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Old 11-05-2006, 06:00 AM   #1
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Exclamation Per-PEX-ing Question

The copper lines in the Safari have about 8 different places where they are split, broken, or clamped with garden hose. I plan to get out the reciprocating saw, and take it all out. I want to go with 1/2 inch PEX tubing from Lowes as 50 feet of it will only run me $13.00. My only question is do I use the brass fittings and pay $100.00 for that crimping tool, or can I use the compression fittings? It would save a great deal of money going with the plastic compression fittings. I don't plan on camping much in the winter, so I am not worried about freezing the fixtures (I know PEX is rated for freezing).

Suggestions, comments?
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:05 AM   #2
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if you purchase and keep the tool vs. renting it crimped connections are the way to go.

if you do not keep the tool, compression fittings may be better.

you want to be able to make repairs or alterations later.

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Old 11-05-2006, 07:10 AM   #3
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I have to agree. You should check prices of the crimp fittings vs compression or Seatech fittings.

If you need more than about 25 total fittings you will break even with the crimp fittings.

If you are careful, that's about 1.5 trailers.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:33 AM   #4
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Pex plumbing is NOT impervious to freezing. It might be a little more forgiving than copper, but its not "freeze proof". you'll still want to winterize your trailer.

Check out the "sea tech" fittings...they're carrying them at Lowe's, although, I don't think they're using that brand name. "SeaTech" was bought by Watts, which makes all the other plumbing fittings that they sell there. Anyway, they're spendy, but really really easy to use. The thing that looks the most appealing to me is that you don't need any tools to connect/disconnect them. If you can get a hand on the spot, you can connect a fitting, which often isnt' the case with other methods. there's just no room in some of these tight spaces to fit a tool, or 2, 2 arms/hands AND be able to see it all at the same time. Or if you can get a tool on it, there's no room to move the tool. Sweating copper pipe is easy; getting a torch on the spot you want without setting the whole trailer on fire is NOT. know what I mean?
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:39 AM   #5
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Remember to recycle the copper and brass from the old system, at $1.75 per pound for clean copper that goes toward offsetting the cost of the crimper for PEX.
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:46 AM   #6
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I really like the brass fittings with copper rings.
Is so neet.
Made my own crimper from a few $10 bolt cutters...measured a crimped ring, and ground out a circle on the jaws of bolt cutter.
Made a 3/8" and 1/2"
Works great...don't fall for the 'special tool needed' crap.

Thats my comment and suggestion.
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:59 AM   #7
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I like the ease of the compression fittings, especially since I don't need the tool. I don't have a metal shop so making my own tool is out of the question. Once I tabulate the fixtures both ways it may be beneficial to use the crimps.

For now, I must focus on replacing the floor. Check out this thread. http://www.airforums.com/forum...ent-27541.html
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:44 AM   #8
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You can't get a crimper in some of the spots where you may want to put fittings. The advantage of crimpers is in reducing assembly line production costs - not in quality of connection (they are inexpensive and fast when done 'en masse').

There are many good fittings for PEX such as the sea tech and quest that have worked well for many and are easy to use. Here are some links to peruse
Repair Fittings for PEX, CPVC, copper and Polybutylene from PlumbingWorld.com
PEX Products - FAQ
ERV Dealer Services (interesting site but have no idea of worthiness)
Flair-It West DIY Plumbing Fittings, PEX tubing, Plumbing Accessories
http://www.pexconnection.com
http://www.ppfahome.org/pex/historypex.html

Any good hardware store can help you with fittings. You should also consider running color coded PEX so you can indicate hot, cold, and source (e.g. red, green, white) lines.

Pex sizing is like copper tubing. Half inch OD is good for most RV needs. Corners can be on radius of 10x pipe diameter which means you can avoid a lot of elbow connections that OEM's tend to toss in. Fewer connections means fewer problems.

I also suggest running all inside pressure lines back to some convenient point where you can put a manifold and drain. (reduced fittings count, single source)

One big advantage of using fittings such as sea tech or quest or flair-it is that they are easy to repair and replace and modify. It is much easier to deal with a screw on thread if you have a connector that comes apart. That makes new faucets, bypass connections, draining, and so on much easier.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:55 AM   #9
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My trailer came with Pex and Flair fittings thanks to the PO. I am very impressed with the product. I carry with me a few extra fittings and a short section of hose, just in case. I did need to correct one plumbing mistake that was made and the flair fittings made that job alot easier. The fittings will not just slide apart when the cap is removed. A little heat and some pulling will get it done.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klattu
I really like the brass fittings with copper rings.
Is so neet.
Made my own crimper from a few $10 bolt cutters...measured a crimped ring, and ground out a circle on the jaws of bolt cutter.
Made a 3/8" and 1/2"
Works great...don't fall for the 'special tool needed' crap.

Thats my comment and suggestion.
That's the way to think outside the box. What a great idea - got pictures?

Anyone going with compression fittings, I have a large quantity of JACO brand compression fittings left over. They have worked great, without any leaks. I bought them in bulk, so they are available cheap. PM me if interested. I have T's, Couplers, and MPT adaptors all for 1/2" PEX.

PDF catalog here: http://www.jacomfg.com/jacocat.pdf
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:04 PM   #11
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Hey G.P. If they work well, and will work with PEX I might be interested. I will need about 10 Tee Fittings, and a few others. PM me with prices.

Steve
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:08 PM   #12
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The hardware store sells PEX in red and blue but they only sell in 100 foot rolls. I was going to buy a 50 foot roll of the white, but would love colored lines for ease of future work. Does anyone have leftover tubing that they are looking to sell?
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiermedic
Hey G.P. If they work well, and will work with PEX I might be interested. I will need about 10 Tee Fittings, and a few others. PM me with prices.

Steve
Had a couple people interested so far. Can't attach a photo to a PM, so here's a pic of what I've got:

I have:
Union T's part # 70-10 (pg 14 in the pdf catalog)
Union Connectors part # 15-10 (pg 7 in the pdf catalog)
&
Male Connectors part # 10-10-8 (pg 6 in the pdf catalog)

Sorry, no elbows, but pex is pretty flexible and you don't need them. (In retrospect, I would have used a couple to clean up the install, but they weren't necessary.)
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:47 PM   #14
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These work with 1/2" PEX (5/8" OD, 1/2" ID pipe)
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:22 PM   #15
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We are doing a complete re-plumb on our 79 Excella and used PEX with the Flair-It connections. The mid-west distributer is here in town and they convinced me to use the fittings verse crimp rings. They also had the white tubing with red or blue logos along it so you could distinguish hot and cold lines.

The flair-it connections, when made up are very solid. I made one up and then tried to take it apart and although you can remove the nut holding the line, the line itself seems to seat on the barbed end of the fitting and is tough to remove. They make a special wrench to tighten the fittings with, seems like it was around 10 dollars and well worth it.

One last thing, the supplier told me that PEX has a thermal memory and if you heat it it will turn clear, remove the heat and hold it in the position you want and when it turns white it will retain that shape. My father-in-law did much of the plumbing and by using a heat gun made some impressive radius's and formed the PEX around various obstructions.

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Old 11-06-2006, 09:57 PM   #16
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Greetings,

Just a thought on the rings vs. compression fittings. I have used, and still use if necessary, Oetiker clamps. These are the small, eared clamps that require a specialized plier. The pliers are available for well under $40 and are designed to install the clamps. I bought mine here. One advantage of the pliers is that the pliers have two clamping faces allowing for some very tight installations to be accomplished quite easily.

This link will give you some info on the clamps and why you might consider them as an effective, low cost alternative to the screw together compression fittings. A big plus is the ability of the clamp to 'give' a little when the PEX pipe and fitting are under freezing pressure and return to full functionality when temperatures return to above freezing.

Just a thought.

Take care,
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiermedic
The hardware store sells PEX in red and blue but they only sell in 100 foot rolls. I was going to buy a 50 foot roll of the white, but would love colored lines for ease of future work. Does anyone have leftover tubing that they are looking to sell?
I bought my entire water supply piping and fittings here:

www.rvpartsoutlet.com

The flair-it fittings and pex ( poluethylene tubing) is quite easy and effective to work with.
I did not mind paying a little more for an excellent system that is flexible enough to make changes later if neccesary. I did buy the " special tool' for 4 5.00 to tighten the flair-it fittings.
I did not have a single leak from the flair it to pex fittings. I did have a few drips from the flair-it to water heater inlets due to insufficient teflon tape application.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiermedic
The hardware store sells PEX in red and blue but they only sell in 100 foot rolls. I was going to buy a 50 foot roll of the white, but would love colored lines for ease of future work. Does anyone have leftover tubing that they are looking to sell?
What price did you get?

I would split it with you perhaps.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:47 AM   #19
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I had the same dilema-I went with Sea Tech/Watts and have no regrets
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
What price did you get?

I would split it with you perhaps.
The 100' rolls of red and blue are $25.00+tax each. I figure I need maybe 50 feet total combined.
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