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Old 04-13-2011, 07:14 PM   #15
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One more thing...I don't want to transition to copper. I don't have the expertise to sweat anything, don't have the tools to do it (or the money to buy them). I simply want to screw fittings from PEX to my sinks, toilet, shower...
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I'm not questioning your ability with a ruler, but every water heater I've seen has 1/2" threaded fittings. Those are readily available. I've never seen a 5/8" threaded fitting.
I didn't measure anything. I unscrewed the fittings, cut to copper pipe and carried them all to the stores and we screwed things on to measure them. They are obviously different sizes just by looking at them...3/8 shower, 1/2 sink and toilet, 5/8 hot water heater...
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:21 PM   #17
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Ah, I used standard risers for the water heater and all faucets, then pex to the risers.

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Old 04-13-2011, 07:24 PM   #18
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Go to a small hardware store like ACE or True Value. Take a piece of the pex and write down what you are trying to do (get dimensions for all fittings). Find the person who knows plumbing. They have brass fittings that will go into the hot water heater and will transition down to 1/2". I have done this. It can be done. ACE has a great selection of Brass fittings they are all shape and sizes. Shark bites or Gator bites can connect to pex, pvc, cpvc or copper. I have one area where I have pvc screwed into the fitting with a shark bite connected to it and pex coming off the other end.

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Old 04-13-2011, 07:46 PM   #19
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What you usually find sitting behind service counters is people with good intentions but lack the ability to listen and understand what it is you need and are trying to do. I had to spend a bit of time looking at the brass fittings at lowes but eventually found everything I needed for the water heater and faucets. The rest is cake. Just because someone says they don't have something doesn't mean they don't have what you need.

Oh, and orchard supply hardware proved to have the best selection of brass fittings for both the propane Hookups and water heater fittings.

Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #20
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My 75 Trade Wind is all PEX, done by the PO. It has 3/8 inch lines, but that should not make any difference. I have done a few mods and found everything I needed here: Flair-It PEX Plumbing and Radiant Heating Systems
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:36 PM   #21
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I'm glad I apologized in advance...I'm not being clear enough. I've been told that "RV parts" manufacturers taper their threadings so that you can only buy from them...It puzzles me why the 1/2 fits, but the 3/8 and 5/8 can't because of the 'taper'? The answer I've gotten is that my trailer must be a mix of "RV parts" (the hot water heater) and "house parts" (the sink, etc).

The amount of parts my Lowes and HDepot have isn't all that impressive. The Western Nevada Supply place was (man behind the counter who 'fetches' parts for you). I can't imagine why they'd turn me away knowing I've got cash and am about to buy a boatload of parts and tools...

I'm wiling to route around the hot water heater, but not the shower...I guess I'll just buy a new fixture and go with that. Imagine that, money thrown at a problem fixes it...
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #22
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I think you need to look a little closer at your water heater,you may have another fitting that needs to be removed. Then it will be 1/2" tapered pipe thread, used in rv's AND houses. When they say 1/2" pipe thread,they are talking about the inside diameter,this goes back to when they used iron pipe that was cut and threaded on the job. It is much larger than 1/2" on the outside,and they are tapered. So far the
"experts" at the stores, don't know ther stuff. Pex is eazy,just buy some fittings and try them for fit,big box stores are good about returns. Good luck
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:34 PM   #23
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Hi onemanclan,

I am not a plumber, but have done a lot, perhaps I can offer some small encouragement and I'm sure others will here too.
Maybe we can start with some basics. Generally there are two types of fittings, male and female. Male fittings screwing into the female (I am not trying to be funny here, that's just why they are called that). Perhaps you are measuring the outside of the pipe thread. The inside pipe size is how they are measured (I think I'm right here). To save trips I will sometimes take the fitting that I disconected with me to the store to be sure I have the right size adapter, if not available with one fitting it sometimes takes two. Also, there are flared fittings and pipe fittings. When putting back pipe fittings to adapt to Pex, don't forget to use teflon tape and or pipe dope, my brother, a real plumber taught me to use both especially on larger pipes, a very cheap investment to prevent leaks and rework. A flarred fitting does not need either, but if they don't look right, pitted, maybe not quite square, I'll sometimes use dope (teflon paste) on these as well, doesn't hurt. Gas lines are something else, I'm talking water only here.
There are some odd fittings out there, but don't give up. It can be done.
I look at it this way: a few extra fittings and trips are still a lot cheaper than an RV shop. Over the years I've collected more fittings, some rare, than most plumbing stores have on hand.
Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:49 PM   #24
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Help is on the way

OK: Let's start with the 3/8 copper for the shower. Go to you local hardware store or big box. Tell them you want an adaptor to go from 3/8" copper tubing to 1/2" NPT. I would use a 3/8" brass compression fitting that uses a ferrell instead of flaring the tubing. You just cut the copper tubing off (using a tubing cutter) slide the nut on the tubing along with the farrel, put the 3/8 adaptor over the end of the tubing and tighten the nut. PEX fittings are readily available that have 1/2" NPT threads.
I don't know who told you that RV's use special fittings that are tapered. They really don't know what they are talking about. All plumbing and gas fittings that screw together are tapered threads. While conduit fittings for electrical ridgid piping is not tapered.
PEX fittings; no matter what brand are readily available with 1/2" pipe threads, both male and female. If you look at my blog pictures you will see standard braided stainless steel flex hoses hanging from the end of the PEX tubing, the flex hoses connect directly to the sink faucet (1/2" pipe thread) and to the PEX tubing with a PEX to 1/2" NPT adaptor. If you are keeping the old sink faucets with the copper lines you can use the 3/8" copper to NPT adaptor mentioned above. Personally I would get rid of as much copper as you can. You can get the flex hoses with 1/2" NPT fitting on one end and 3/8" tubing fitting on the other, it will screw right on where the old copper came off.
I didn't post a photo of the water heater install, but I used the same stainless flex hoses to connect the water heater to the PEX. The water heater has 1/2" NPT female threads. All you need is a 1/2" pipe nipple (brass) about 1 1/2" to 2" in length, screw the nipple into the inlet and outlet holes, attach the flex lines to the nipples you placed into the water heater, connect the other end of the flex lines to the PEX tubing using a PEX to 1/2" NPT adaptor. The flex hose are available with fittings for other sizes as well, the flex hoses I used had 1/2" female NPT fittings on both ends which will screw right onto the PEX to 1/2" NPT adaptor fittings.
If I might ask:Why do you think your water heater has 5/8" fittings? Are you looking at some kind of adaptor (which probably has flats on it for a wrench) that was used to fit the old copper lines, this fitting is probably brass. If so, you need to remove those old fittings, which will leave you with a hole in the water heater tank that has 1/2" NPT female threads.
When you assemble the metal to metal fittings, you need to use pipe dope or teflon tape. It is not necessary to use the pipe dope or teflon tape when you are connecting to the PEX fittings, unless the PEX fitting is metal as well.
Hope this helps.
By the way, I used "Flair It" brand fittings for all of the PEX tubing. No special tools needed. Bought everything I needed on the Internet, got the PEX tubing at Menards.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:28 PM   #25
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Ok...Thanks everyone, especially TG Twinkle!

My solutions (but please read on because I have a couple of more issues):

!) I think there was a combination of not communicating clearly and people (including myself) not knowing what the "F" they were talking about. For instance, I took in the fittings I removed (that were copper) only to get the right measurements for the new fittings. They all thought I was trying to replicate the fittings in PEX (I think).
2) Twinkle was right in that I needed to remove even more fittings on the hot water heater in order to leave just 'holes'. They were half inch and fit perfectly.
3) The shower WAS 3/8 (and turns out the toilet was too). I found a brass fitting along with male threads on both ends to tie it all together.
4) The braided lines that are used for sink/toilets were a life saver. Not only do they look cool, but you don't have to place the PEX with tons of accuracy.
My remaining issues:
A) How do you transition from the pump to the PEX? RV store for the parts?
B) How do you tie in a pressure reducer (for the city water hook up) to the PEX?
C) Where oh where does the sprayer for the toilet hook up to? Is is behind the toilet near the water intake? In the front near the pedals?
D) The 1 1/4 inch intake hose needs to be replaced. RV store for the parts?

Thanks so much for the help. I'm super stoked I'm almost done, but nervous about 'firing it up'. I almost got the red and blue pipe, but ended up covering all of the pipe with insulation...
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemanclan View Post
My remaining issues:
A) How do you transition from the pump to the PEX? RV store for the parts?
Most pumps have 1/2" male pipe thread, you can either use a 1/2" female pipe thread connector to PEX, or you can use a braided stainless 1/2" pipe thread on both ends vinyl hose to conect to the PEX. The latter would be better, it would isolate the pump and minimize noise and vibration. You can get one of those adapters almost anywhere, i've even seen them at WalMart.
Quote:
B) How do you tie in a pressure reducer (for the city water hook up) to the PEX?
You really don't have to have one, but the easiest way is to get one that will go on the city water spigot at the campground, and connect the fresh water hose to it.
Quote:
C) Where oh where does the sprayer for the toilet hook up to? Is is behind the toilet near the water intake? In the front near the pedals?
It depends on the toilet, but usually it goes on a nipple on the flush valve on the back of the toilet, near where the water line comes in.
Quote:
D) The 1 1/4 inch intake hose needs to be replaced. RV store for the parts?
Any hardware store, even a swimming pool supply store, will have this. Take a sample with you.[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #27
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A) How do you transition from the pump to the PEX? RV store for the parts? If your pump has hose barb fittings just connect a short piece of hose to the pump, on the other end of the hose, just reverse the process; get a barb connector that fits the hose and will screw into a 1/2" PEX female NPT fitting. It's another adaptor so to speak.
B) How do you tie in a pressure reducer (for the city water hook up) to the PEX? Here is one that attaches to the faucet at the camp ground. Or you can attach it to the water input on the trailer; that way you don't drive off and leave it. They are available at Gemplers. It's called a "Pressure Regulator". This one is set at 40 PSI which is plenty for you setup.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:17 PM   #28
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This is one of the finest example of good people on this forum coming together and helping another streamer out hats off people this is why I love this site so much good job.
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