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Old 01-31-2004, 10:45 AM   #1
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water drain valve leaking - help!

My fresh water drain valve is leaking both on the inside and outside. There is just a very small leak inside and I keep a small towel under it to absorb the water. There is also a leak underneath the trailer from the drain line. I can sometimes work with the valve handle and stop the leak underneath the trailer. I would like to replace the valve but the water tubing is crimped to the valve. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to replace the valve with fittings that are not crimped on? Thanks.
Wayne
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Old 01-31-2004, 12:23 PM   #2
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wayne

are you speaking of the fresh water tank drain -or- one of the low point drains in the plumbing?

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Old 01-31-2004, 02:50 PM   #3
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John,
It is the low point drain that I use when winterizing the trailer. There are two drain valves. They are not identified in the manual but I believe one is for hot water and one for cold water. To reach them I open a bottom cabinet door that is located between the kitchen and bathroom sinks. There is a small leak at the valve and also the valve doesn't shut off completely and allows water to drain out the drain tube underneath. What I need to do is replace the cutoff valve but don't know what to replace it with since I have gray water tubing that is crimped on. I believe the plastic water tubing is the kind that caused so much trouble in houses. There was a class action suit that resulted in the manufacturer having to replumb the houses. Unfortunately RVs were not included in the suit. Thanks.
Wayne
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Old 01-31-2004, 04:04 PM   #4
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wayne

well that clears it up a bit.

sounds like you have the same stuff i do in my '92. thankfully, i have not had to repair any of the pressurized pumbing YET.

i believe it is pex, better than the other stuff you mention. most home stores should have compression type fittings that work with pex. the ones i have seen are white nylon. any threaded 1/2 valve should work fine.

other than that method, you would need the expanding tool and the copper bands. if you could borrow or rent one for an afternoon that would be good. otherwise the tools for working with pex are sorta expensive.

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Old 01-31-2004, 08:56 PM   #5
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John,

Thanks. I was afraid that I had the bad stuff and might have to eventually run new plumbing throughout. I will look for the new valve with compression type fittings.

Wayne
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Old 01-31-2004, 09:32 PM   #6
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Polybutelene is grey. If you have tubing of any other color, it is PEX. I do not recall if Airstream was (or is) using color coded tubing, but if so the cold lines are blue, and the hot are red. Otherwise all tubing will be white.

In addition to the crimp on connectors, you can use Qest or Flair-it fittings. They are somewhat more bulky, but do not require the expensive crimping tool.

Mark
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:39 AM   #7
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Mark,

The tubing in my a/s is grey. Can I use any type valve with compression type fittings or will I have to use a particular type valve and crimp the tubing to it? Thanks.

Wayne
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:53 AM   #8
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I THINK (don't know for absolutely sure) that you cannot use brass Qest crimp-on fittings with polybutylene. You can, however, use Flair-it fittings, and maybe the plastic Qest compression fittings.

The problem with the compression Flair-it and plastic Qest fittings is that they are far more bulky than the crimp-on brass Qest fittings. When you are dealing with a shut-off drain valve, you may find space to be limited.

Of course, you could just start redoing your polybutylene with PEX/Qest now.

I would strongly suggest anyone with polybutylene plumbing to a) never leave your coach unattended with water lines under pressure - turn off the pump or water supply; and b) carry a selection of Flair-it elbows, connectors, and tees to effect repairs when necessary.

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Old 02-01-2004, 12:21 PM   #9
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mark

are you 100% sure there is no grey pex?

i cannot run out and check since the trailer is in storage 100+ miles away.

either way, your comment about having spare fittings, elbows etc. is sound advice.

i will plan on adding some to my onboard repair kit.

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Old 02-01-2004, 12:29 PM   #10
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Man, I'm not 100% sure there is intelligent life on this planet, much less about something like plumbing.

Pex is a much more rigid plastic than polybutylene. It is also somewhat translucent, in any color that I have seen.

BUT- polybutylene will be clamped on with a thin, flat band of - aluminum? mild steel? I don't know, but it is pretty thin stuff, and it has a bright finish. Pex is crimped on with a much thicker, dark ring.

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Old 02-01-2004, 12:39 PM   #11
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In the Argosy line 77/78 was the change over period. I don't know when it happened in the Airstream's. My 77 Airstream had copper.

I have had to do a few repairs on the 78. It has the gray tubing. It looks to be clamped with a ring on the original fittings, but I don't know if it is steel or Aluminum. When we bought the coach there was a cracked T fitting at the city inlet/distribution area. I replaced it with nylon hose, compression fittings and a couple of brass T's. It is under the bed bed seems fine 9 months later. I do not plan on re-piping it with hard stuff. I have cut into many of the lines to retrofit new fixtures and the wall thickness of the tubing is stout.

As to the the suggestion to carry extra fittings, I do. The compression fittings will work on any plastic tubing, PVC, PEX, or this grey poly tubing. I also carry a section of the nylon hose and some hose clamps just in case.
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Old 02-01-2004, 03:18 PM   #12
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copper

mark/brett

my grey tubing has copper bands on it. the elbows are copper.

john
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Old 02-01-2004, 03:25 PM   #13
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looks like this....

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Old 02-01-2004, 03:45 PM   #14
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John,

That is polybutylene tubing with copper fittings. The problems with polybutylene are with the fittings, not the tubing itself. I know of no reason why that setup should not be good more or less indefinitely.

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