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Old 02-14-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
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PEX Pipe: Best way to retro-fit?

I want to take all copper out and replace with pex. Does pex only come on rolls? Is this even a good idea?

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Old 02-14-2015, 12:30 PM   #2
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It's a great idea. Re plumbed my 1976 with Pex, and all my water problems were solved. It is a time consuming project if you don't have trailer gutted, but well worth the time and effort. I used a combination of the Pex ring connectors and Sharkbite. Used Sharkbite on things like water heater that might have to be removed or replaced. Chris

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Old 02-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
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I went to my local plumbing store and purchase enough pex to do my entire trailer $20. Rings can get pricey and crimper was $12 at home depot. You may need new fittings to go to your hot water tank and or faucets. But in the long run. You'll be happy you did it.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
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I buy all the parts at Lowe's .... and I would only use copper connectors, T-fittings, etc....they come in all sizes.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:09 PM   #5
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Number 1...don't use Sharkbite fittings on anything you can't reach and fix. These fittings have been known to fail.

Look at replacing your plumbing with Pex A Wirsbo/Uponor plumbing. This is a true expandable pipe that fits OVER the fittings instead of the fittings fitting into the pipe as this doesn't restrict flow pressure. Being a true expandable pipe it will allow for some form of freezing, which copper won't. It will be a lot easier to fit than copper. Your local plumbing people that sell Pex A will probably rent you the tool for a nominal price. It is also the system that most plumbers swear by that is leak free.

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Old 02-14-2015, 07:02 PM   #6
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See my post
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:23 PM   #7
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Everything is going the direction of Pex. Even high-end houses are using Pex and as a handyman it is sure a lot easier to work with and run. Invest in a good Pex tool and a selection of fittings. Yo can also buy adapters from pvc and copper to Pex to adapt to any circumstance.
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #8
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PEX is the way to go.

Be sure to make drawings of the existing water system, in detail, before you rip anything out. The project is more planning than it is working. I bought color-coded PEX in rolls at Lowe's. Used crimp rings throughout.

I found that I could (in fact had to) build whole sections of the new plumbing "elsewhere" and then lay them in place in the trailer already assembled. The trick is to put those last few connections in places where there is room to actuate the crimping tool.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:37 PM   #9
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Odd to have 2 posts on essentially the same topic the same day, so some may be helpful ...

FYI - here is one other tip which I added there....

With the plastic PEX lines (& with wiring too), you'll want to get those rubber grommets made to fit the holes in the frame through which you run the lines, in order to prevent chafing from cutting thru the lines over time & movement on the road (more of a problem in trailers than stationary buildings).

I know that Vintage Trailer Supply sells the rubber grommets in 3 or so sizes/diameters, but there are probably other sources too.

If it's an afterwards addition of the grommets, then you can also slit them, insert around the line, & re-glue the rubber together with any automotive rubber adhesive once inserted onto the frame member holes.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:39 PM   #10
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I have split grommets to install later, if proper size for hole I never cement ends as they fit together snugly. Never run wires or plumbing thru metal or abrasive material w/out grommets, wood is okay w/out.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:02 AM   #11
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Can someone explain the rubber grommet use? I'm interested in where you are locating these grommets along the water lines.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #12
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I think someone has electrical and plumbing confused. The electrical has plastic or rubber grommets to allow chafe free passage through frames and cross members in the body.

Plumbing on the other hand is laid out on the floor but does in some cases travel under interior gables. Usually the gable has a notch in the bottom of it that allows for the passage of plumbing. However I did use Vulcum/Trempro 635 gooped around my Pex at points where chafing up against a gable could occur to prevent that from happening. Silicone would work as well but I have found the Trempro to keep its resiliency and adhesion better. If you need to secure the plumbing to the wall you can get rubber or soft plastic coated plumbing straps. No grommets needed.

However if you do need grommets or some method of protecting a wire through metal frame work, I found that the plastic sleeve candle sticks for candle arbour lights work well. I think they are 7/8" diameter by four or so inches long and you can get them easily at any Home Depot or hardware place.

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Its a recession when your neighbor loses his job; its a depression when you lose your own. "Harry S Truman"
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:43 AM   #13
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If the copper is good I'd leave it in place. If you're dealing with bad plumbing then a pex change over is the way to go. Pex comes in rolls, or sticks (usually 10'). I prefer rolls for long runs and sticks for short runs so I can avoid unnecessary splices. Rolled pex has memory and wants to coil back initially which can be a bit aggravating at times.

I use brass fittings and copper crimp rings. Pex is easy to work, though you do need to pre-plan any connections that will go in tight places as crimping in limited cramped quarters does present a challenge. There are small crimping tools that help work alleviate this issue.

Pex tools can be big ticket items but I found that even when I bought good pex tools I still spent less than what new copper tubing material costs were at the time.

Just my 2


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