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Old 07-03-2003, 12:31 AM   #1
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Starting over with the plumbing

I just bought a 31 ft. 1975 International. Its in generally good condition. However.... someone let the trailer winter over with water in the system. I spent 2 days, about $400 for some help, and a lot of frustration chasing leaks. Found 10... I'm thinking now of starting over; take most if not all of the plumbing out and redo with "flowguard" or similar pipe and fittings. Anyone ever do this sort of thing? Any advice?
Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2003, 08:02 AM   #2
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E-PeX

All the current build are plumbed with E-PEX semi-rigid tubing. Nice touch is color-coded hot and cold lines. E-PEX would be a good choice. I buy mine at Lowes.
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Old 07-03-2003, 08:49 AM   #3
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We had the same situation with our '70 Trade Wind. Didn't check any of the systems before we bought it. When we got it home and hooked up the fresh water line, we had water everywhere but the faucets!

My hubby, with the help of our fathers, completely replumbed with copper plumbing.

Believe me, we will be very careful with winterizing going forward!
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:00 AM   #4
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A few months ago a member (forgive me for not rembering your name) posted what I thought was an excellent idea. He built his plumbing in modules, connected them with flexible hook up lines like you use for faucets. Any future repairs would be very easy compared to having to remove cabinets, etc. to find and repair leaks.

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Old 07-03-2003, 09:59 AM   #5
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Re: Modulular plumbing

Quote:
Originally posted by Marc Marenco
The idea about E-PEX sounds good. I'll look for that. I use flowguard around the house but it is rigid and probably more difficult to work with.
Is Flowguard CPVC?

I replumbed my entire trailers supply lines with CPVC. I found a local hardware store that had all the valves and joints I needed. I felt that I liked the glued connections instead of the compression fittings or crimped connections.

At the sinks and toilet connections I used flex braided lines to make those. Works well.

You can see some pictures on my website.

Cost was around $200.

Plumbing Problems Pictures
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:39 AM   #6
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Modulular plumbing

I'm curious about this. I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by modular plumbing. I don't particularly like popping rivits and trying to hook things up in confined spaces so this sounds intriquing. Do you have any more information? Thank you.

The idea about E-PEX sounds good. I'll look for that. I use flowguard around the house but it is rigid and probably more difficult to work with.
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:06 AM   #7
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Progress...

I'm now halfway into the complete replumbing of my 31' 1975 Int'l Soverign. The carpet and pad were soaked so we took that out too and are drying the plywood floor which fortunately looks to be in good shape. I decided not to use PEX for the plumbing job but CPVC. A lot cheaper and once you get the hang of it, not too difficult. The only thing to watch for is the glue. Very potent stuff. Use lots of ventilation and don't spend more than 20 minutes or so gluing without a fresh air break. The inlet, water heater and rear drains are done.
Thanks for the advice on this project.
Marc
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Old 07-06-2003, 07:37 AM   #8
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No manufacturer of RVs uses pvc/cpvc plumbing. Not even the most cost conscious, penny pinching, cheapskates. Yes, it is cheaper than PEX, and easier to work with. It is also far more prone to damage from movement and vibration, and much less tolerant of freezing.

Mark
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Old 07-06-2003, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by j54mark
No manufacturer of RVs uses pvc/cpvc plumbing. Not even the most cost conscious, penny pinching, cheapskates. Yes, it is cheaper than PEX, and easier to work with. It is also far more prone to damage from movement and vibration, and much less tolerant of freezing.

Mark
As far as the freezing aspect, why would CPVC be any differerent than the original copper?

If your trailer is vibrating enough to hurt the CPVC then you have far worse problems than plumbing.

The glued joints are stronger then the pipe itself. CPVC has been around a long time and is even used in houses in many countries. I don't think you will see PEX inside an inaccessable wall anytime soon.

The crimp and compression joints on the PEX would be far more succpetable to damage than a glued joint.

PEX is probably cheap enough and easier to work with in the manufacturing process than CPVC. Just because a manufacturer uses it does not make it better.
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Old 07-06-2003, 10:09 AM   #10
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cpvc

I think some people see the "pvc" in cpvc and make understandable mistakes about appropriate use. In addition to the expense of PEX I found the size of the couplings difficult to work with in the confined spaces I'm dealing with. I AM using a PEX coupling, however, to get me from the sweated in 1/2" copper fitting on the tub faucet to flowguard cpvc. I can't think of any other way of going from 1/2" copper to 1/2" cpvc. Perhaps you or another might have an idea short of replacing the whole fixture.
Marc
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Old 07-06-2003, 12:57 PM   #11
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re: pvc/cpvc

I took this up with a mechanical engineer when I replumbed my coach.

Of course pvc/cpvc is used in houses. You can even use it underground. It is very good stuff. Houses, however do not move, bend, or flex. Except in California.

An Airstream is a monocoque shell, and as such is designed to have a certain amount of give and flex. ABS is also a phenominally strong plastic, but how many of us have cracks in our abs endcaps?

I don't know the relative susceptability of pvc/cpvc to freezing relative to copper. It is probably no worse. But that is saying little. My mechanical engineer told me that PEX has many, many times greater resistance to damage from freezing than pvc.

There is no way PEX can be easier or cheaper to install than pvc/cpvc. It is easier and cheaper than copper purchansed in quantity, by a fair amount. However, for those of us buying small amounts at retail, copper is very little more.

Mark
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: cpvc

Quote:
Originally posted by Marc Marenco
. I can't think of any other way of going from 1/2" copper to 1/2" cpvc. Perhaps you or another might have an idea short of replacing the whole fixture.
Marc
To get the the sinks from the cpvc, I used a female threaded cpvc joint. In that I used a brass male to male nipple. From there I went with a flex faucet line with 1/2" connections on each end.

Made it simple to connect to the faucets, and toilet this way.
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