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-   -   Replacing Copper Pipes (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f163/replacing-copper-pipes-63474.html)

jbrownokc 04-13-2010 09:47 PM

Replacing Copper Pipes
 
Good evening all,
I am sure that this question has been posed over and over again, but I can't locate an old thread through the search function. I bought a 1971 Overlander on Sunday. After a full inspection (prior to purchase) I found out that the entire copper pipe system needs to be replaced with a 'PEX' system. I am getting two quotes on replacing, but wanted to get some helpful hints or others input on how much it might cost to replace. Thanks in advance. Justin

tschat 04-13-2010 10:45 PM

Figure $50 in pipe and $200 in fittings. Also figure a $75 credit back to Home Depot in extra fittings since you don't want to have to go back to HD in the middle of the project.
Plumbing is never fun, but PEX will allow you to have more fun camping vs repairing copper issues. Also you can recycle the copper to recoup some expense.

-t

tschat 04-13-2010 10:46 PM

That assumes you do the work yourself. I have no idea what labor costs are... beyond buying friends some cold beverages :)

TG Twinkie 04-13-2010 11:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You can buy the PEX tubing at home depot. But I would buy the fittings online. Look for FLAIR IT fittings. They are easy to use and require no special tools. You can buy them from www.iplumb.tv I've included a photo of my plumbing job. Replaced every inch of pipe in my trailer.

Aage 04-13-2010 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbrownokc (Post 837483)
After a full inspection (prior to purchase) I found out that the entire copper pipe system needs to be replaced with a 'PEX' system.

Hi, Justin.

Pardon my ignorance, but just why does ALL of the copper plumbing need replacing?

TG Twinkie 04-14-2010 08:10 AM

In my case, when I looked at all of the old copper I don't think there was a length of pipe over 5ft long that didn't have a repair made with a piece of hose, sometimes it was a chunk of garden hose. Over the years it looked like the pipes had frozen many times and been repaired. So I just decided to bite the bullet and do a complete job.

68 TWind 04-14-2010 08:35 AM

Home Depot is now selling a pex crimper that uses Channel-Locks to provide the crimping pressure, around 30 bucks instead of the 100 or so for a professional type. The crimp fittings are much cheaper than the shark-bite type connections and also take up less space.

68 TWind 04-14-2010 08:37 AM

Also, my local ACE hardware sells pex in 10 ft lenghts, in blue and red. HD only has white in shorter lenghts. They have colors but in 100 ft. rolls. Might want to check out your local ACE.

eubank 04-14-2010 10:16 AM

I'll be redoing ours, too, with the push-together PEX fittings available from Ace. It's not at all difficult to deal with. We re-did the plumbing at the front of the rig near pump and tank with PEX a year ago, but hadn't bothered at that point to do the rest.

The problem that prompted this particular job is the bathtub diverter. I did a rebuild job on it in the fall, but there was just not enough left of the original, corroded diverter to handle the load. So this time around, it's not just all new PEX, but also new diverter and new lav faucet, the copper lines to which had pulled loose a couple of times in the past. (It doesn't help that that bathroom cabinet includes the electrical converter, work on which had caused me to bump the copper lines once or twice too often.) No more copper water lines thereafter.

:)
Lynn

Stefrobrts 04-14-2010 11:18 AM

I'm planning to do the same job on mine. How do folks handle the connections from PEX to the original tank, the pump, and the water heater? Are they similar to the connections to the sinks?

Jammer 04-14-2010 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbrownokc (Post 837483)
I found out that the entire copper pipe system needs to be replaced with a 'PEX' system.

Are you sure the copper pipes are really that bad? Copper is easy enough to repair if you know how to solder it or can find a friend who does. I'm all in favor of replacing with pex in the course of a rebuild where everything is torn apart anyway but it shouldn't be necessary otherwise, Unless the copper has freezing damage that affects everything you should be able to salvage part of it.

You can also mix PEX and copper without any problems.

Boondocker 04-14-2010 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 837659)
You can also mix PEX and copper without any problems.

Unless it has been swollen from freezing. One big problem with copper is that if you develop a problem on the road and need to repair it, there is no telling how much you will have to pull out to get to a point where the PEX and copper will join. I vote for yanking it and using the recycling profits to pay for the update.

aircooled4 04-14-2010 12:31 PM

Im redoing my 67 Safari, using all PEX...its quite cheap and very easy to work with. I redid the plumbing in our house last summer, all PEX. I bought the crimping tool, expensive but works great and will be used in the trailer also...

mimiandrews 04-14-2010 01:39 PM

We replumbed our Safari with Pex a couple of years ago, and it works great. We used the crimp fittings.

One thing that proved really, really necessary was planning. Draw a rough schematic of the old system before you start cutting. Plan ahead carefully so the last place you have to join Pex to fittings is located where the crimping tool has room to operate. You can usually measure and pre-assemble the parts that go where the crimp tool cannot. Install the lines as an assembly and make that last joint out in an open area.

Good luck.

ventport 04-14-2010 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mimiandrews (Post 837703)
We replumbed our Safari with Pex a couple of years ago, and it works great. We used the crimp fittings.

One thing that proved really, really necessary was planning. Draw a rough schematic of the old system before you start cutting. Plan ahead carefully so the last place you have to join Pex to fittings is located where the crimping tool has room to operate. You can usually measure and pre-assemble the parts that go where the crimp tool cannot. Install the lines as an assembly and make that last joint out in an open area.

Good luck.

Now that is good advice!

Globie64 04-14-2010 02:47 PM

This is interesting. I replaced all the faucets in our '64 with some groovy Zurn products, and hooking up the copper was a pain. I used compression fittings, more expensive but easier to do in tight quarters than sweat soldering, and no chance of catching the fiberglass bathroom alight. I've entirely re-plumbed not one but two vintage 1907 homes myself with copper, and switching to Pex sounds better and better.

easyride 04-14-2010 05:04 PM

Go on Ebay search for compact crimper,under $40.00 ,you will save that much on a small job.
Dave

TG Twinkie 04-14-2010 08:15 PM

All fittings required.
 
www.iplumb.tv has all the different fittings "Flair It" for every application. Even those that connect directly to the sink faucets or for the flexible lines used to connect a sink faucet. Those with standard pipe thread as well.
I don't sell the stuff, I just like it.

jbrownokc 04-17-2010 09:08 PM

Sorry all for the late response, and thanks for all of your input. While I am sure that I could handle the job myself, I am pressured by two kids in diapers, and too many other projects (including a 1964 Cadillac DeVille Convertible) that are in line before the airstream. I committed that I would not let things linger on the Airstream, because we are really wanting to get started taking the kids on trips, so I will more than likely have someone do the job for me.

From what I have been told is that b/c the pipes have all been frozen over and over for many years that the whole shooting match needs to be replaced. I am taking it to another guy on Monday, and will have him convince me of this fact prior to having any work done.

Thanks again all. Happy Trails,
JBB

ALANSD 09-22-2010 06:27 PM

great thread ..I am going to give up on the old copper in my 66. I fixed one leak and found two more. Before I flood out the floor again, I will look in to the PEX redo. Never done much plumbing so it will be interesting to say the least.

Any ideas on about how much tubing to get?

What is the best way to estimate, just measure as much as I can see of the copper? Also I assume 1/2" is what I would use.


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