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Old 06-18-2014, 02:00 PM   #1
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1980 31' International
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 182
Old PB Tee Connector Leak, need help finding replacement!

We have a 1980 31' International center bath and have been doing a lot of repair work over the past year or so since we purchased her. "Betty" had previously sat in a storage facility for 10 years due to her PO's illness.

Over the weekend, we started going over the water system and while checking the water pump noticed it continually running, but no water.
Found a leak under the narrow kitchen cabinet over the wheelwell at a Tee connector. We still have what we think is the original Polybutylene lines and horrendous crimp rings. After quite a while, we had to cut the line just past the Tee and found it had split.

Due to lack of space (working one-armed as even though I am petite, I cannot get both in this tiny space) we cut the other two end of the Tee and are trying to find a replacement. Checked with Airstream and they no longer make or supply these. HELP!!

Ultimately, we would like to replace these lines with Pex, but I would really like to be able to use Betty at least once this year. Especially since we have done so many other repairs including new wheels and axles and we have not yet had her out)

Please help - any suggestions would be most appreciated. I am at a loss.

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Old 06-18-2014, 02:58 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Posts: 4,592
In a difficult space like that it is going to be hard to replace anything, even if you can find a T which will work. But here is a possible solution.

The fittings called Sharkbite will also work on your gray polly pipe. Same size fits copper, polly, PEX. If you can cut the pipe square, and apply pressure to the fitting, you simply push the pipe into the fitting until it bottoms and you will be all set. Tigerbite is Lowe's brand, Sharkbite at ACE, and Home Depot. They seal with an O ring and work really well.

Since you had a split in the actual pipe, you will need to watch the gray polly closely, and get it all replaced as soon as you can. But the push on fittings might work best for you on that pipe and in hard to get at locations.

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Old 06-18-2014, 03:49 PM   #3
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1980 31' International
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 182
Thanks so much. I have read other posts that mentioned Sharkbite fittings, but weren't sure how they worked.

Our split was in the Tee, so I think our pipe is okay (for now), but definitely want to start changing out the old lines for pex.

I'll make a stop at Lowe's or Home Depot tomorrow.

Thanks, again!
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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L & H don't generally stock the 1/2 in. Sharkbites. Most RV shops will have them.

You will probably need 3 connectors, some tubing and the tee. And need to cut things back a bit to get the fittings in there. So measure twice and cut once.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 07-30-2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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1980 31' International
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 182
Thanks so much for the advice. Working through replacing the connections and lines as I identify issues. Hopefully this winter I'll pull out everything and replace it all. Oh what fun!!
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:20 AM   #6
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1999 34' Excella
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Round Rock , Texas
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I used those sharkbites. I bought an extra and some tubing to "practice" on. Once I saw and understood the function, I felt I could work under our tight sink area. (I am. Not petite... Even in my dreams!!!)

Hope it goes well for you!

Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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