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Old 12-19-2018, 01:39 PM   #1
wmb
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PEX in the propane line?

I just noticed this while I was investigating a fresh water leak dripping down from the front of the wheel well on the drivers side.

The propane lines that run from the tanks up front, underneath the trailer, are all copper except for a short length that splits off the main pipe running across from the passenger side. There's a copper run off the end of that main that feeds the fridge, but there's a T-split section that also runs up in front of wheel well that's white PVC. I crawled underneath to read the markings and it says "pex potable water 100psi". As I was investigating the city water inlet inside the trailer behind the bathroom sink I can see copper pipe running along the top of the wheel well, and I think this must feed the water heater.

The original owners of this trailer kept impeccable service records and there's nothing in there about replacing any propane lines, so could this really have been done at the factory?
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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Is it possible that the copper line is inside the pex?
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Is it possible that the copper line is inside the pex?
I hadn't considered that, but I guess it's entirely possible. What would be the reason for doing that on just one small section, though? I'll get a picture of the one end I can see (at the T-joint) - the other end disappears into the underside of the trailer and can't see how it connects to the copper inside.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
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Some installers run copper propane lines inside PEX to protect from flying debris, etc. The inconsistency of that practice is not unusual...

I'd be checking carefully to see if some previous owner didn't actually USE PEX for propane service...and fix it quick if that is what you have.
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:39 PM   #5
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Yes, I think you're right. I was able to get far enough under to get a good look a the T-joint and the PEX is just acting as a wrapper for the copper. Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:50 PM   #6
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Yes, mine came from the factory with some of the propane line sections run inside PEX. It even got painted the "hitch gray" on the front of the trailer.
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:12 PM   #7
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The PEX is a convenient way to protect the tubing against damage--wish mine was like that. We've collected a few dings and scrapes in the copper...
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:19 PM   #8
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Yep - makes perfect sense to me now that I think about it. I think I was thrown by the fact that it was just this one small run, and the "potable water" markings...
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:59 PM   #9
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just spitballing here but would that create a rub over time and a leak.. Its used in gas lines being installed into masonry fireplaces to protect the line some copper some black iron pipe. its called a sleeve in that instance.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:47 PM   #10
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I may be wrong, but I thought I read here on the forum that using a sleeve on the propane lines is required for trailers going to Canada.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:21 PM   #11
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PEX is not as hard or sharp as the copper. Sleeves over the copper is a good idea anywhere
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:46 PM   #12
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I would and do agree. But is there a standard on color internationally similar to wire that would help clarify what one should do if they want to sleeve propane lines?
This is totally foreign territory to me, but does have me interested as I see value to the concept.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:56 PM   #13
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PEX in the propane line?

Iím not aware of a standard, but red or yellow sleeve would be my choice.
Natural gas lines are usually yellow or orange for visibility when digging.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
But is there a standard on color internationally similar to wire that would help clarify what one should do if they want to sleeve propane lines?
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I’m not aware of a standard, but red or yellow sleeve would be my choice.
I like your yellow color idea, but the standard only says: "5.3.8.3 Tubing or hose shall be routed to be protected from physical damage, sharp edges, and moving parts." [NFPA 1192-2018, Standard on Recreational Vehicles] NFPA provides free access to this standard.

Am glad Airstream provided some protection.

For those of us upgrading, renovating, and maintaining, another important safety item on propane tubing or hose locations: "5.3.8.1 Tubing or hose shall not be run inside walls, floors, partitions, or ceilings."

73/gus
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:19 AM   #15
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We covered all the copper propane lines with the flex wiring cover used to cover the wire bundles in vehicles to protect from road trash.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:52 AM   #16
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We covered all the copper propane lines with the flex wiring cover used to cover the wire bundles in vehicles to protect from road trash.
Sounds like a great idea that would be easy to do. I'll keep an eye on my propane lines for road rash. Thx
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