Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-30-2007, 07:58 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
fred bartlet's Avatar
 
2001 31' Excella
Bluffton , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62
Water heater removal to fix leak!

Help! I have a broken connection on the check valve and of course, there is no room to fix it. It seems that one must pull the heater out to work on the lines behind it. What are the steps to perform this removal and what is the best way to fix the PBX water line connections? I have the parts and the $1.35 broken connection to repair it but getting to it is the $200 question. I did not purchase the $100 crimp tool because my AS dealer indicated one can use a gas line flare clamp to crip the rings. ?????? I am plumber friendly but these fittings are new to me. What are my options? Thanks,...........
__________________

__________________
Fred Bartlett
30' S/O 01 Excella, maple floors in Galley, HA Hitch, Hyd. Disc Brakes, P3 Controller, SS Kit. Bk Splash, LED RL's, 2K/Tri Fuel Gen's & RV on TT
04 Chevy HD, CC, D/A, Curt Magnum V Rec., Full Amsoil Syn.,Dual Filters, ARE, MX Topper with lift Gate Door, Bed Rug, TPS & Bk.up Camera.
fred bartlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2007, 12:11 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred bartlet
Help! I have a broken connection on the check valve and of course, there is no room to fix it. It seems that one must pull the heater out to work on the lines behind it. What are the steps to perform this removal and what is the best way to fix the PBX water line connections? I have the parts and the $1.35 broken connection to repair it but getting to it is the $200 question. I did not purchase the $100 crimp tool because my AS dealer indicated one can use a gas line flare clamp to crip the rings. ?????? I am plumber friendly but these fittings are new to me. What are my options? Thanks,...........
Fred,

Welcome to my world! I have to get into impossible spaces on a regular basis.

First, get yourself an all brass check valve, as the plastic onew are virtually guaranteed to break again! Next, you don't need to use the same connection systam that Airstream used. I use Sea-Tech fittings exclusively now. They fit standard sizes of copper, CPVC and PEX so you can connect to those systems interchangeably. They simply push un to the tubing and create a tight, waterproof seal that is totally removeable.

You can get these wonder fittings at Home Depot, Lowes or any well stocked plumbing supply store. If you have no access to the back of the water heater, then you have to pull it out from the front. Removeall of the screws on the flange and then remove the unit. If it was sealed in with SikaFlex instead of butyl tape, you'll have to cut that seal with a long razor knife.

Post with your progress or any other questions.

PS: I have never heard of using a gas line flair fitting to crimp PEX rings!
__________________

__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2007, 04:17 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
fred bartlet's Avatar
 
2001 31' Excella
Bluffton , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62
Exclamation Update: PEX crimps!

Lew, thanks for the info. and yes my flare tool is not usable as a crimper yet. But with an OD of .75 on the crimp ring and a finished OD of .7, I opened the 5/8 hole on the flare tool until it produced a fit. Now I may return the copper rings and try the quick ring as I found a tool to rent for $10. ?????

And yes I found the shark series of slip on fitting too, but for the space they take up, I'm not sure I can make them work. The brass check valve is connected with a 1/2" thread on, 1" nipple to a 90' and 2" nipple to brass tee. I have to find a way to cut off the pipe at the tee and remove the ring to connect another nipple with the rest of the fitting made up. And there isn't room for any more to fit the other side of this layout.

I will take the path of lease work but I can't even cut off the fittings through the cabinet opening, so I will have to pull the heater out far enough to do the job with what ever works. And I also found a cut off tool for the cu rings but then its $25 at Lowes too.

Like some of you AirStreamers have mentioned, nothing is easy to fix on this trailer. Just the towing is easy!!!!!!
__________________
Fred Bartlett
30' S/O 01 Excella, maple floors in Galley, HA Hitch, Hyd. Disc Brakes, P3 Controller, SS Kit. Bk Splash, LED RL's, 2K/Tri Fuel Gen's & RV on TT
04 Chevy HD, CC, D/A, Curt Magnum V Rec., Full Amsoil Syn.,Dual Filters, ARE, MX Topper with lift Gate Door, Bed Rug, TPS & Bk.up Camera.
fred bartlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
fred bartlet's Avatar
 
2001 31' Excella
Bluffton , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62
Post Water Heater Removal!

Well, I have the water heater removed and ready to replace.

To remove, I took out all the screws on the flange, ran a putty knife around the edge to remove the soft caulking. I then bent the flange out 90 degrees so that I could cut out the rigid caulking that held in the heater. Mine was sealed in, top and sides with a gray RTV like sealant that has to be cut to remove. The opening was the next big impediment. It seems that AS adds water heaters as an after thought, as it's a rough cut with a saw edge. Did they ever consider that this opening could have been precut or even cut with an aviation shear!! The foam insulator around the tank was very hard to push through the rough opening, but with lots of effort and verbal abuse, it's out.

I of course had to cut the hot and cold lines to the tank before it came out, and I took Lew's advise to replace the 90's out of the with Shark Bite's. This allows me to replace the tank and then make the slip fit connections for hot and cold that would have been other wise impossible to crimp in with a 2" opening. This opening is the reach thru for the by pass vavles on the back side of the tank under the cabinet.????

I also had to return the solid copper crimp tool and revert to the quick crimp connector. This has a tab on one side that a vise grip can close and then finish the crimp with big tool. Both ring tools have long handles that require a large arc to open. My space under the cabinet could not use either so it's the vise grips or the Shark Bites. I used both, as no one was the answer. I would guess that the collective fittings under my cabinet were assembled on a bench and layed into the trailer long before the cabinet were assembled either.

Now that I have opened several cavites to work in, I find that AS doesn't like to clean up after themselves as they install. I have removed a pound of saw cuttings from each location(3) that I've opened. This occation was no exception. I found vent pipe scrap, PEX scrap, and lots of saw dust. After I cleaned up the cavity, I reinsulated the opening that was missing from the install. I cleaned up the saw cut opening and now that the broken fitting is replaced that prompted this project, I with return the tank to it's home.

Doing is an education in it'self and getting it done has it's own satisfaction.
__________________
Fred Bartlett
30' S/O 01 Excella, maple floors in Galley, HA Hitch, Hyd. Disc Brakes, P3 Controller, SS Kit. Bk Splash, LED RL's, 2K/Tri Fuel Gen's & RV on TT
04 Chevy HD, CC, D/A, Curt Magnum V Rec., Full Amsoil Syn.,Dual Filters, ARE, MX Topper with lift Gate Door, Bed Rug, TPS & Bk.up Camera.
fred bartlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,281
Hey Fred,

Nice job. That RTV like stuff that you encountered is called SikaFlex 221 and is a polyurethane sealant. Best stuff out there, and all new Airstreams are sealed with copious amounts of the stuff. Be sure to use a bead of butyl tape sealant for your final layer under the flange before you re-fasten your new heater.

FYI, Airstream isn't the only OEM that leaves their construction garbage reight where it falls when they build these units. I have encountered the same or more on every trailer or MoHo I have worked on.......right up to the $1,000,000 super buses.

After all, whadya want for a mil, a clean RV too?
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
fred bartlet's Avatar
 
2001 31' Excella
Bluffton , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62
Lew, all in except the butyl tape. I'm letting the sealant set up before I clean up and place the seal. Glad I found the slip on fittings too! Now if it ever comes out, just unscrew, cut and drop. Thanks for the help.
PS I've got pictures and a few more caviots.
__________________
Fred Bartlett
30' S/O 01 Excella, maple floors in Galley, HA Hitch, Hyd. Disc Brakes, P3 Controller, SS Kit. Bk Splash, LED RL's, 2K/Tri Fuel Gen's & RV on TT
04 Chevy HD, CC, D/A, Curt Magnum V Rec., Full Amsoil Syn.,Dual Filters, ARE, MX Topper with lift Gate Door, Bed Rug, TPS & Bk.up Camera.
fred bartlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 04:12 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
fred bartlet's Avatar
 
2001 31' Excella
Bluffton , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62
Smile Water Heater Removal and repair pictures

This water heater removal to repair a $1.35 thread on connection was a two day, $50+ expenditure. But the repair estimate was $250 and weeks to wait, so I took this one on as I had a camp date. Nothing can keep an AirStreamer home, even if he has to dry camp! But now all is well and I'm in the water again.

I used the quick clip system for the PEX pipes as I was able to use a vise grip to close the ring, then insert the crimp tool to seat it. The tool uses a go/no go gage and without this, one can't be sure of it's closed correctly. But in a pinch, I would close it all the way with a vise grip. This would be a field repair and nothing else.

I used a dremel with a cut off disc to remove the copper crimp rings. Then forced it off with a flat blade screw driver. I scored the pipe at the fitting with a knife and pulled it off.

This was my first with the PEX piping and a learning one at that. Hope this will be interesting to the other AirStreamers. Good Night!!
1.Pic's_Repair mat with tools
2.Cut off with Dremel disc
3. Repaired manifold with new fitting
4. Tank ready to be reinstalled
5. Use this tool in what opening???
6. Shade tree mechanic's at its best
7. Cutting off under the cabinet
8. Maifold as viewed under the tank!
9. Finished tank under the cabinet with slip off connections
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Repair mat and tools.JPG
Views:	73
Size:	55.5 KB
ID:	44337   Click image for larger version

Name:	Dremel as cut off tool.JPG
Views:	72
Size:	60.7 KB
ID:	44338  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Manifold with repaired connection.JPG
Views:	67
Size:	55.1 KB
ID:	44339   Click image for larger version

Name:	Tank ready to reinstall.JPG
Views:	66
Size:	57.6 KB
ID:	44340  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Crimp tool in opening.JPG
Views:	66
Size:	54.8 KB
ID:	44341   Click image for larger version

Name:	Shade tree repair spot.JPG
Views:	69
Size:	58.5 KB
ID:	44342  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Cut off inside cabinets.JPG
Views:	81
Size:	45.3 KB
ID:	44343   Click image for larger version

Name:	Repaired manifold as view from under cabinets.JPG
Views:	58
Size:	48.6 KB
ID:	44344  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Repaired tank with new Shark Fittings.JPG
Views:	64
Size:	50.8 KB
ID:	44345  
__________________
Fred Bartlett
30' S/O 01 Excella, maple floors in Galley, HA Hitch, Hyd. Disc Brakes, P3 Controller, SS Kit. Bk Splash, LED RL's, 2K/Tri Fuel Gen's & RV on TT
04 Chevy HD, CC, D/A, Curt Magnum V Rec., Full Amsoil Syn.,Dual Filters, ARE, MX Topper with lift Gate Door, Bed Rug, TPS & Bk.up Camera.
fred bartlet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 10:44 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,281
Nice job Fred!

But next time, try Sea-Tech fittings. They would have saved you hours on the re-plumb job and work just as well as the crimp-type connectors!
__________________

__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water heater replacement Craig Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 36 12-18-2014 10:13 AM
Water leak Raptorrider2001 1999 Safari 19 09-18-2005 09:21 PM
Water Heater By-Pass Kit Dwight Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 16 09-24-2002 08:40 PM
travelling w/out water system maznblu Fresh Water Systems 6 09-09-2002 01:03 PM
Water Heater shell frame BobbyW Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 0 04-29-2002 11:21 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.