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Old 04-25-2004, 05:51 PM   #1
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Water Heater Re-Plumbing! (with Pics)

Time to fix the leaks vic the water heater!
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Old 04-25-2004, 05:58 PM   #2
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After dis-assembling the bed to get access and removing all the old plumbing around the water heater. I decided to completly redo all the known - suspected - and likely locations for leaks. I ordered a new Hot water heater by-pass kit from camping world and went down to Ace Hardware for the Flair-it fittings. I had just re-done the kitchen plubming so this should be a cake walk.
Well - it would have except for one assumption! The kitchen is plumbed with 3/8 inch PB pipe (and the new stuff is 3/8 in PEX). So I bought all the new fittings and went to get to work... except that all the lines from the city water connection forward of the water heater is 1/2 inch PB pipe! Oops I've bought the wrong fittings. So an hour wasted driving back to Ace Hardware and back. but I'm in business!
The pipe cutter and Flair-it wrench really made the work easy. And now with a new by-pass kit and fittings I'm pretty confident I've fixed our leaking water heater!
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Old 04-25-2004, 06:16 PM   #3
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I saw your first photo and thought, "That looks just like mine." '85 Sovereign, 25', that IS just like mine!

Anyway, I see you left one of the old banded elbow connectors, and am guessing you left the ones we can't see. Let me assure you that they will blow apart at some point. It is best to replace any and all such elbows, tees, and valves.

If it sounds like the voice of experience, I am afraid it is. I went ahead and replaced the tubing also, because the tubing is cheap. It is the connectors that cost. And coiled tubing allows you to sometimes eliminate an elbow.

Mark
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Old 04-25-2004, 06:21 PM   #4
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Mark,
I havn't the guts to try re-plumbing the entire rear of the trailer yet. The banded connections I left were pretty sound (so far!) If I ever get the time I suppose it would be worth it to redo as much as I can reach. I may buy a crimper.
I guess I'm nervous about getting the runs of pipe that go under the floor.

Roy
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Old 04-25-2004, 06:36 PM   #5
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There are only two tubes that run under the floor (under the shower across to, I forget. Under the sink, maybe), and there are connectors on either end - so you can just leave them and use your Flair-it connectors to continue on with Pex from there.

"The banded connections I left were pretty sound"

That is what is so insidious about polybutylene - it blows apart with no warning whatsoever. Sometimes it will develop a visible crack, and even drip a bit, but usually there is no warning.

If I had to do it again, I'd buy a crimper. But I used a combination of Qest and Flair-it, depending upon what was easiest at that location, and have been very satisfied. In the meantime, carry some extra tubing, a selection of connectors, and your tools. And be alert for the sound of your pump cycling on and off when no faucets are open!

Mark
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:22 PM   #6
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I've become accustomed to the pump cycling when we don't have any faucets open. I'm hoping that I've fixed the leaks for now - although they teach us that "hope is not a course of action"! I did buy several extra fittings & I've got about 3 feet of pipe (3/8 and 1/2 inch) to make repairs.

Where does the pipe transition from 1/2 to 3/8?

Roy
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Old 04-25-2004, 08:00 PM   #7
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Where does the pipe transition from 1/2 to 3/8?
The smaller lines run to the faucets and the toilet sprayer. I think the toilet itself has a 1/2" supply.

I can tell you this: replacing those small, neat, compact polybutylene fittings that comprise the drain lines under the sink, down below the floor, with the much bulkier Pex tubing and fittings is a real bear!

Mark
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