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Old 04-12-2006, 06:04 AM   #15
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2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
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Originally Posted by wacnstac
I'd like to replace with some nice brass ballcock valves, but the problem would then be splicing into the rest of the system. Do you think I can find a barbed fitting that will splice into the existing hard plastic? What are SS hose clamps as opposed to regular hose clamps?

If I go to home depot exactly what am I looking for if I want soft plastic tubing? My expected pressures on this system are not going to be large.
I've never worked with plex so I have no idea.

As far as the soft tubing, they will be on rolls near the plumbing section. Have them cut you a piece (or do as I do and pull out a knife and cut a half inch off) and go to the fitting section and put together your valves and barb fittings to make sure you get the right sizes. The connection to the rest of the plumbing system could be made at a place where you have a fitting and can tie into easily.

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Old 04-12-2006, 12:32 PM   #16
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Hi, Wacnstac,

Well, our Excellas are different in this. Bummer.

On my Argosy, I lived with a patched-up plumbing system for about a year, and then one went psssst! and I went, "Arghhh!"

I then snipped and yanked and pulled and pushed and cussed and sawed and got every peice of copper tubing out of the trailer. Laying on the floor of the hangar they were a pretty sorry sight.

I then replaced every peice with PEX tubing and Qwest fittings. Instead of replacing the regulator, I got an external one to go on the hose fitting outside.

PEX is not as elegant as copper, but it's relatively cheap, easy to work with, resistant to freezing, and durable. That was in 1992, and it's still working great.

It took me three days, start to finish, and numerous trips to the hardware store, to do it. However, doing something ONCE that stays fixed is worth it to me. (I had no idea I would still have the trailer 14 years later.)


On edit: I also put in several shutoffs so I could isolate different parts of the water system. I had two messy failures of the ball valve in the toilet that I failed to appreciate.

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Old 04-12-2006, 01:10 PM   #17
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Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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I was surprised to see that the two new homes being built across the street from me have been entirely plumbed with color-coded PEX. They put in all the under-slab lines, temporarily connected hot and cold lines at one point, and installed a pressure gage in the connection. They then pressurized the system to 90#, capped the system, and left it sit for a couple of weeks. The pressure never varied. Not a scrap of copper or PVC in either system.
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:39 PM   #18
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Where do you buy this PEX stuff.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:59 PM   #19
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1964 26' Overlander
Norman , Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by wacnstac
Where do you buy this PEX stuff.
Pex is available in at any plumbing supply store and most big box stores. It was originally available in a milky white color and later in a brown/orange color. Recently the manufacturers have made it available in both blue and red to differentiate the hot and cold water systems.
It has been approved in most municipalities for use, both above and below ground and under slab. It is a cross-linked polyethylene and is quite durable. Although I have the original copper in my 64 Overlander, if I had to change it out, I would not hesitate to use Pex.
The two methods of joining the pipe are- 1)using Qwest compression fittings or 2)using crimp rings. The crimp rings are fast and inexpensive but require a special crimping tool that is quite expensive. You may be able to rent that? the Qwest fittings are more expensive but can be reused if you make a mistake or decide to change something.

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Old 04-12-2006, 03:23 PM   #20
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We don't see much of it around here in any retail establishment, because it isn't "code" for houses....yet. HD doesn't have any; Lowe's has some, but not a wide selection. I had to get a special fitting for something at a plumbing supply house, and asked if they carried any pex, and they said "no", for the reason above. They cater to the local plumbers, and since they can't use it, they don't stock it.

There are also "Flair-it" type fittings, available from the link above. I thought that the Qest fittings were rather expensive and bulky, which is an issue when working in the confined spaces of the A/S. But I mainly just wanted to point out that it isn't the only type.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:05 PM   #21
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PEX is the way to go

I highly recommend PEX Tubing and SeaTech push fittings. All you need to know is what diameter your existing copper is.

At the regulator yours will be 1/2 in. The fittings should be about $4ea and 5ft of PEX will be less than $5. Pickup a compact tubing cutter and get rid of any copper that is leaking and be done with it. If you replace anything wih flexible braided tubing you will always and forever have small dribbles no matter how tight you get them from seasonal heating/cooling expansion/contractions ****UNLESS**** you put a barbed fitting on the copper.. I know-I've tried.

Lowe's Home improvement, and RV Dealer that handles Coast, or are good sources for the PEX SeaTech Combo.

Here are some pics. Not counting the reomoval of the copper. All of the pictured work only took about 30 minutes.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:56 PM   #22
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I want to put some kind of barbed fitting on the copper and use hose. I don't have the time to do a total replumb back there. As far as the valves go it goes from some very small diameter stuff into the valves, nothing you would typically see off the shelf. I was able to get the valve stems off without cracking them. This is what they look like:

Does anyone know if this is a common type of stem and where they could be bought? Doesn't look like there are replacable washer on the bottom of the stem so I assume the whole stem needs to be replaced. The material that is on the botton of these now doesn't seem to pliable which would explain the leaks out the bottom drain tubes.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:20 PM   #23
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Originally Posted by wacnstac
God you gotta love PO's. The things they will do to avoid fixing something right. The first picture shows where the pressure regulator from city water was removed and bypassed with garden hose and hose clamps. Of course this leaks and has rotted out the floor.

Now question to all you plumbers out there, how do I fix this the right way? Is there some sort of pressure fitting I could put on the end of those copper pipes that would get me a better seal on the garden hose?

The next picture show my other problem in the back end. Both of the valves to empty the water system leak and at least need to have new washers put in them.

Now I tried turning the top cap nuts on these things as hard as I could but I thought if I got out any heavier artillery on them I'd just crack them off. I don't know if these are the original valve or not but they look like it. Any suggestions on how to fix or replace?

Does it look to you guys like the entire valves are connected via some sort of screw on fitting?
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:41 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by wacnstac
Is there some sort of pressure fitting I could put on the end of those copper pipes that would get me a better seal on the garden hose?
If you want a quick and dirty fix, loosen the stainless steel clip, push the garden hose on another inch, and put an extra stainless clip on beside the original one, with the tightening screws staggered. This is sometimes done on transmission cooler lines as a temporary fix to get you home.

Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
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