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Old 10-01-2003, 11:58 AM   #1
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1950s copper pipe connections

I'm trying to do a moderately quick fix on my 58 caravanner, replacing a section of burst water pipe in the shower and I've unscrewed that section from each end. Neither Home Depot nor a plumbing supply place had fittings like these. It's 3/8 copper piping. Does anyone with an older airstream know what type of fittings these are and if they are still readilly available. Otherwise I'll have to replace the T-junctions or something. Thanks,

Michael
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:46 PM   #2
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Get some Quest or Flair-it fittings and a bit of plex tubing. The Quest fittings will work on copper tubing to put a standard pipe thread fitting on the end.

The 3/8 od tubing is good for the half inch pipe thread Quest or Flair-it fittings. Should be available at any good hardware store or Lowes or Home Depot. Might also look at http://pexconnection.com/
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:54 PM   #3
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waterlines

I've seen other similar posts and I think everyone thinks I'm nuts when I respond, but here goes. My family has been in the plumbing business for 75 year and I've been in it for 20 years, if you have a pipe size that is different the standard plumbing sizes it has to be refrigeration tubing. The refrigeration industry measures the pipe different then the plumbing industry. Plumbers pipe is measured by inside diameter or i.d. and refrigeration is measured by outside diameter or o.d. I had a box of refigeration fitting that would not fit any pipe! The supply house that sent it out sells to both plumbers & heating and cooling people. I have herd this complaint before in older airstreams but by the time I posted they had solved the problem converting to pex. Good luck.


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Old 10-01-2003, 01:24 PM   #4
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The pipe size seemed to be normal (except a little swollen) but the screw connector fittings don't match the threads of anything at Home Depot. If these fittings are still standard in some other industry (refrigeration? automotive? gas lines?) I'd prefer to stick a couple of those fittings on the end of the replacement pipe and screw it back into the original tee junctions which seem to be uniform throughout the trailer. If not, then I'll start updating the system maybe to pex or swap out the junctions.

I'll look into the heating/cooling idea.
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Old 10-01-2003, 01:37 PM   #5
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If I understand what your looking at those should be standard flair nuts. At least they were on my 59. I may still may have some in my A/S junk box I'd be glad to send to you if you think they would help. (Don't hold me to it - I occasionally go through things with the 6 month rule - if I have not used it in six months it gets tossed.)

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Old 10-01-2003, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
The refrigeration industry measures the pipe different then the plumbing industry.
hmmm..do you suppose that's why I had to use a "1/2 inch compression fitting" to connect to a piece of 3/8 od copper tubing?

I had to re-plumb my toilet earlier this year, and that's what I had to do. I cut the old pipe. The flair fitting that connected to the toilet was buggered up, and very difficult to attach/detach from the toilet, so I thought I'd replace it with a flex-tube. anyway, we found that they label the compression fittings differently that the pipes to which they are supposed to connect.
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:17 PM   #7
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I used to do reefer work too, the id/od size measuring difference rings true, but fittings are fittings (you just go up or down a size)...our '55 has 3/8" copper with flare nuts throughout. Can you post a pic? I'll double check ours tonight and see if I can come up with and answer. I know it is frowned on, but for a quick, temporary fix, what about the rubber hose and hose clamp "patch" until you can locate the correct fittings? (I don't know how soon you need to use your trailer).
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:47 PM   #8
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gheesh guys. it isn't that difficult, is it?

see the FAQ at
http://www.plumbingworld.com/polyb.html
Quote:
"What does Nominal size mean on these fittings?"
In copper, cpvc, pex and polybutylene plumbing piping, when one uses the term 1/2" pipe it means that the pipe is approximately 1/2" on the inside and 5/8" on the outside (o.d.). If you know the outside diameter simply subtract 1/8" and that will give you the size that the manufacturer calls these fittings. 7/8" o.d. means that the fitting is called 3/4", 1/2" o.d. means the fitting is called 3/8" and so on.
also see the copper tube handbook
http://www.cerrocu.com/cda/book.html
which points out that AC and fridge tubing sizes are by measured by actual OD.

The tubing used for water and for propane in airstreams is standard stuff.

Flair fittings on the propane lines is a matter of code, I think.

Water lines are usually soldered although flair fittings may be used when having to convert to appliances - which usually have a standard half inch pipe thread.

You may find that time and wear expands the pipes a little making the flair nuts difficult to slide over then end of the pipe.
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:49 PM   #9
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piping

I wish you'd found this out earlier, I just threw away all my tees figuring I would replace it all. The tees are compression style 3/8", but the compression nut is externally threaded and the tee has female threads. While this is different that the currently popular tees with a male thread in the body and a female thread on the nut, I don't see why you couldn't cut out the old tee and replace it with modern fitting. Of course this assumes you have enough slack tubing to make up the 1/2 to 3/4 inch you lose when you cut off the old ferrules. Lot's of luck
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Old 10-02-2003, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: piping

Quote:
Originally posted by markdoane
I wish you'd found this out earlier, I just threw away all my tees figuring I would replace it all. The tees are compression style 3/8", but the compression nut is externally threaded and the tee has female threads. While this is different that the currently popular tees with a male thread in the body and a female thread on the nut, I don't see why you couldn't cut out the old tee and replace it with modern fitting. Of course this assumes you have enough slack tubing to make up the 1/2 to 3/4 inch you lose when you cut off the old ferrules. Lot's of luck
I just pulled appart about thirty of these, didn't realise they were anything odd. Just run of the mill compression. Problem is once that brass sleeve has been used it's done so it will have to be replaced with modern unless you can find a place that will sell just the brass sleeve. There were so many repairs I doubt the longest peice of copper in our unit between fittings is maybe 24 inches.

I'm going pex on ours. Where the pipe is exposed like the bath and between the Goucho and Galley I'm going to find a peice of copper just large enough to run the pex through it to give the cosmetic appearence of the original copper lines
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