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Old 04-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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PEX Replacement CAN NOT BE DONE...'75 Tradewind...

Ok, so I apologize in advance because I'm SUPER agitated right now. After reading how easy it is to replace the plumbing with PEX I decided to jump right in. After going to 2 different Lowes, 2 different Home Depots, Western Nevada Supply (a plumbing/irrigation store that covers and entire city block), and a hose and fitting store am I to believe ALL OF THOSE EXPERTS that putting a PEX water system in my '75 Tradewind cannot be done? I'm hoping that the experts here can prove them wrong....The problem: I want to use 1/2 PEX tubing and fittings. The hot water heater has in/out fittings (tapered) that are 5/8. The shower uses 3/8 (tapered). Everything else is 1/2. I've been told that it is impossible to find a fitting that will hook up to either the 5/8 or 3/8 and then to the PEX system. Why are they wrong?
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:11 PM   #2
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Hi Oneman,
You may find that you need to brass fitting at your appliances and then a peice of copper between the brass and PEX. You may find it easier to make make any changes is pipe size while in the brass and copper domain.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:12 PM   #3
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PEX fits a LOT of stuff but not everything.

Easy solution is transition the more unique fittings to a more standard fitting. Yes, this is a pain in the butt. It really isn't a show stopper though.

Let me add that I'm really liking the new PEX fittings Lowe's is carrying. In addition to press fit, they have the ability to be hand tightened for extra insurance.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemanclan View Post
Ok, so I apologize in advance because I'm SUPER agitated right now. After reading how easy it is to replace the plumbing with PEX I decided to jump right in. After going to 2 different Lowes, 2 different Home Depots, Western Nevada Supply (a plumbing/irrigation store that covers and entire city block), and a hose and fitting store am I to believe ALL OF THOSE EXPERTS that putting a PEX water system in my '75 Tradewind cannot be done? I'm hoping that the experts here can prove them wrong....The problem: I want to use 1/2 PEX tubing and fittings. The hot water heater has in/out fittings (tapered) that are 5/8. The shower uses 3/8 (tapered). Everything else is 1/2. I've been told that it is impossible to find a fitting that will hook up to either the 5/8 or 3/8 and then to the PEX system. Why are they wrong?
it can be easily done. i like the quick connects. some people do not.

look around on this link:


Watts - Plumbing, Heating and Water Quality Products Manufacturer
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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Yes it Can!

I replaced everything in my '74 Argosy with PEX; believe me it can be done. I used standard fittings for the sinks (both galley and bath) also the toilet. Used an adaptor to go from the copper that feeds the shower faucets. As far as I know the water heater has 1/2' NPT thread. See the photos in my blog.
The guys in the big box stores don't have a clue.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
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Welcome to my world. It seems like nothing is "standard" with the trailer. I have a laundry list.
I had a pex issue as well. Like Twinkie said. Adapter.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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Just use a short length of copper!!!!! Use the PEX to copper pipe fitting for the size pipe you want and a copper pipe fitting to the size tread, you may need an step up adapter! It is done all the time in remodel! So in a sense you are making your own fitting!

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Old 04-13-2011, 06:43 PM   #9
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I've redone 4 trailers with pex, adapters are readily available. I started with an assortment of male to pex, female to pex, elbows,tees, faucet swivals, shut offs, ordered on line. All fittings were 1/2 to the best of my memory. This was done in a 1963,1978,1978, 1997 Airstreams. The only copper line I didn't replace was a 1/4 line from kitchen faucet to water filter. Trying to come up with a list of needed parts is harder than doing the job. IMHO
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
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I did my 73 Overlander with pex. No problem. I just use brass fittings in the water heater that step down from one fitting size to the next. I also used brass shark bite fittings. They now make the shark bite fittings in plastic which are much cheaper.

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Old 04-13-2011, 06:54 PM   #11
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I did a complete replacement in my '75 with PEX as well. I found all of the parts at Home Depot or Lowes. I used the brass sharkbite connectors to transistion from PEX to the appliance connections.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:58 PM   #12
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last i remember it was sharkbites at home depot and gatorbites at lowes. or the other way around. watts makes good nylon quick connectors, but some are hard to find around here. pex is the way to go....
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanB View Post
PEX fits a LOT of stuff but not everything.

Easy solution is transition the more unique fittings to a more standard fitting. Yes, this is a pain in the butt. It really isn't a show stopper though.

.
Umm...They say you can't do that...The point of my post. If it were as simple as getting a few fittings together to make it work that would have been our first solution....
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #14
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My gosh people...There is NO ADAPTER...OK, so the 'big box' people may not know what they are talking about, but the two specialty stores I went to should...

I'm SO hitting a wall with this project. I was excited to drop the rat eaten water tank. Bummed when I found that it's $360 replacement had a $130 shipping fee. It arrived today after ordering it day before yesterday. I somehow found a couple of hundred more to replace the copper plumbing, but can't find what I need.

I'm thinking of just bypassing the hot water heater (that is 5/8). I'm not sure it even works. I sure need the shower though (also positive it's 3/8).

Is there a 'go back in time' post? If there is, count me as sorry I bought this thing...
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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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Quote:
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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