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Old 04-13-2010, 09:47 PM   #1
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Replacing Copper Pipes

Good evening all,
I am sure that this question has been posed over and over again, but I can't locate an old thread through the search function. I bought a 1971 Overlander on Sunday. After a full inspection (prior to purchase) I found out that the entire copper pipe system needs to be replaced with a 'PEX' system. I am getting two quotes on replacing, but wanted to get some helpful hints or others input on how much it might cost to replace. Thanks in advance. Justin
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:45 PM   #2
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Figure $50 in pipe and $200 in fittings. Also figure a $75 credit back to Home Depot in extra fittings since you don't want to have to go back to HD in the middle of the project.
Plumbing is never fun, but PEX will allow you to have more fun camping vs repairing copper issues. Also you can recycle the copper to recoup some expense.

-t
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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That assumes you do the work yourself. I have no idea what labor costs are... beyond buying friends some cold beverages
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:18 PM   #4
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You can buy the PEX tubing at home depot. But I would buy the fittings online. Look for FLAIR IT fittings. They are easy to use and require no special tools. You can buy them from www.iplumb.tv I've included a photo of my plumbing job. Replaced every inch of pipe in my trailer.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jbrownokc View Post
After a full inspection (prior to purchase) I found out that the entire copper pipe system needs to be replaced with a 'PEX' system.
Hi, Justin.

Pardon my ignorance, but just why does ALL of the copper plumbing need replacing?
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:10 AM   #6
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In my case, when I looked at all of the old copper I don't think there was a length of pipe over 5ft long that didn't have a repair made with a piece of hose, sometimes it was a chunk of garden hose. Over the years it looked like the pipes had frozen many times and been repaired. So I just decided to bite the bullet and do a complete job.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:35 AM   #7
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Home Depot is now selling a pex crimper that uses Channel-Locks to provide the crimping pressure, around 30 bucks instead of the 100 or so for a professional type. The crimp fittings are much cheaper than the shark-bite type connections and also take up less space.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:37 AM   #8
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Also, my local ACE hardware sells pex in 10 ft lenghts, in blue and red. HD only has white in shorter lenghts. They have colors but in 100 ft. rolls. Might want to check out your local ACE.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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I'll be redoing ours, too, with the push-together PEX fittings available from Ace. It's not at all difficult to deal with. We re-did the plumbing at the front of the rig near pump and tank with PEX a year ago, but hadn't bothered at that point to do the rest.

The problem that prompted this particular job is the bathtub diverter. I did a rebuild job on it in the fall, but there was just not enough left of the original, corroded diverter to handle the load. So this time around, it's not just all new PEX, but also new diverter and new lav faucet, the copper lines to which had pulled loose a couple of times in the past. (It doesn't help that that bathroom cabinet includes the electrical converter, work on which had caused me to bump the copper lines once or twice too often.) No more copper water lines thereafter.


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Old 04-14-2010, 11:18 AM   #10
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I'm planning to do the same job on mine. How do folks handle the connections from PEX to the original tank, the pump, and the water heater? Are they similar to the connections to the sinks?
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrownokc View Post
I found out that the entire copper pipe system needs to be replaced with a 'PEX' system.
Are you sure the copper pipes are really that bad? Copper is easy enough to repair if you know how to solder it or can find a friend who does. I'm all in favor of replacing with pex in the course of a rebuild where everything is torn apart anyway but it shouldn't be necessary otherwise, Unless the copper has freezing damage that affects everything you should be able to salvage part of it.

You can also mix PEX and copper without any problems.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:45 AM   #12
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You can also mix PEX and copper without any problems.
Unless it has been swollen from freezing. One big problem with copper is that if you develop a problem on the road and need to repair it, there is no telling how much you will have to pull out to get to a point where the PEX and copper will join. I vote for yanking it and using the recycling profits to pay for the update.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:31 PM   #13
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Im redoing my 67 Safari, using all PEX...its quite cheap and very easy to work with. I redid the plumbing in our house last summer, all PEX. I bought the crimping tool, expensive but works great and will be used in the trailer also...
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #14
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We replumbed our Safari with Pex a couple of years ago, and it works great. We used the crimp fittings.

One thing that proved really, really necessary was planning. Draw a rough schematic of the old system before you start cutting. Plan ahead carefully so the last place you have to join Pex to fittings is located where the crimping tool has room to operate. You can usually measure and pre-assemble the parts that go where the crimp tool cannot. Install the lines as an assembly and make that last joint out in an open area.

Good luck.
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