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Old 04-11-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
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Water pressure regulator

I have taken out the water pressure regulator. I had to cut out a burst joint, anyway, and I want to put PEX in while I have all the fixtures out, replacing the floor, repairing the rear end separation problem that so many have described before.

So, I don't have Photoshop yet, so I hope my words will help illustrate.

The burst joint is the colorful aqua blue stained t-joint with the hack saw marks nearby.

A pipe exits the pressure regulator and descends through the floor and is secured to the frame just behind the bumper. The outside end has a female water hose connection. A bracket holds the pipe against the frame. For some reason, I did not snap a shot of that.

PO has the outside outlet female connector hooked up with the male end of a garden hose about six inches long. (Hey, I heard that, Bevis.) A plug is inserted into the cut-off end of the garden hose, and a clamp holds the plug in the hose.

What the heck does that line out of the regulator do, and why is it bolted to the frame, and what's the deal with that scrap of garden hose, and why is it plugged? It looks like I should be doing something with all of this, but ... what? These things keep me awake at night.

Thanks,
Anne

Photos: the top two (on my computer) show the regulator. The third one, bottom, shows where the regulator is located, relative to the rear access portal.
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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the line that goes to the outside, with the female garden hose connector, is the standard method for connecting your 'stream to city water supply. The pressure regulator keeps the city pressure, which can be excessive, from damaging the plumbing system of your trailer.

However, if you are running from your onboard water supply, a pump is pushing water from your storage tank through these same pipes, in the opposite direction. SO...they put a check-valve in the line, to keep your onboard water from exiting the trailer through the aforementioned city connection.
These check valves wear out. At some point, this started leaking, and water was dripping out of the city connector when the PO was running on-board water. So, instead of "fixing" it, by replacing the worn out check valve, he did the easier thing, which was to attach a dead-end to the outside.

on my trailer, this is understandable, as the checkvalve is inaccessible, without removing the bathroom entirely. (duh on airstream for this poor design). But on yours, it looks like you can get at everything from the rear hatch. So...kind of a "lazy man's" repair, I'd say.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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You've got the same situation I had. My solution was to remove the regulator and stub out a new pipe with a female garden hose end. I picked up a threaded plug for the garden hose end and an in-line regulator at Camping World.
When we hook up to city water the regulator goes on the standpipe, followed by a filter. Remove the plug and hook up the supply hose. Quick, simple and cheap.
Makes draining the system easier in the fall because there's no check valve to block the out-flow.

Good luck,
Tom.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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I am not even going to trust my 35+ year old regulator when I do my plumbing this summer. Everything but the fixture is ripped out. There are some great threads on re-plumbing wiht PEX. The neat thing about it is that you can pretty much redisgn the supply system if you need to. I added a gravity drain by way of a couple of 3-way valves. I will also had a hose connectioninside the bathroom. Yours looks like a prime candidate if you want to do a project.

I do admit that just fixing the immediate problem is (1) easier, (2)cheaper, (3) less agrivating (4) less time consuming and...............oh $#!% what did I get myself into!
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:46 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Thanks, Y'all!

Wow -- now I not only know what's going on, but where to go from here. This is great. How do I love, Thee, Airforums.com Community? Let me count the ways: Water, propane, aluminum, rivets, projects, projects, projects -- the height and breadth and depth my wallet can reach.
(apologies to EBB)
Peace,
Anne
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:19 AM   #6
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PEX in question

Here's an Airstreamer I keep an eye on in Google Reader:
Anna Lumanum: I am crushed.... beat down... wiped out.

This post warns against PEX. I guess everyone will have different experiences and opinions based on budgets.

I'm walking the line between budget and durability over time. Maybe copper is the way to go in my replacements.

Anne
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:11 AM   #7
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I am not yet done with my pex installation but so far it has been user friendly.

Do what I do....take projects on ortwo at a time as you can afford them. Not everything has to be done at once. Over the last few years...(sort of in order)

1 Furnace + dual batteries & power supply (see Best Converter--many good products) + tires
2 upolstry (gauchos)
3 Tambout door repair
4 Power Vents & replace a 12v socket & a stereo (adapted a car stereo)
5 LED lights
6 awning (Inland RV)
7 axels (Inland RV)

This year I will finish the plumbing with pex and new pump and water heater, I do still have to install the LED tail lights and I will mount a front windshield gaurd and a new antena.

It is a fun hobby and one you get a great return on...not to mention look how well you get to know the systems in the trailer.

You'll get there, just as I will.......some day.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:32 AM   #8
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Good advice, Smoke. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Anne
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyAnne
Here's an Airstreamer I keep an eye on in Google Reader:
Anna Lumanum: I am crushed.... beat down... wiped out.

This post warns against PEX. I guess everyone will have different experiences and opinions based on budgets.

I'm walking the line between budget and durability over time. Maybe copper is the way to go in my replacements.

Anne
You may want to ask Frank why he dislikes the PEX. It looks like he did a great job and added a lot of features that were not in the original water system. Install of one run that goes to every device he has separate runs with a shut off valve at a manifold near the supply.

My trailer has PEX, it was done by the PO. I have correct one error in the plumbing and found PEX easy to work with. I would go the PEX route if I had to plumb a trailer myself.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #10
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Some clarification as to my opinion is in order... I love PEX. The pipe is great and I am certain that it will not burst like copper pipe. What I do not like is the fittings that are used to connect the stuff. Most folks use the Sea Tech or Wyatt's fittings and it is those that I have issue with. If the pipe is not perfectly straight when going in, it leaks. If the pipe is under tension, it leaks. If your water pressure is too low, they leak, for water pressure is what makes the fitting seal. The Shark bite fittings I have no problem with except the price. They work very well in most situations.
What I do not like about Pex is the price. I do not keep track of how much I spend, I cannot give an exact number, but the Pex pipe and fittings ran me close to $600. If I have done it in copper, I am sure it would have been $100 or less even if I had still done the independent runs from a manifold. Is 6 times the cost justified? I do not think so. The reason people use PEX is (MY OPINION, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, TOO BAD) because we are lazy. I think many do not take the time to winterize their trailers with antifreeze, and PEX allows the lazy to slide by.
So, in conclusion, if you use PEX, use only the Shark Bite fittings. I however will do it old school in the future. If I get my trailer company off the ground, all my customers will be forced to treat their plumbing the way it should be treated, by removing as much water as possible at the end of the season and replacing it with antifreeze. It is actually easy to do do and the antifreeze can be used for many seasons.
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
The reason people use PEX is (MY OPINION, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, TOO BAD) because we are lazy. I think many do not take the time to winterize their trailers with antifreeze, and PEX allows the lazy to slide by.
Oh, yeah? well

I don't think its "lazy". And I don't think freeze protection is a valid reason for using pex. Its not freeze-PROOF; just more resistant than copper. You still need to winterize, either way.

If you're working on a gutted trailer, you might just be better off using copper. certainly cheaper. The thing about "copper" is the sweating of joints...if you don't do it often, (or, perhaps I should say, "if **I**" don't do it often enough"), its a very slow process. But moreso, the problem is that the joints in an "assembled" trailer are impossible to access. There just isn't enough room to use a torch in the confined spaces where these pipes lurk.
I think the way my trailer was built at the factory was as follows:
step 1: lay out and assemble plumbing
step 2: build trailer around said plumbing.

I have a fitting that needs to be replaced, but it can't be until the bathroom is completely removed.
If it had been assembled w/ the snap-on fittings, I could remove/replace it in about 2 minutes, with one hand, without being able to "see" what I was doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
So, in conclusion, if you use PEX, use only the Shark Bite fittings.
That, I might go along with. They certainly "feel" better quality...the sea-techs feel kind of "chincy". Some of the fittings aren't any different in price; others are much more expensive in shark-bite form.

I used sea-tech/pex to install a water hookup for my camper at my house, and while the fittings seated properly on the first try, I found out later that the shutoff valve (for winterizing the outdoor tap) didn't work. It shut the water "mostly" off...but not "all the way" off. It was allowing a trickle of water to get through, and I only noticed it when I saw icicles hanging off the outdoor tap a couple of weeks after I had blown out the line. But, since it was a snap-on fitting, I simply snapped it off, and put a sharkbite plug on the end of the line. Now, its really "off".
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:34 AM   #12
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re: pressure regulator.... If you want to be doubly-safe you can now buy fresh water supply hoses that have a regulator built-in...it's what I use.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:13 PM   #13
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That's exactly why I ended up removing the tub, surround, plastic surrounds, all of that, just to get to one joint! I understand the interior started with the bath. It's easier said than done: I want to try to re-plumb so that I can more easily get to anything that might need a repair.

Makes me wonder, did Airstream realize their trailers would last so long, and that we would eventually need to get in there and fix that thing [insert whatever thing here]?

I posted my pictures of all that ensued when I started to fix that leak:
IndyAnne

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Old 04-15-2008, 12:17 PM   #14
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built-in regulator

Is such a thing able to be ordered online -- my favorite way to shop?

By the way -- I love your work! Those photos of Preservation Hall make me miss living in South Mississippi, close enough to run over to NOLA for turtle soup at Commander's, and on to the Quarter for some jazz. Where is the courtyard where you made the photo of Emmylou?

Spring is coming to Indianapolis!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fotochop
re: pressure regulator.... If you want to be doubly-safe you can now buy fresh water supply hoses that have a regulator built-in...it's what I use.
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