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Old 03-22-2006, 11:52 AM   #1
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Replumbing with PEX

73 Sov International 31'

1. I have freshwater plumbing leaks-mostly from a previous owners attempt repair freeze damage. He had use braided reinforced clear hose to replace sections of the original copper tubing that was damaged. He cut the tubing out and slipped the hose over the end and used a screw drive compression hose clamp-no barbed fitting.

2. I plan to completely replumb with PEX

3. I found in the original diaphram type pressure regulator/reducer in the rear water trunk-should I keep or replace?

4. There seems to be a mix of 3/8 and 1/2 original copper. Why and will it hurt anything to replumb with all 1/2 in? Is there any downside to using PEX?
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Old 03-22-2006, 11:56 AM   #2
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Trevis,

Pex is good stuff. No problem using all 1/2". You don't need the internal regulator if you use one at the start of the hose that connects to the city water source. 40-50 PSI is what they are normally set at....and it will save your feed hose from becoming expanded...like the snake that just ate a large mouse .
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:01 PM   #3
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My trailer was done with Pex and flair fittings all 3/8 size. 3/8 will save you a little money and works well. The down size for me was to take a fitting apart. It does not come apart easily, but that is really a good thing.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:49 PM   #4
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One reason 3/8 PEX is convenient is that the most common fittings (e.g. Flair It, Quest) are to half inch IPT which is what you will find on faucets, water heaters, and other things. That means fewer adapters and connections.

I think you can find some half inch (OD tubing size) PEX to half inch IPT fittings but you might have to look for them. There has been a lot of innovation on PEX fittings in recent years and some new types are ever easier to deal with.

I don't think the difference in flow volume between half and 3/8 is signficant in the RV. The smaller pipe also has a smaller turn radius (about 10 times diameter) which means it is easier to avoid elbows and get it into tight spots. Smaller pipe also means smaller volume to fill with anti-freeze when you winterize, too.

The other biggie is whether or not to use barbed fittings with compression rings and a special tool. I think that is great in manufacturing but for a single RV fixup, the slip on and tighten Flair-It or Quest fittings are much easier to deal with, don't require special tools, and can be set in tight spots.

Also keep in mind that PEX comes in colors and color coding your pipes can be very useful at times.
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:23 PM   #5
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I've used 3/8 PEX in several trailers very successfully. The smaller size does not effect the flow enough to warrent using the 1/2" tubing and finding the proper fittings. I always install an accumulator (ShurFlow) in the system to maintain steady flow to the faucets and keep the pump from cycling fast when a faucet is only slightly open. I don't install a pressure regulator in the trailer because it is difficult to drain them completely. Use the hose-end regulator as suggested above. Map your system carefully and plan for the drain valves at a "low point" in the system to make draining easy. Be sure to put a shut-off valve between the outlet of the accumulator and the cold water line to the trailer to prevent city pressure from backing into the accumulator and pump. You could use a check valve there, but they are only available in brass and will take 1/2MPT PEX adapters on either side to connect to the tubing. The bad thing about a valve is that you HAVE TO REMEMBER TO TURN IT OFF when you hook to city water and then TURN IT ON AGAIN when you want to use the pump. I've tried to get the red and blue tubing for hot and cold lines, but suppliers in this part of the world just look at me with a blank stare when I ask for it. When they recover, they say "They don't make that." I know it's made and available somewhere, but evidently not in the Portland/Vancouver area. I've even tried contacting the manufacturer with no success. So, I use white and mark the cold lines with blue masking tape.
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:30 PM   #6
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I bought the additional Pex pieces I needed at http://www.pexconnection.com/
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Old 03-22-2006, 05:31 PM   #7
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Home Depot carries PEX in colors. In store around here.
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:46 PM   #8
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What is this copper?

Trouble in Paradise. Watering to join crew at Spring into Camping, and found fresh water leaking from rear under bathroom in 1976 Argosy 20. Found freeze breaks by galley supply running in front of toilet tank and shower.
(Wish I'd found the two gate valve drains near city water valve last fall!)

What is the copper pipe/tubing used in this trailer? Larger than 1/2" and smaller than 5/8". All I want to do is repair, but do it well. Not much fun getting to it to rework stop-gap method.

Local plumbing supply house no help. Had them all scratching heads. Any suggestions for repair?

Wanting to get on the road,
Nick
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickvansant
....What is the copper pipe/tubing used in this trailer? Larger than 1/2" and smaller than 5/8"....
Nick
I'm guessing that you are measuring the outside of the pipe? (o.d. outside diameter) Copper is measured by the i.d. (interior diameter). If it's copper, then you have 1/2" pipe.
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:25 PM   #10
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You might be suffering from the dreaded 'frozen tubing' syndrome, where the tubing expands during freezing so it's too big for 1/2" fittings.
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Old 04-28-2006, 04:37 PM   #11
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We have a winner

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
You might be suffering from the dreaded 'frozen tubing' syndrome, where the tubing expands during freezing so it's too big for 1/2" fittings.
Ding, Ding, Ding! Gave that man a prize!

I encountered the exact situation during my refurb.

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Old 04-30-2006, 08:13 PM   #12
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What you have is 1/2 that has swelled slightly from being frozen. About the only option you have is to try repairs with braided flexible tubing and screw clamps. It should be considered a temporary repair only.

You can use SeaTech type of Flair It fittings and do a repair with PEX. Just get a micrometer and precisely measure the OD of some unfrozen 1/2 copper tubing. Compare it to you frozen stuff. Keep measing to find an area that has not be frozen. Start your repair there. If you keep patching stuff that has been frozen--you will always be patching.

Good luck.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:13 PM   #13
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What you have is 1/2 that has swelled slightly from being frozen. About the only option you have is to try repairs with braided flexible tubing and screw clamps. It should be considered a temporary repair only.

You can use SeaTech type of Flair It fittings and do a repair with PEX. Just get a micrometer and precisely measure the OD of some unfrozen 1/2 copper tubing. Compare it to you frozen stuff. Keep measing to find an area that has not be frozen. Start your repair there. If you keep patching stuff that has been frozen--you will always be patching.

Good luck.
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