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Old 03-26-2004, 03:48 PM   #1
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Unhappy replace old copper water lines with plastic pipes

I thought i could winterize my Argosy 24 twin but I didn't do it right. The copper pipes froze and split under the washbasin at the back of unit and behind the converter. I think I can replace the pipes with plastic hoses but I don't know how to get the washbasin cabinetry off without destroying it. I can't see any screws, rivets or nails. Maybe it is glued together. There are metal runners with plastic inserts like you would use to hide screws but I don't want to tackle it without some idea of what i'm doing. Any suggestions?
PS....I do appreciate all the reply's I get with these questions.
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:23 PM   #2
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To remove the basin and top of the bathroom cabinet you need to remove the plastic strip that is in the edge trim. Both on the front edge and at the back wall. Once they are removed you will need to drill out the many pop rivets to take the trim off, then you can remove the top and sink.

If you are going to dig into this far you may want to do a permanent repair so you need not worrying about fixing it again later.
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by m. Clarke
I thought i could winterize my Argosy 24 twin but I didn't do it right. The copper pipes froze and split under the washbasin at the back of unit and behind the converter. I think I can replace the pipes with plastic hoses but I don't know how to get the washbasin cabinetry off without destroying it. I can't see any screws, rivets or nails. Maybe it is glued together. There are metal runners with plastic inserts like you would use to hide screws but I don't want to tackle it without some idea of what i'm doing. Any suggestions?
PS....I do appreciate all the reply's I get with these questions.
OK here's the first thing you do, "Take a deep breath" now here we go.
I just replaced the copper in our Minuet and it's not that hard.

I'm not sure what you mean by plastic pipe. If you are going to do it do it correctly. There are many types of plastic PVC,Vinyl, Polyethelene, ABS...

What you want to use is called "PEX" it is a 'cross linked polyethelene' tubing. This type of tubing is very important for longivity and potablility of the water. It is good for use on Hot or Cold. If it freezes the water will expand the tubing but will not split it.

I did not need to remove any fixtures to replace the water lines.
You will need a "electrical fish tape", and a helper.
With the tape and helper you can push and pull the new lines into place.
Just cut off the old copper as close to where it disappears behind the walls. It is far too much trouble to remove it completely.

I would reccommend that you go down to the local Lowes or Home Depot and get one of the Booklets the tubing manufacturer puts out. The booklet will show you how to use it and all of the fittings available. They even have work sheet with the part numbers so you can plan you job and have the parts you need on hand.

The one issue is clamping the tubing, they sell custom clamps which require a special and expensive tool to install.
They probably work the best, but I used hose clamps and they also worked. That is your call. If I ever get access to a tool I will replace the hose clamps with the real deal though.

Lots of Luck
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:51 PM   #4
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"If it freezes the water will expand the tubing but will not split it."

That does not mean you can stop winterizing, however. PEX fittings may very well split, or at least open at the joint.

Mark
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:10 PM   #5
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PEX

You can rent a crimper from Houseneeds.com I believe it is $30 for a 45 day rental or you canbuy one for arround $130 from Lowes. Who by the way sell all the fittings and connectors you would need.
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:36 PM   #6
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replacing copper pipes

My uncle runs several water departments and has built his guest house using 'Quest' pipes....??spelling?? I was wondering if anyone has used this for their Airstream? He said that this type of pipes expands and contracts and is very hearty and almost never splits or cracks....
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:10 PM   #7
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Quest fittings or the Flair-it fittings will work on both copper and plastic. You can find them at Ace or Tru-Value hardware or Lowe's (which seems to have a good PEX selection)

These fittings are a nut over a compression 'gasket' and crimp ring that slide on the pipe. 3/8 tubing ends up with standard half inch pipe threads, and half inch tubing ends up with three quarter pipe threads (If I recall correctly). The nuts should be not much more than hand tight. They are very convenient for connecting to copper remnants and very easy to work with. They can also be easily disconnected to assist in winterizing.

See pexconnection.com for a whole bunch of fittings, tools, pipe (PEX can be color coded), and so on for ideas.

If you want to know some of the story about polybutelyne and other plastic pipe, see
http://www.flowguardgold.com/designI...AllTheSame.pdf
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Old 03-27-2004, 12:42 AM   #8
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Re: replace old copper water lines with plastic pipes

Quote:
Originally posted by m. Clarke
I thought i could winterize my Argosy 24 twin but I didn't do it right.
While I'll let the others help you with the pipes, I am concerned on the winterize aspect. Do you know what went wrong in your process? You can fix the pipes but you need to get the process corrected. You only want to learn this hard lesson once.

Jack
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