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Old 04-14-2015, 07:47 PM   #1
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Fresh Water Leak From Hell

I'm going to need your help with this one.

My 86 Limited is leaking water down the frame rail to the ground. I traced the leak to the 12v pump pressure line where it pressurizes the trailer's "main line" that is the source of water to all the fixtures. The 12v pump pressure line is the top fitting in the first photo. The one with the hose clamp.

The two lines going left are the hot and cold to the kitchen sink.

The forth, and lowest elbow is the suction line from the bottom of the fresh tank to the pump.

My trailer has three drain valves located below the subfloor, next to the frame rail, that allow draining of the water lines. I never use them. You can see them in the second photo.

My leak is in what looks like a tee just down stream of the top drain valve. My leak only happens when I pressurize with the 12v water pump. This line is not pressurized when I connect to city water.

The second photo shows the utter lack of work space to repair this leak. I can't see it from underneath the trailer, and there is no way to get a crimp tool to the fitting.

How in the world is a guy suppose to fix a leak from this line? I may have to gut the trailer, pull the shell, pull the belly pan and fresh water tank to gain access to this fitting. I hope the pictures help explain the dilemma I face. Maybe one of you folks know just how to do this.

David
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:29 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Today I repeated my testing to see if I could better pin point the leaking fitting. I pressurised the system with city water and dog gone if it didn't leak. I thought the leak was coming from the top tee, but I now think it is coming from the middle one. The middle one feeds the kitchen sink.

These three lines are very close together. I wonder if vibration didn't cause the clamps to rub through. But I can't see down there to determine where the leak is exactly.

I learned the three lines (main, hot and cold) run on top of the fresh water tank from the curb side wardrobe to the street side bath.

Has anyone ever found a "stop leak" product that might work topographically?

Ugh, so disappointing....

David
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:56 PM   #3
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I cant say how you will access these fittings, but if the trailer was mine I would consider replacing all I could reasonably get to with PEX while I was in there.

There is not going to be anything you can apply topically to stop the leak.


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Old 04-15-2015, 07:08 PM   #4
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As J.Morgan says, the best is to replace as much as you can with PEX. Are you able to do it yourself? Pex tools can be bought quite reasonable, and it is easy to work with. I replaced most of the copper in my 1976, and have replaced some on my '94. Take your time, and plan it out, and you should be able to do a better job than the factory!! Chris
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:37 PM   #5
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propex may help

If getting a crimper in there is a problem, consider using a ProPex fitting.

Wirsbo, makes a manual expander tool. If those grey lines are PB, you'd need to buy the appropriate brass adapter for transition to pex.
How to Make PEX Expansion Connections
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:53 PM   #6
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Here is a Sharkbite demo.. you may be able to cut out the 'leak' then use one of the longer devices to branch the distance..
https://youtu.be/FPLdnlVak88
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:30 PM   #7
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I shudder to remember a similar inaccessible setup in a friend's '87 32' Airstream. As you say, no way to get to the pipes, and very very limited clearances. In his case the valves shown were the source of the leak, but you could not get at them to replace them. His rig was stationary, and after a bit simply stopped leaking through the valve stems. Wheew.

But, about the only thing you can do is to use Sharkbite type fittings and hope to cut the gray polly pipe fairly square to push fittings on to the stubs after the bad things are located. Wish I had a solution for you, but that installation is one of the most difficult ones I have seen for re plumbing.
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:15 AM   #8
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The hole in the floor is going to have to be longer to effectively work on that.

Once you get over the mental hurdle of cutting your floor, the situation will become much easier.


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Old 04-16-2015, 06:03 AM   #9
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There is a Sharkbite adapter that will connect to the gray pipe on one side and Pex on the other. I think it'll fit in your space, but as you noted you have quite a few pipes in the general vicinity, so I'm not sure. Ugh...it doesn't look like a fun situation. I dread finding a similar leak in ours.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:07 AM   #10
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yeah sometimes leaks are hard to get at

what about…making a new " assembly

cut the old where you can get at it.
make an exact replacement
connect the new one with a shark bite
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:04 AM   #11
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As cwf said about shark bite fittings watch the video. I have used shark bite fittings several times in our 87 Sovereign. One of which was under the floor under the sink and they work great.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:44 AM   #12
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There was a class action lawsuit on that plumbing in those years. Forget what it was called. It was used in mobile homes to. I would scab those valves out, and cut out more room and use new fittings as suggested. Sawzall time... !
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:53 AM   #13
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I'd think about forgetting how to access the back or middle lines. Cut them all out starting front to back, then rebuild with pex/sharkbite/pvc - whatever you can engineer that will work- from back to front.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:18 PM   #14
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When I needed to redo the plumbing on my '89 water filter I used Shark-Bites. Very expensive but totally easy to do. Push on and it's done. and for an extra $1.00 you can get the little tool to release the fitting if you need to take it off. You need to be sure the Pex lines are the same size as the shark-Bites..If necessary just cut the line back at a better access point and fish a new length though the floor space. Your '86 looks jut like my '89 under the sink. Check it first but if necessary I'm betting the lines will have enough flex for the a fitting replacement if you cut it close the the crimped fittings. It seems to me I just used the Shark-Bites to match new Pex to the original Trailer piping
It looks like you can open up the floor a bit around the valves. That won't affect anything structurally.
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