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Old 11-25-2006, 05:21 PM   #1
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PEX pipe and the Water Heater

I am replacing the copper in my 71 GT with PEX. The pipe is supposed to be rated at 180 degrees. Do I need to put a 6 or 8" copper stub on the water heater to protect the PEX?

Thanks,

Herb
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Old 11-25-2006, 05:51 PM   #2
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Water heater thermostats normally do not exceed 140 degF.

You can safely run your PEX right up to the water heater with no problem.

Even if you had a problem, 180 degF is a nominal temperature. You would still be covered.

Tom
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:11 PM   #3
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Housing codes even in Mississippi REQUIRE the use of metal (copper or galvanized pipe) within 12 inches of the hot water heater. Now, trailers may be very different and you may be able to place PEX that close to the heat source but for some reason this code still exists. Seems like and easy thing to do and adapt to the heater with copper the PEX. I would check with local codes and see what they require, first.
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:21 PM   #4
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I can make up the copper pigtails but don't want to do it because of space limitations. It is very tight and I have added several things to the compartment. Thanks for the advice.

Herb
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
Housing codes ...
Not saying they are different, but Airstreams have to live up to RV Code.

FWIW,
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p.s. And I don't know what the actual words say
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
Not saying they are different, but Airstreams have to live up to RV Code.

FWIW,
Tom
p.s. And I don't know what the actual words say
True, and I fully agree that you should follow the codes that are relevent to the situation at hand. I am in the overkill mode when I make repairs to anything, I figure the money I save doing it myself that I should do it right, the first time. Somewhere, somehow, somebody decided plastic pipe is not safe near a hot water heater - both input and output lines and so these rules apply in housing codes. I feel it has to do with both temperature and pressure extreems at the same time, say if the relief valve fails. The slim margin of safety allowed by the plastic vs. the copper or galvanized (in my Caravel I used brass fittings) is not enough for me both in cost of parts and time to make it fit.

Good luck, I have heard nothing but good things about PEX and plan a total rebuild of my Caravel using the same.
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:09 PM   #7
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I connected my water heater directly with a pair of flair-it plastic elbows to pex. I crank my water heater to max temp most of the time. In about a years time since taking it into service, it has not had any problems with the wter heater and it's connections. I have seen the same installation used in other trailers. When using teh palstic fittings into metal threads, it will be nmecessary to use alittle more teflon sealing tape than usual, to prevent leaks at the fittings.
Just to throw in some real world experience.
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:54 PM   #8
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My trailer was setup the same as Uwe's. I got it that way from the PO. No problems here either...
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:28 PM   #9
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Three years here with PEX at the water heater, not a problem. I used brass barbed fittings with compression clamps. Works fine lasts a long time.
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:44 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Pex to the hot water heater

International Residential Code (IRC) allows pex to be hooked directly to the hot water heater. It is rated for hot water and is allowed by IRC that has been adopted by most states since 2003.
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Old 11-26-2006, 09:33 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the help.

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