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Author Topic: Is copper pipe OK for water?  (Read 4249 times)
gus
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2009, 01:49:29 PM »

PEX will resist freezing much better than copper. I've had mine freeze a couple of times and no leaks yet.

On the other hand, water pipes are not your only problem. Traps freeze, toilets freeze and waste drain lines will freeze. Tanks will freeze when low but probably not suffer, the drain lines and valves will.

I, too, have done a lot of copper sweating but the Pex is so much easier and you can make those long sweeping curves when necessary.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2009, 01:54:40 PM »

If you are comfortable with copper and can get a good price, then by all means, use it.  My '94 MH is all done in sweated copper and absolutely no problems with it.  PEX is easier but well done copper is so much prettier.
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2009, 01:57:19 PM »

I would worry about burning up my valuable Bus Conversion making a mistake installing the copper pipe.  Plastic I can do; my soddering/sweating skills are practically nonexistant. 

We used plastic in the homestead cabin and installed freeze risers every soosss often, plus the entire run was designed with a dedicated low spot winter drain system with vent valves.

Seemed to work, but never got cold enough (+5F outside) to find out.  The soil temperature kept the indoor plumbing above freezing.  In a Bus Conversion, is plastic prefered?   HB of CJ
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2009, 04:21:06 PM »

Don't you folks winterize to prevent freezing?  Everybody seems to be praising PEX because it can freeze, but the fittings usually can't freeze.  I turned off valves to the water heater in my old travel trailer and they split with the little bit of water still in them.

I suppose if you are on the road and happen to get caught in freezing weather then PEX might help.
I don't winterize, it's a matter a optimism with me.  I keep hoping one of these winters it won't go below freezing.  The 2 stroke is my effort to help the planet warm up.
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WonkyGlen
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2009, 04:50:20 PM »

A lot of energy (heat) is wasted getting hot water delivered with copper pipe. The copper acts as a heat sink until get gets up to the hot water temperature. Not too significant on a short run but at 10 feet or more starts to suck up the $$$.
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jjrbus
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2009, 05:11:33 PM »

If you crawl in your bay and remove the tunnel covers you will see lots and lots of copper lines, water, air fuel so yes copper will work in a bus.
 I used plastic but if you are comfortable working  with copper, why not?? It might be more expensive, but you are not plumbing the Pentagon.   
In plumbing my bus I made sure that all pipes slope to a drain point. Freezeing/winterizeing problem solved!!
                                     HTH Jim
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2009, 08:30:55 PM »

You'll also notice they tend to use copper tubing in buses, not hard pipe like in houses.
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2009, 11:09:16 PM »

There is a fitting that screws onto the shore water hose fitting on the coach.  It has a air valve stem mounted in the center.  It is used to purge the water out of the lines before winter storage.  You first drain all the tanks and with a little air pressure they drain faster (hot water).  Then open a faucet and hit the system with 40 pounds of air.....not 90 although any system connected to a garden hose should withstand 90.  After you work your way through all the faucets in the kitchen, bathroom and outside wash/shower your lines are ready to freeze.  No need to add that antifreeze stuff to your water system.  Pour that antifreeze into the traps of every sink and shower, absolutely.  Way cheaper and way better in my book.

2 cents worth +

John
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kyle4501
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2009, 05:33:24 AM »

There is a fitting that screws onto the shore water hose fitting on the coach.  It has a air valve stem mounted in the center.  It is used to purge the water out of the lines before winter storage.  You first drain all the tanks and with a little air pressure they drain faster (hot water).  Then open a faucet and hit the system with 40 pounds of air.....not 90 although any system connected to a garden hose should withstand 90.  After you work your way through all the faucets in the kitchen, bathroom and outside wash/shower your lines are ready to freeze.   . . . . .

That doesn't always work, especially if the pipes were poorly run.
That is why I try to hedge towards as many abuse tolerant materials as I can.
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2009, 05:59:53 AM »

You'll also notice they tend to use copper tubing in buses, not hard pipe like in houses.

All the pipe in the mechanical channel on every bus I've ever looked at is hard copper. Coolant lines, air conditioner lines, and I think power steering. I think fuel lines and air lines are about the only soft tubing I've see installed by the mfg.

Copper in a bus is not a problem, whether soft or rigid. It just has to be installed properly.

Installing PEX is much easier than copper, but with time and effort copper could be made to make an outstanding installation.

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luvrbus
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2009, 06:42:51 AM »

The only trouble with copper pipe is the PH in the water needs to be above 6.5 or it will corrode most Cities supplies are 7.0 to 8.0 PH but good well water will be below 6.5    good luck
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BG6
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2009, 07:07:26 AM »

You'll also notice they tend to use copper tubing in buses, not hard pipe like in houses.

All the pipe in the mechanical channel on every bus I've ever looked at is hard copper. Coolant lines, air conditioner lines, and I think power steering. I think fuel lines and air lines are about the only soft tubing I've see installed by the mfg.

Copper in a bus is not a problem, whether soft or rigid. It just has to be installed properly.


Notice though that the tunnel has the least flew of any part of the coach.  If you are putting pipe along the wall, it will have significantly more flex to deal with.

Also, remember that copper HARDENS when it is "worked" -- I'm not sure that this would be a major issue, but again, PEX is flexible.

For me, the fatal flaw with copper is that you need a lot of heat to work it.  Yeah, great, let's use a blowtorch inside a confined space filled with stuff that burns and which might have stray wisps of fuel fumes wafting through . . !

So, do the math.  Copper is bendable, PEX is flexible.  Copper needs heat, PEX is a cold process.  Copper can't handle freezing well, PEX is okay though fittings may fail.  Copper has to be fought into place, PEX is easier to work with.

Looks to me like we have a clear winner in PEX.

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belfert
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2009, 08:46:44 AM »

You'll also notice they tend to use copper tubing in buses, not hard pipe like in houses.

All the pipe in the mechanical channel on every bus I've ever looked at is hard copper. Coolant lines, air conditioner lines, and I think power steering. I think fuel lines and air lines are about the only soft tubing I've see installed by the mfg.

I'll admit I have only seen copper in my bus and one other and it was all tubing.  My bus was built in Mexico as more of an economy model and it only had copper tubing for the A/C lines.  Power steering and coolant lines in my rubber.  The coolant and power steering lines are run through metric plastic pipe (approx 2") through the baggage area for protection.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2009, 08:55:16 AM »

I used CPVC for the second time because of ease and cost. I now have to replum a 3rd time because all my lines froze and split again. I'm going with Pex this time.
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Tom Y
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2009, 09:10:22 AM »

If going copper you may want to think about 3/8 tubing. 1/2 line will supply a good flow, but is more water to run while waiting for it to get hot.  Tom Y
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