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Old 10-08-2002, 11:30 PM   #1
Rob
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new water lines

I need to replace all the water lines.
Copper is out, cause it's expensive and hard to install for this do-it-youselfer.
I have heard of flexible plastic water lines with couplers you install by hand.
Does anyone know where I could get some?
Rob
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:58 PM   #2
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The best method

The copper water system is a very good system. Agreed it is NOT cheap. This system is very easy to repair with a little planning. There is many easy ways to connect or repair a copper tubing water system. There are many many brass fittings available every where. These fittings are the type that have a small brass ball that is required. These balls are called ferrels. Much of the domestic home water systems also use this type fitting. Yep, a few hand tools are required. A length of soft 3/8th copper, a tubing cutter, a couple open end wrenches and a little wheel bearing grease. The repair is very simple. Cut out defective part of copper tube with copper tubing cutter. Take a 3/8th compression fitting apart, which is 2 end caps 2 small balls and the center body. Place end and a ball on end of copper connected to trailer water system. Place a small amount of gease on one end of coupling body. Slide coupling body onto copper line, slide ball and end cap close to coupling and begin to turn as to tighten.. Righty... tighty. Find correct end wrench for end cap and hold steady. Get correct wrench for coupling body and tighten nice and snug. Install new copper line into open end of brass coupling. Repeat installing tube with grease, ball and end cap. This coupling can hold up to 350psi. Sure there are other methods for repair but are slightly more involved requiring some experience. I choose to make repairs as is done in the refrigeration world. This method uses a copper swedge and silver solder. No coupling required and the connections are very strong and small.......
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:59 PM   #3
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Talking water lines

ROB,
Just a thought before you get too far along.

I'd be very leery of just using any ole brand of water line.
The main concern I'd have, is the water pressure lines that you'll be hooking up to at different camps site. I know we all use(don't we??) water pressure regulator on our input but..
Still, that's the only thing I'd say to be on the look out for.
Good luck on your project and, if you could post what you use, where you found it. Post those PICTURES of course~!!
ciao
Hey Frank..nice to see you on..excellent comments from your end.~!!
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Old 10-09-2002, 08:22 PM   #4
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PEX

You are referring to PEX plastic plumbing with plastic QEST fittings. These are available at Lowes, and many home centers as well as rv supply shops. PEX has some advantages over copper, but price is probably not a significant one. Brass compression fittings for copper tubing are not much more expensive than the equivalent plastic - maybe a $1 more or so per fitting. A few may actually be less than the plastic version.

One of the really neat things about PEX is that the lines can be purchased in colors - red for hot, blue for cold.

Plastic QEST fittings can be tightened by hand, but I sure feel better if I snug them down with a wrench. You also need a good plastic tubing cutter - $12 or so.

There is also a product called Flair-it which works with PEX as well. I have seen these at some hardware stores as well as some RV suppliers. They are harder to use unless you buy the special tool which expands the end of the PEX tubing. Their cheif advantage is that they are considerably less bulky than plastic QEST fittings.

I would be interested if somebody can correct me, but I do not believe there are any RV manufacturers using copper for water lines any more. It seems like everyone has gone to PEX.

Mark
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Old 10-11-2002, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thanks much for the info.
Believe me I would have rather made a few repairs to the copper lines. But the previous owner removed much of the original system with PVC. They also installed a household style water heater, electric only. Needless to say it all had to go. The layout wasn't well thought out.

I am surprised that Lowes carries that type of line. Home Depot doesn't. And I said I would never shop anywhere else. Oh well.

Rob
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Old 10-12-2002, 12:42 AM   #6
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A whole bunch of pex

John
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Old 10-12-2002, 07:57 AM   #7
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Water Hammer

I wonder if plastic would reduce water hammer? I replaced my pump with that "Quietest RV Pump" and am still getting "hammered" in the back of the trailer. I know I should get one of those accumulator tanks, but I have some "hose over copper" repairs, I should fix right, and am thinking of plastic. The previous owner did not winterize last year and I had 3 splits in the copper. Dang stuff expands and fittings won't fit after that.
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Old 10-12-2002, 08:55 AM   #8
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The plastic is pretty hard, it still has to handle the same pressure. Are you talking about water hammer or the noise from the pump? They are inherently noisy, mounted on a piece of plywood for a resonator.

John
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Old 10-12-2002, 08:56 AM   #9
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Water hammer

I'd install the PEX and see how it goes. If you still have water hammer, a simple "T" and a 6" capped length of tubing installed vertically should solve the problem. This can be placed anywhere in the lines (downstream from the pump, of course) it is convenient. You may need one for both the hot and cold lines.

Mark
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Old 10-17-2002, 07:26 PM   #10
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There are two types of pex fittings. One is screwed together and the other is crimped {much cheaper}. But the cripm tool is $100.00. If you don't need it any more sell it on Ebay.
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Old 10-17-2002, 10:12 PM   #11
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Cool Replaced Cold Line

I bought my '74 Argosy trailer this summer - the hot and cold lines leaked everywhere, but the price was so right. I replaced the cold line with flexible tubing - clear with the reinforced fiberglass (has all the criss-crosses in it) and used clamps with brass fitings. Another Argosy owner told me to do it this way; works great anyway. The copper lines (original) had swollen so in so many different places (and been so creatively "repaired" - garden hose pieces anyone?) I had to rip out all the copper. I like the clear hose - you can tell in an instant if there is water in it. Besides with the Sears / Bob Villa all purpose cutter, you go through it like butter. Need a new junction? One cut, one tee, and three clamps.

I got my materials at Home Depot - they had everything. if I remember correctly, the tubing was around $0.85/foot and the fitings two or three bucks each. The clamps are less than a quarter each.

I also replaced my cold water inlet - the original was way messed up - even had a gas pipe elbow - yickes!. The new inlet was $18 at a local RV center.

Another thing I'd recommend - I don't ever plan on using the potable tank (who knows what's been growing in there) - but just in case I added a check valve, that was only a couple bucks at the RV center (again a couple of clamps).

Now to find the time to do the hot line. I got a bye-pass so I'll install that too. But, I guess I'll wait out the cold Chicago winter and make this an early spring project - one less line to winterize

Good luck and keep at it. I found drawing a diagram (later read several posts about taking pictures - what a great idea!) really helped --- if you want to replicate.
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Old 10-18-2002, 07:32 AM   #12
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Argosy74,

I've also used the same clear tubing on my A/S. I was afraid to mention anything before, because I thought people would think I was crazy...

But your are right! It's easy to work with, you can run it anywhere, and as long as you have some spare clamps and fittings, you can make a repair in minutes.

Craig
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Old 10-18-2002, 08:48 AM   #13
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What was the PSI and temp rating of the hose. also what kind of fittings did you use and how did you connect to the fausets?
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Old 10-18-2002, 09:15 PM   #14
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The Lowes in my area doesn't handle the PEX.
I saw the clear hose you guys were talking about. By the looks of it I figured it wouldn't be strong enough.
I'll have to go back and check on the PSI rating. How much pressure does the water pump put out?

I like the idea of getting supplies from a local store instead of ordering.
I either get way too much or come up 1 inch too short.

I just finished the hot water heater install. It was easy, come to think of it , too easy. Oh well. I wonder if the clear hose would be ok for hot water?

Rob
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