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Old 09-04-2005, 09:51 PM   #1
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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Moline , Illinois
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Trouble hooking gas line to water heater

I just finished replacing my old Bowen heater with an Atwood and am having a problem hooking up the gas line. The old flared fitting copper line collapsed (even with the use of a tubing bender ) when I tried to rebend and attach it. I have more copper and flaring tools but this thing looks almost impossible to get the right bends on. Is the flared copper line the only way to make this hookup or is there something new and improved for doing this job (say some type of flex line that you don't have to be an expert to bend) ? Or... any really good way to get the copper line bent without ruining it? When I look at the old lines in my '63 I feel like the person that did them was almost an artist.

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Old 09-04-2005, 09:56 PM   #2
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Bending I can do, flaring is my big downfall. I have heard that there is flexible hose for lp, but I don't know much about it, sorry. I know I read about it on this site, so you might want to try a search and see what comes up.


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Old 09-04-2005, 10:28 PM   #3
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i used a piece of rubber gas line from the bottom center of the coach where i had 3 lines comming in,i then put a 4 way connector inside the coach,works fine...i did run the hose through a piece of plastic pipe to protect it. you can get this from your propane supplier for less than 2 bucks a foot. they also have no crimp barbed connectors...good luck!
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Old 09-05-2005, 12:18 AM   #4
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Spring benders

Have you tried a spring bender? They are not very expensive and work quite well!


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Old 09-05-2005, 04:09 AM   #5
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My advice is to replace the entire length of tubing from the main line to the water heater. Believe it or not the old copper gets brittle over time. I replaced the line to my Bowen and the new soft copper tubing was very easy to shape by hand. Don't forget to put the fittings on before you do the flaring. I can't tell you how many times I have flared the tubing and not put the fitting on first.
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:45 AM   #6
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You probably are going to have to replace a section of tube since it collapsed. When you do attach it to the water heater first, that is where it is most confined and hardest to work.
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:36 AM   #7
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I am contemplating these:
to use on my 1963 project. They come in many length, and aer specificcally made for low pressure LP use. Might be just the thing if you have a difficult installation angle.
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:26 PM   #8
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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Got the gas line in. Went back to the spring bender and flaring tool with a little more patience/practice plus a different bend style in the line. Even remembered to put the nuts on before flaring (great hint). Looked at it today with the attitude of if at first I don't succeed I can buy more copper.
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:56 PM   #9
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1966 24' Tradewind
snohomish , Washington
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as an alternative to a spring bender, or if it isnt long enough you can fill it with sand and make your bends. just make sure you clean it well afterwards. my dad taught me that one. he might know a thing or two afterall.

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