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Old 10-16-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
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Water Supply Lines

When did A$ stop using copper pipes for the water supply lines?
What is the grey plastic waterline material?
What fittings are used on the grey plastic lines?
Can one connect the grey plastic lines to PEX?
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:12 AM   #2
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The grey plastic lines are probably polybutylene. The fittings are proprietary to polybutylene. I have had polybutylene in a home and my 93 Excella with no problems. The whole system was the subject of a class action lawsuit. When it works it works well and when it leaks it leaks it leaks like a sieve. If it's not broke don't fix it. I don't know how to hook poly to PEX, maybe Sharktooth.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:01 AM   #3
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I don't know when AS stopped using copper; however my 1975 Trade Wind had copper and my 1986 has polybutylene. I had to install a new water heater and needed to connect Pex to the polybutylene. This required a special crimp style coupler because the inside diameters of the plastic pipes are slightly different. I had to go to a mobile home supply to get the proper coupler. I don't know about Sharkbite fittings but I would verify that they are rated for polybutylene before using.

Currently I have a leak somewhere in the polybutylene plumbing that I am trying to track down. Unfortunately, it is somewhere over the wheel well in the center bath and there are numerous fittings connecting everything. I've heard that the old polybutylene was problematic and prone to failures.

Does anyone have advice / experience regarding the polybutylene plumbing?

Thanks

Whit Nash
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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I think I found an adapter at Lowe's that would go from PB to PEX. Also you can use a sharkbite or other similar connector with a sleeve in the center to help keep the PB tubing from collapsing or taking a set. The PB tubing does not seem to be the problem but the plastic fittings that the nipples break on. All my PB tubing is fine but I have had issues with the fittings breaking.



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Old 10-16-2018, 12:56 PM   #5
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There is infact a specific pb to pex shark bite fitting. Works great.
The PB tubing isn't the problem, it's the fittings. Replace them at your leisure.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:48 AM   #6
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Thanks Perry & Atomic,

After things dried out I turned the pump on and VERY quickly discovered that a fitting on the hot supply to the bathroom sink had failed.

Not sure if I will try and replace all the old PB plumbing or just the one fitting that failed. I don't want to do any extra work but I can see that another failure could be a real problem on an extended trip. (We were lucky; the failure occurred on the last day of our fall color tour.) There is not a lot of room to use my crimp tool; I am wondering if "clamp" style connectors might be a little easier in tight locations.

More thinking and investigation to do.

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Old 10-18-2018, 10:10 AM   #7
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It is my impression the weak point in polybutylene plumbing are the fittings, and the fittings work fine if they were installed correctly in the first place.
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