durable copper unique from the rest of the pipes, so it is in our second position on the list. This flexible water heater hose can withstand corrosion and provide a long-lasting service for years.
- The product comes with brass end nuts, nitrile rubber sealing washers, and an external dielectric sleeve, which helps in the connector’s smooth functioning.
- This water heater hose comes with a deep corrugated pattern which prevents the connector from kinking and cracking. The corrugated design provides agility to the whole product making it long-lasting.
- This Eastman connector is lead-free certified and proudly meets the Canadian Uniform Plumbing Code’s product safety requirements. This certification adds up an extra layer of belief in the product.
- This connector’s price is $22.05, approximately appropriate for the features and certifications it has received.
- This product is an excellent product with no negative drawback except for one. The company tends to send the product without the washers, which can be frustrating if it is urgent. You might have to visit a Home Depot to find an exact washer that fits the ends.
- We did not find any striking feature that might make it stand out, but overall, it’s a standard product that works and stays intact for years.
A perfect buy according to price, but as the pipe is of copper, it won’t retain heat, so we suggest you insulate the hot water line of your heater with closed-cell foam tubing. If you do that, you are pretty much good to go.
#3 Alternative: Holdrite QFC-0124 QuickFlex
- Product dimensions: 24.8 x 1.1 x 1 inches
- Manufacturer: Holdrite
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Item weight: 0.01 ounces
- Warranty Description: 0.01 ounces
Holdrite QFC-0124 stands as our 1st runner-up on the list. This connector has good reviews from its customers worldwide, but it comes on our runner-up list because of the wrong manufacturing place printing on the box and what is declared by the manufacturer on the website.
Let’s assess the product by dissecting it with pros and cons.
- This stainless steel connector comes with two female inlet pipe ends and few swivel nut connectors.
- The flexible steel connector doesn’t allow the pipe to kink or knot, which is good as that can put pressure on the sides of the line, and it can burst in the worst-case scenario.
- Holdrite QFC-0124 QuickFlex is rated to maintain 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This flexible water heater hose is IPC, and IAPMO/UPC compliant and meets ASME A112.18.6r.
- This product is retailed at the price of $12.99, a comparatively lesser amount than the other two.
- The customers are upset that the company is claiming that the product is MADE IN USA, but the actual print on the packaging says MADE IN CHINA.
- Few people have complained that the price is comparatively high considering it’s a MADE IN CHINA product.
- There were no extra features that we can identify and specifically write about.
If you are okay with the MADE IN CHINA claim, this product can be a perfect fit if you want to buy a connector that is not braided but corrugated.
You might need to apply a little force to bend it to your desired shape, but apart from the force application, this is an excellent product in its price range.
#4 Alternative: SharkBite U30 88FLEX18LF
- Product dimension: 18 x 2 x 2 inches
- Manufacturer: Cash Acme
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Item weight: 9.6 ounces
- Warranty Description: Limited 25 Year
SharkBite U3088FLEX18LF is our 2nd runner-up and has impressive features, just like the winner connector.
This item comes with Sharkbite’s patent push to connect technology that can be handy for those who live off-grid, as calling a plumber will not be easy for connector-changing tasks.
Let’s find out the pros and cons of this product before deciding which one to buy.
- SharkBite U3088FLEX18LF is a perfect product if you like to do things independently. The easy installation promise that comes with Sharkbite products makes the process even more straightforward. You do not need glue or any tools to join the connector.
- It comes with dielectric connectors that work best for preventing galvanic corrosions, so the life gets automatically extended.
- SharkBite U3088FLEX18LF connector is versatile and connects to mostly all types of pipes from copper, PEX, CPVC to PE-RT.
- This pipe can be used for hot and cold water heating pipes but check for chlorine level before installing the connector to your water heater.
- It has a mesh braided outer layer made out of stainless steel material.
- This product costs $12.98, a reasonable price for something this easy to install that requires zero plumbing skills. You can watch a video from the company’s instructional manual and do it independently.
- This connector is not suitable for PVC pipes, according to the manufacturer itself. So if you have a PVC pipe outlet, we do not recommend buying it.
- There are no extra features that caught our eye apart from the quick installation, which can be considered a USP.
This SharkBite U3088FLEX18LF is an excellent alternative to SharkBite U3088FLEX18BVLF. All the specs are the same except for the ball valve, making that product cost more.
If you like the features that our first ranked product has but do not want to spend $32.70, then this is a perfect purchase choice that we can recommend.
#5 Alternative: Eastman 0447512
- Product dimension: 12.38 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches
- Manufacturer: EZ-FLO International
- Material: Other
- Item weight: 7 ounces
- Warranty Description: You can request the manufacturer’s warranty from customer service.
Eastman 0447512 is our final product that has made it to our list. This connector is the cheapest among all of the mentioned products. Let’s take a look at its specs to see the positives and drawbacks along with our buying advice.
- The product uses stainless steel as its base material (We cannot vouch for that as the material has ‘other’ written on it) that repels corrosion and keeps the product from deteriorating.
- Eastman’s connector comes with brass nuts with a nickel-plated finish and an EPDM gasket for a non-leak connection.
- This heater connector has a working temperature range from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The connector is UPC-approved and lead-free compliant for safe water drinking.
- This product retails at $16.36, which is the lowest amongst any connectors on the list.
- It can take a lot of time to align the nut properly, as few customers said. They have had few issues with the nut’s alignment while closing the connection.
- We could not find any particular feature in the Eastman 0447512 water heater connector.
Buy this product if the connector’s price is a making or breaking factor. Keep in mind the time you will need to assemble and align the nut. Apart from that, you can buy this product.
Water Heater Connector FAQs
Can I use a flexible pipe for a water heater?
Yes, you can use a flexible pipe for a water heater, but this varies from state to state. States that are prone to earthquakes make it mandatory to have a flexible line as rigid water connectors are more prone to spraying the water all over the heater area.
Spurting of water can be dangerous, so officials suggest using a flexible pipe.
Even if you do not live somewhere with a strict code to fix a flexible water heater pipe, you can still choose a flexible line for its features. A flexible pipe bends according to your needs and the space you might have for the piping. Overall, it’s a good idea to use a flexible water heater line.
Can you use Sharkbite fittings for hot water heater?
You can use Sharkbite fittings for a water heater. All connectors from Sharkbite are approved for gas or an electric water heater with a flue vent.
Apart from that, you can use Sharkbite fittings on both hot and cold water lines. One little tip that you should keep in mind while using Sharkbite fittings is the type of connector to use.
If you can get your hands on their stainless steel corrugated connectors, they would last longer on your water heater line as there would be no rubber lining coating the connectors’ insides.
What is the best site for water heater supply lines?
You should always install a water heater supply line near a water heater. The connectors aid the hot and cold water supply to run through the same pipe after connecting it from the heater to your main pipeline.
As your supply lines should always be near the heater, the heater must have 12 inches of clearance nearby for proper ventilation.
Do not put anything flammable near the heater. Always keep checking near the water heater to see if the water is leaking or not. One should never stretch the supply line as it might lose its grip and start leaking. Do not bury your water heater flex lines inside a wall and cover the wall.
Closing will make your task of checking the connector very hard, and in case of a plumbing emergency, it will be expensive to break the barrier to access the piping. A well-ventilated basement is one of the best sites to attach and keep your water heater supply lines.
That’s it for this review article. We hope that this article about hoses helped you in finding the best connector from a pool of various water heater hoses for your water heater.
Do not hastily buy connectors that will give up on you within months; think about the points that we have laid out and carefully access your need, and then buy accordingly.
Ensure that the product you buy works well for years to come, as it is not ideal for you to change and reattach the connectors often.
Attaching new connectors can cause your water heater’s (see also ‘ Best Under Sink Water Heater’ ) life to depreciate faster. Do consider keeping in mind our buying advice for finding a proper connector that will serve you for years.