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Old 09-09-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
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PVC or PEX or copper

So I am getting ready to design the plumbing part of a restoration. What are the benefits of using PEX over PVC. Are they only that PEX can bend around corners and that they are simply popular right now. I have been told by someone recently to use PVC because he was having to deal with a PEX joint that popped loose and spewed water all over his trailer. While it should be noted that water always has the ability to leak, is it more or less likely with PEX or PVC? I guess it will always depend on the situation, but I really jusy wanted some opinions for and against both. Anyone? Or should I use copper in some areas and not others. Does anyone have a design that they feel is the best in terms of where to use what type of material? please advise, Andrew

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:18 PM   #2
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I believe this answer will come down to what you feel most comfortable working with. Copper for me is no issue - I have worked with it in home restorations for years. I like it personally. PEX is all new to me and the self locking connectors are a mystery to me - I have only played with them in the store but they come highly recommended and in tight partial resotations where getting into a tight spot is an issue they may be a life saver. PVC is brittle and really does not like movement after installation. PVC is simple to work with and very cheap.

There you go - no real answer - my choice would be copper and terminate short of all fittings and go with bradded SS flex lines to fixtures to speed up the process.


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Old 09-09-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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For what its worth, I like pex fine. My home was built in the 80s and plumbed with the poly-bute pipe that finally failed. I have re-plumed the entire home in pex and found it easy to work with.

One must use the correct crimping tools, but there is a wide array of fittings available, and if you use the rolled versus the stick varity, it is flexible and very forgiving.
I would use it in a trailer before the other two, any time.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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I would go PEX. Easy to work with and holds up better in freeze conditions. My trailer has it from the PO and it is working fine.


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Old 09-09-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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PEX Rocks

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Old 09-09-2008, 08:59 PM   #6
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While my trailer plumbing remains copper, I have to recommend Pex, and will use it when the old plumbing eventually needs to be replaced.

A couple of years ago we converted a barn into a house, the Pex was wonderful to use. It's ability to recover from accidental freeze is a huge selling point as well given that our house is located deep in the Cascade mountains.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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pex, if installed correctly should not leak. go PEX.

*by asking the above question,
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:35 PM   #8
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I put pex in my trailer.
I tried the Seaquest fittings found at Lowes. 80% of the joints leaked. I took back the fittings. Purchased a crimping tool from ebay and went with the brass fittings. No leaks - very simple. I like copper but the crimping tool sure beats trying to sweat a solder fitting in a tight corner.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:13 AM   #9
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pex it is

Just got back from a 3000 mile trip with Costalotta.... first trip out and NO LEAKS.... Hubby used pex with sea teck (sp) ....
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:57 AM   #10
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For my Airstream? Pex with the crimped fittings. For my house? Copper. My AS has copper, but it is 33 year old copper, and is going to be replaced shortly.

FWIW my parents house still has some of the original copper piping still in place and it is over 70 years old IMHO copper is great stuff for a fixed installation, but where it is going to be subject to vibration, temperature extremes, and being wet or dry the PEX is a better choice.

PVC is my choice for drain lines only. I have had PVC water lines crack when under pressure. Not sure if was poor quality or damaged prior to installation.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:58 AM   #11
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I think opinions were requested and this is mine.....

I used pex with mixed feelings. The pipe is great, but those SeaTech fitting suck. The pipe must be cut perfectly straight, it must be under zero tension and it must be seated all the way into the fitting. I would not use the SeaTech fittings again. The Shark bite fitting work much better, but also must have a straight cut and not be under tension. The crimp type are better yet and are bullet proof. If I knew then what I know now, I would however, have gone with copper. The cost is about a quarter of what pex cost. If you can sweat pipe, it is very easy. Anna Lumanum: I am crushed.... beat down... wiped out. here you can see the manifold and all the home runs... I will not do that again either. I see no advantage to this.

And as many know the hard way, it does not matter what pipe you use if you do not winterize properly. Most of us are lazy and do not do it on time or properly. This is the major reason (in my not even remotely humble opinion) why the copper fails and is replaced by pex.

Good luck with your plumbing. I think you will find many camps as to what is right. After you are done, you will have formed your opinion too.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:36 PM   #12
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I am undecided, but much more educated by your opinions. Thanks to all of you very much. My decision will of course be posted on the blog on the main page. 64 Globetrotter Restoration. THANKS!!
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 64TrotterAtl View Post
I am undecided, but much more educated by your opinions. Thanks to all of you very much. My decision will of course be posted on the blog on the main page. 64 Globetrotter Restoration. THANKS!!
Hi 64TrotterAtl; This needs to be added to all comments; Pex is a nice stuff however, I think that "shark bite" connectors are not always dependable especially when there is a linear discrepancy. This is especially true when using coiled Pex tubing. The coiled Pex has a memory thus placing a force on the connection which eventually may leak. I found out that coiled type does not take kindly to straight runs either. Use the straight Pex tubing. Use 90 degree fittings to make a corner. Do not try to bend it going around any corners. Definitely use crimp on connectors not Shark Bite. This message is from a guy with flooded Argosy. Same guy is now very happy with crimped on Pex system.
Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:41 AM   #14
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When I redid ALL the plumbing in the Tradewind all copper came out and PEX went in. Very easy to work with and as you mentioned it will curve to the AS shape when needed. I crimped all connections and this has worked out really well except in tight spots. You do have to plan ahead and put some thought into your piping layout. You will find yourself in spots where there just insn't enough room for the crimping tool. I have not used the quick connects so I can't say good or bad. Good planning is the best advise I can offer.

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