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Old 09-15-2003, 04:40 PM   #1
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Water Lines

I'll be replacing the water lines in my Caravel before too long. Is there any real benefits to using pex lines instead of good old copper pipe?

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Old 09-15-2003, 04:51 PM   #2
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Not having to solder the joints as with copper and Pex is easier to manipulate in/around & through cabinets, it bends. Those are the only two I can think of...


BTW, we still have original copper

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Old 09-15-2003, 06:34 PM   #3
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IThere was a post a few weeks back about this. If it's the same stuff in that post it is also much more freeze damage resistant then copper.

I'm at the point where I'm putting some thought into plumbing and I'm leaning towards this product as well. I believe it requires a crimp tool as well. Easier to install, no flares or sweating in like Shari pointed out. I don't really see a down side to the stuff other then the crimp tool. Wish it would work with the propane lines but looks like I'll have to stay copper there.
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:55 PM   #4
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To be more precise, PEX will survive more damage caused by freezing than copper. Apparently by rather a lot.

One of its nicer features is that it can be purchased in blue and red for color coding the hot and cold lines.

A crimp tool is not the only way to connect PEX. There are two products I am aware of for connections: Qest and Flair-it. One or the other is offered at many home stores as well as RV stores. Functionally, I am very impressed with Flair-it, but it is more difficult to use.

There are two kinds of crimping tools. The rather pricey one that is like a large set of pliers, and the smaller two piece clamp that you tighten down with bolts. This latter one is especially useful in tight corners.

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Old 09-16-2003, 06:05 AM   #5
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That PEX crimping tool is $100 at HD or Lowes. Copper is really not that expensive, and soldering is really easy. Just remember these important things.

1. Make sure the fitting and pipe is CLEAN!! Use steel wool or 3M pads and a fitting brush. Make sure it is really shiney all the way around. Do not TOUCH the area you have just cleaned, as your skin oils will contaminate the copper.

2. Use a good quality solder and soldering paste applied to the pipe and fitting.

3. Heat the work, (Fitting and Pipe) together. Apply the solder to the area where the fitting and pipe are joined and let the solder wick up into the fitting. Apply just enough solder, not an excess ammount.

99% of the time a soldered joint leaks because the work was not cleaned properly.

After doing a few joints, it's like riding a bicycle!

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Old 09-16-2003, 10:50 AM   #6
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put in another vote for PEX.

You don't need a $100 crimp tool. You could rent one if you wanted to or you could get a much less expensive one or you could go with quest or flair-it fittings (which will also work on copper tubing if you want to have a mixed system.)

You can avoid many joints due to the flexibilty of PEX which means easier routing as well as less possibility of leaks in hard to get to spaces.

PEX, like polybutelyne, is much less likely to suffer freezing damage than copper.

You don't have the potential of lead poisoning from soldered joints. (and don't have the safety hazard of trying to solder in confined spaces)

You can easily repair any problems on the road with just a couple of extra fittings in the toolbox.

see for ideas about what is available. Lowe's also seems to be a good source (except for color coded pipe)
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:15 PM   #7
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I am having a hard time figuring out where one would want to use hard copper (soldered) in an RV. I would think that soft copper and compression fittings would be a better choice.

Am I missing something?

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Old 09-16-2003, 03:26 PM   #8
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Original lines in the vintage units are soldered that would be done to match the existing, if you were trying to stay 100% original.

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Old 09-16-2003, 05:43 PM   #9
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Would like to back up PICK on this one. It is not hard to make joint as Pick points out. The expansion of pex is undoubtedly true, but copper plumbed (meaning drain angles maintained for winterizing) will leave you with no amount of water to freeze and burst a pipe.

Both work but don't be afraid of copper....jem

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