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Old 09-07-2005, 11:41 AM   #1
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Plumbing tutorial for LP and water lines?

Can anyone direct me to a tutorial on lp and water line repair and replacement? The information in the threads that I have found is scattered out and I cant help but supect there is a good source out there that I am missing.

In particular, I am needing to install a new water heater and furnace and I need information on how to make those connections (Should I/can I use flexable tubing; can just areas of the water line be replaced with PEX?) Common pitfalls for the newbie.

I assure you the problem isnt that Im to lazy to use the search function, I just find it clunky and the results to diffuse to be much help. IM going to google this also, but I trust general web information less than what I find here so I am hoping some one can point me in the right direction.

Thanks
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:59 AM   #2
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I would go with all PEX for water

I would recommend PEX as the best replacement. There are small crimpers available that you tighten with a wrench; I would recommend one of these for working in existing cabinets. The big crimping tool is better, but it takes a lot of space to operate and is expensive; I have one and I had a lot of trouble finding swing space to replace a crimp inside a cabinet.

Personally, I would go all the way with PEX rather than trying to preserve some copper. PEX gives you some freeze resistance.

BTW: Never try to connect PEX with an ordinary screw clamp. It doesn't work! The material is too stiff to seal in this manner and believe me, I have tried.
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:57 PM   #3
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Use PEX for plumbing. You can get color coded tubing via internet order to places such as pexconnection.com If you go with 3/8 inch tubing and use Flair-It or Quest fittings you'll be able to run directly to the half inch IPT threads you find on most faucents and appliances. The Flair-it or Quest fittings require no special tools and usually come with instructions - but are very simple to use. If you are hung up on crimping, you can buy a simple crimper for about $60 or perhaps rent one from a local hardware store. Space restrictions can make crimpers a pain.

LP is usually copper tubing with flaired fittings. Again, usually 3/8 tubing. The tool for flairing the ends isn't that expensive. The biggest caution with LP is the need to check carefully for leaks and other safety issues.

You can probably find out anything you need to know about copper or pex plumbing at places like about.com or a bit of internet searching. Your local hardware people can also probably provide a good deal of help, too.
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:21 PM   #4
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So we have 2 votes for PEX.

Why don't we list ALL the possible options and then give their respective pros & cons?

For water supply;
  • PEX
  • Rigid Copper tubing flared
  • Rigid Copper tubing soldered/sweated
  • Rigid Copper tubing compression fittings
  • There is also soft (much less rigid) copper tubing, is it used in water supply plumbing?
  • Galvanized pipe
  • Black (steel) pipe (or is it iron ?) (usually used for gas supply I think)
  • PVC tubing & fittings
There are more that don't readily come to my sluggish mind. Surely someone can offer us a full list.
I do not know the pros & cons but hope someone will furnish those too.

Is Quest a piping system or just a fittings term?
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadeo
Why don't we list ALL the possible options and then give their respective pros & cons?
because that would take a couple of textbooks and folks on these forums are usually looking for culled experience that avoids that much data for good information they can use now.

Quest is a brand name for a line of fittings you can find in many Tru Value and Ace hardware stores as is Flair-it.
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:43 PM   #6
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Guess I could build an aquaduct under the bed....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper
because that would take a couple of textbooks and folks on these forums are usually looking for culled experience that avoids that much data for good information they can use now.

.
Couple of textbooks ????
Are you sure?

Not sure that this "folk" is looking only for "culled" experiences. I'm usually looking for all the information that I can find, within reason. I then must be responsible for vetting and culling much of it dependent on many factors. One type of advice that I am leary of is that from "folks" that make sweeping statements for the whole membership. There are several omniscient characters around these parts, but I thought they were all moderators.
Perhaps you should apply.
If your resume can show onipotence as well as omniscience perhaps you could apply for Super Moderator status.

As a member who is merely omnificent I will just have to endure out here with the omnifarious rank & file.
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:19 PM   #7
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Well allrighty then!!

If we are going to be encylopedic let's not leave out:

Ceramic terracotta pipe in both round and square proflile, sealed with mortar

The original Roman lead pipe from which we derive the very term "plumbing"

Tarred canvas tubes, like fire hose, used on sailing ships

Hollowed-out bamboo stems

Open flumes made of various materials, from logs to stainless steel

And others I can't think of right now, but I'll work on it later.
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Couple of textbooks ???? Are you sure?
yes. civil engineering is worth at least four years of college for just the basics. I even respect those practitioners of the plumbing trade, the technicians as contrasted to the engineers, whose knowledge needs are enough to need a good bit of education and experience.

Quote:
One type of advice that I am leary of is that from "folks" that make sweeping statements for the whole membership.
very very sorry to have caused offense or suspicion. I made an assumption based on an examination of hundreds of messages on these forums. And no, I haven't accumulated statistical measures based on careful categorization.

Quote:
There are several omniscient characters around these parts, but I thought they were all moderators. Perhaps you should apply.
I think this goes a bit past reasonable discourse.

Back on topic - I wonder if there are any RV's currently being made that use other than PEX nowadays. Copper faded out in Airstreams back fifteen or twenty years ago (polybutyl had a short run in the mid to early 90's). There may have some iron pipe a long ways back but the only place I have seen it used since the sixties is in the main LP distribution system. Since PEX is also invading the household supply for LP I am wondering when it will show up in similar roles in RV's. Anyone seen plastic pipe for gas in an RV yet?
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Old 09-07-2005, 06:45 PM   #9
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There is also garden hose or white fresh water hose. My favorite is a small brigade of mices with little buckets, let them earn their keep.
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:59 PM   #10
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Glen, this is one of my more favorite threads on plumbing.

While these guys thrash each other, it's probably a good time to note that more specific questions will probably result in less hay makers!!!!

Man, the boards are jumpy lately. Is it the hurricane or the end of the season blues?

John
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:44 PM   #11
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Just finished and used PEX

Just finished plumbing my 63 Globetrotter and used mostly PEX and Sea Tech Quick connect fittings( a bit pricey but worth it in tight spaces). You should have a Menards in your area and they carry everything you need. The beauty of the Sea Techs is that you can also use copper or CPVC. In some instances I made up fittings out of copper. If its a supply line I pretty much stick with 1/2" iron pipe threads for direct faucet hookup and keep it simple ,1/2" will work for everything. To color code your lines just mark where you need to with colored electrical tape, very inexpensive. For the LP lines other than the tanks stick with the copper and flared fittings (safety first) I have been a firefighter for 26 years and have a great deal of respect for the things that loose LP can do. Its just like plumbing a house only tighter spaces and its on wheels. One of my plumber friends tells me all you need to know is...Stink goes up,Crap goes down, Dont't bite your nails , and payday is on Friday
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:33 PM   #12
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Favorite threads on plumbing

[quote=AYRSTRM2]Glen, this is one of my more favorite threads on plumbing.

I went out this afternoon to check the pipes on the AS, since it is supposed to drop to 16 degrees tonight. Hooked up the airhose and found a copper pipe in the rear bay had come un-sweated. At least I hope that is the only bust. I have concerns about the pipes near the waterheater, seems to be hissing there too, but I drained it and switched over the bypass. So hopefully the hiss there is just the water heater filling up with air. That's the last time I will trust the "airstream approved" system of draining by raising and lowering the tongue with the valves open.

Anyway looks like I will have the opportunity to do some plumbing. Am planning on replacing large amounts with PEX. There currently seems to be way too many pipes and valves for its function and could be streamlined.

Tried to access the above link and it would not open. Can you forward the link to me?

thanks, bill b.
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