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Author Topic: Ready to get going with the plumbing! Need some help!  (Read 3216 times)
grantgoold
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« on: August 16, 2011, 07:19:46 PM »

Getting ready to install the plumbing system. Will carefully layout all the elements before we actually begin. Need some adivse on size of tubing. We are going to use a PEX system including crimps, manifolds and the like. I am planning on a shut off valve for each location. Right now I am looking at the 6 outlet manifolds (radiant heat type) This will allow for expansion in the future should I need it.

What is your experience with each diameter pipe?  3/8, 1/2, 5/8......

Will be using expansion tank and two pumps. Will only have the following:

Shower
Vanity
Galley sink
outdoor service center and shower

Anyone's real life experiences with flow and pressures would be great.


Thanks in advance.

Grant
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 07:22:29 PM »

With a manifold all you will need is 1/2 inch supply to each location

I also have found that only one pump is necessary to keep the pressure up and I don't have an expansion tank and have not found it to be necessary

HTH

YMMV

Melbo
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 07:28:52 PM »

I agree with Melbo. I did use red for hot and Insulated hot water runs. Bob PS some front load washers require a 5gpm water supply.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 08:12:34 PM »

what they said, 1/2 is perfect for your app. we have an expansion tank in our bus. 
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 09:46:38 PM »

I. Use half in my home and it works great,eve on a six headed shower head.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 09:55:14 PM »

We also used 1/2" and are very satisfied with the performance.  I don't think you'd be happy with anything smaller than that going to the shower, but you could get away with 3/8 for the sinks and commode.  That said, I recommend sticking with 1/2" throughout because you'll get better pricing on the tubing by buying it in bulk, and having to keep track of only one size fitting makes things a bit easier.

Bear in mind that the larger diameter (1/2") PEX can hold a lot of water.  The ID of 1/2" PEX is 0.475" for a cross-section of 0.177 square inch.  That means that a foot of it will hold 2.13 cubic inches of water.  Doesn't sound like much until you multiply by the length of your runs; a 27' run holds a quart.

By the time your hot water line gets from the water heater, to the manifold, to the shower or sink, it could easily be 27' or more, and that's a quart of cold water you need to dump out of the line before the water runs hot.  Just something to consider.

As much as I would have liked to use blue for cold and red for hot, we could not justify buying two separate rolls, at a higher cost-per-foot.  We went with the clear stuff throughout.  And we used 3/4 PVC pipe for everything upstream of the manifold.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 02:56:19 AM »

I use a Manabloc manifold in my bus.  It works very nicely.  The one caveat is you need to purchase adapters for the ends of the manifold for the cold and hot sides.  I ran a 1/2 line from the cold side to the water heater and then the 1/2 line coming from water heater supplies the hot side.

I ran 1/2" lines to everything.  I bought two 100 foot coils of PEX and have plenty left.  One is marked with red ink and the other with blue ink.
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 03:44:08 AM »

color: ck price  was same reguardless of color here.   Bob
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 04:25:05 AM »

I used the manobloc as well . Pex with clamps. Also used the expansion tank. Marc
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 04:37:43 AM »

Two different colors were the same price. Get red and blue or white. Wasn't really exorbitant to buy two 100 foot rolls. $45 per roll? Nothing compared to how much we've spent on other "stuff". Color coding keeps the feeds clearly understood. We used SharkBite or GatorBite push-in fittings and LOVE them! No leaks ever...We used 3/4" from the regulator (do install a regulator) with a 3/4" tee to the water heater. Then both hot from the water heater and cold from the regulator were 3/4" that was "teed" off into the shower, toilet, bathroom sink etc. So 3/4" trunk with 1/2" feeds to toilet, shower, etc. no manifold....but, I do recommend an expansion tank if you are using a tank water heater. two reasons:

1. It will reduce the pressure drop in the, let's say, shower when someone turns on the kitchen sink or flushes the commode (do you have a toilet?). That kind of stuff.

2. The expansion of the water in the hot lines and the tank as it is heated is pretty amazing. I am installing an expansion tank to absorb the expanding heating water since right now when my water heater has completed heating my 30 gallon tank of water, it really pressurizes the hot water system...alot. Turn on the hot tap and it comes out hard for a few seconds.

Just my newbie take on it Smiley
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 04:50:06 AM »

Type of line right  1/2" with manifold.  just run the hot line to the left side of faucet use the KISS system.
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 07:07:28 AM »

color: ck price  was same reguardless of color here.   Bob


Just to be clear, when I said we got clear for less than what blue and red would cost it was not because of a difference in the price of same-sized rolls, but because we were able to buy a single larger roll, which was cheaper by the foot.  If we had used two different colors, we would have had to buy smaller rolls which were more expensive by the foot.

-Sean
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 07:32:28 AM »

I'm wondering why Grant has two pumps?  I don't think pump failures are all that common.  I'll admit I did buy a spare pump, but I really have no idea why.  The pump never failed when I had my travel trailer.  I originally had two pumps plumbed into my system that both were switched at the same time, but those pumps were cheap and one wasn't really enough.  They didn't work that well and I ended up installing a single Sensor VSD pump instead.

I suppose if you are fulltiming and boondocking a lot you could wear out the pump and need a spare.  Even then, there are lots of RV dealers all over that have replacement pumps.  I would be more concerned about carrying spares for items that could break in the boonies and disable the coach from being able to move.  You can't carry spares for everything.  I have one 18 gallon Rubbermaid container of spare parts.  I have belts, some hoses, some hose clamps, fuel filters, coolant, oil, and some ATF in that bin.  I may have an oil filter too, buy why I don't know.
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 08:09:11 AM »

We have two pumps mounted because of failures.  The first night out on our last trip the pressure sensor in our expensive Shurflo pump let go.  Thank goodness for the pan under the tanks,  because all 100 gallons of water went out the drain by morning. This pump is under the bed.  Now there are two pumps mounted side by side so it's just a matter of switching the hose connections to make the change. 

It seems,  from the Shurflo people,  that these sensors can be damaged by city water pressure. We do have a pressure regulator on the city inlet.  We have also installed a check valve after the pump so the city water will not pressure against the pump.

Don and Cary
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2011, 08:37:39 AM »

I used the Shurflo Whisper Quiet-two in parellel that works great.  Granite there only about 35psi, but that's all you really need.  With two, if one is showering, the other can still do dishes without the shower changing temperature.

You should seriously consider using a bigger manifold-it isn't much more.  In your list you forgot the toilet (should be separate), and if you want to add later a washer/dryer, dishwasher, ice maker, etc. Good to plan for future expansion.

So currently your hot would be the shower, vanity, kit sink, outside faucet, and outside shower.
Your cold would be shower, vanity, toilet, kit sink, outside faucet, and outside shower.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2011, 01:25:06 PM »

Thank you very much for your real world experiences. This is one of the many reasons I am addicted to reading almost everything posted. Various opinions and great stories.

Thanks again,

Grant
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2011, 02:55:40 PM »

Here's my story on the subject:  http://www.gumpydog.com/Bus/MC9_WIP/Plumbing/Fresh_Water_Distribution/fresh_water_distribution.htm

Strongly suggest you not use crimp rings and use the removable fittings instead. You will have to take something apart sometime, and you'll find it much easier with the removable
fittings rather than crimp rings.

I have 2 pumps because one was given to me. I have never used it, but it's plumbed up so that all I would have to do is move a couple PEX lines (removable fittings) and install the ones
for the 2nd pump and I'd have water.

I have a variable speed pump, and I also installed 2 pressure tanks. I like having the tanks. The pumps run fast and furious when they run. The pressure tanks will get me though a
navy shower if I'm very conservative. Usually, though, the pumps run at least once during a shower.

One mistake I made on mine was not putting in a 3/4" line from the shore line to the tank for faster filling. However, I have a pressure regulator on my inlet, as well as a standard RV
inlet connector on the side of the bus, and I don't think I could have bought either in 3/4, so they would have restricted the inlet, anyway.

craig
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2011, 02:58:49 PM »

Quote
Strongly suggest you not use crimp rings and use the removable fittings instead. You will have to take something apart sometime, and you'll find it much easier with the removable fittings rather than crimp rings.

I SUPER ditto this! Buy the little small blue plastic U-shaped remover tool (comes in a package of 5 I think). Cheap...5-6 Bucks. Easy to remove and redo your plumbing...crimp rings? Not so much...
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2011, 04:24:15 PM »

Hello;     Dont have much experience with pex  only from a long time ago. 
however if you are using pvc for the drain lines why not use cpvc for the water lines. It is cheap and easy to use and if you design properly you can have it all in one bay or at most part of a second bay. (Only for freezing considerations.  My system has been in service since 99 and has performed well.   
    One problem  I forgot to glue a joint, only used the cleaner on it.  well it stayed together for 7 years and 40K miles before the joint popped  oh well  so much for the purple cleaner..  anyway I used pvc for cold and cpvc for hot but if I had to do it over it would all be cpvc..  simple, cheap, and durable.
   Dont have any problems with pex or any other system but I believe this is cheaper than most.
      Regards   mike

 
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2011, 04:30:33 PM »

I SUPER ditto this! Buy the little small blue plastic U-shaped remover tool (comes in a package of 5 I think). Cheap...5-6 Bucks. Easy to remove and redo your plumbing...crimp rings? Not so much...

The removal tool for Sharkbite fittings comes one at a time at Home Depot.  They are maybe $1.25 or $1.50 for the 1/2" one. 

I had two minor leaks with Sharkbite fittings.  One wasn't clear if the faucet was leaking or the Sharkbite fitting.  I replaced both.  (Faucet was under warranty.)  The other case I think was a bad install.
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 01:24:20 AM »

I'm confused as to why folks are using a manifold then separate lines to the various appliances.  Seems like a lot of extra pipe laying to have separate runs for each appliance.  Would  it not suffice to plumb it like a small house?
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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2011, 05:08:14 AM »

The manifold allows water to any particular item to be shut off if there is a problem.  It really isn't much extra pipe at least in my case.  My only run that is over 5 or 6 feet is to the water heater and back.  The use of a manifold also allows direct runs with no tees or anything to leak.

It is becoming popular to use a manifold in new houses and run individual PEX lines to each item that needs water.  The flexible PEX can be run a lot faster as there are no elbows or anything like that.
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2011, 06:56:33 AM »

The manifold allows water to any particular item to be shut off if there is a problem.  It really isn't much extra pipe at least in my case.  My only run that is over 5 or 6 feet is to the water heater and back.  The use of a manifold also allows direct runs with no tees or anything to leak.

It is becoming popular to use a manifold in new houses and run individual PEX lines to each item that needs water.  The flexible PEX can be run a lot faster as there are no elbows or anything like that.

I didn't use a manifold...but I will probably redo my plumbing and install one at some point. Just makes it cleaner. And since we are opening the bay doors and showing our plumbing job off to the world, clean is good.  Cool  Now, how do you run your pex from your manifold to your appliances without elbows? In order to keep the pex against the bay walls and floor and ceiling, I used several to keep things clean. That's a trick if you didn't have to use any elbows...
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2011, 07:43:21 AM »

I'll emphasize the strong consideration for a pressure regulator to protect your plumbing connections from high water pressures from campgrounds or municipal water supplies.

Too many stories of waking to the sounds of water running down the steps during the night after a connection was forced apart and flooded the place.

And, a high volume/high pressure method to fill the tanks that bypasses your protected plumbing.
With a vent in the tank that can keep up to a fast/strong fill. Rectangular tanks don't look too good blown out to oval...

Remember, there's others in line behind you.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2011, 08:08:31 AM »

I used Flex-Pex tubing that is made with a different process that makes it more flexible.  Most of my plumbing runs go through the floor above the tanks where there was room for the tubing to bend without elbows.  For my bathroom sink the tubing runs through the fuel tank bay and I used preformed metal pieces that bend the PEX into a 90 to go up to the sink.
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« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2011, 08:10:07 AM »

I'll emphasize the strong consideration for a pressure regulator to protect your plumbing connections from high water pressures from campgrounds or municipal water supplies.

Too many stories of waking to the sounds of water running down the steps during the night after a connection was forced apart and flooded the place.

And, a high volume/high pressure method to fill the tanks that bypasses your protected plumbing.
With a vent in the tank that can keep up to a fast/strong fill. Rectangular tanks don't look too good blown out to oval...

Remember, there's others in line behind you.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

I have a Watts 263A pressure regulator set at 45 PSI, the same pressure as the two SHURflo 2088 pumps.   Upstream of the regulator is a Banjo strainer, and this feeds into a G.E. whole-house sediment filter before going to a home-made 8-branch manifold.   The pumps are mounted on a pull-out tray for easy access, and each pump can be disconnected and removed in less than a minute without any tools.   Above the pumps is a Watts 2-gallon accumulator tank.   There is also a valve to fill the tank(s) from the city water.   (All this in a space 12" wide and 28" deep, next to one tank.)   Each of my fresh water tanks has a Whitecap 6033 stainless-steel deck fill (designed for boats) which cost no more than a cheezy plastic RV fill, and these allow me to fill either or both tanks through 1-1/4" feeds.   I use GatorBite fittings from Lowes (cheaper than SharkBites from Home Despot) for the 1/2" PEX to each appliance.   So far so good.

John
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« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2011, 06:33:49 PM »

On the location of fresh water runs: all my fresh water is above the floor. Tank 75gal  located under bed. pump under 1/2 bath sink-water heater under kit sink. all plumbing sloped to gravity drain with a valve at lowest point to drain outside. After doing the in bay way three times I decided to try this way. Found no difficulty keeping a slight slope running behind cabinets and crossing from one side of bus to the other all above floor line. new build includes master bath  plus half bath(butt hutt) and washer. using 5 gal per minute pump(required for my particular washer).  FWIW   Bob
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« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2011, 10:10:10 PM »

I have a 130gal water tank, two 10gal electric water heaters, and two Whisper Quiet Shurflo water pumps under my bed.  The bed is raised since the tanks and such are in between the wheel wells.  I made my own manifold system out of copper pipe and brass ball valves.  One valve per individual water appliance.  I also have Qest piping and fittings (GASP!).  Haven't had a failure in the 17 years it has been in the bus.  BUT-I imagine I will eventually have to replace all the piping with PEX fittings.  Not a big deal since all my plumbing is easily accessible-as is my electrical and sewage-but that's why it took me 6 years to build-building in the engineering to be able to remove and repair items easily.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2011, 05:43:11 PM »

CVPC works, first bus, but PEX is easier to work with. I mused crimp because the new fittings, Sharkbite etc, were just into the market.
Manifolds are wonderful. One for cold supply. One for hot supply. The reasoning behind the home run system is in case, when. you have a problem you can isolate the problem for fixing without shutting down the whole system. And yes red for hot and blue for cold.
Pumps are good for about a year of run time. So if you plan to do a lot of boondocking then carry a spare pump.
Plan in your drains for both hot and cold. Plan in an ability to suck in antifreeze/disinfectant etc.
I don't have room in the tank bay so filters are outside when connected to city water.

Bill
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2011, 06:08:59 PM »

... Pumps are good for about a year of run time. So if you plan to do a lot of boondocking then carry a spare pump.

Wow, what pumps are you using?

My pumps have been running 24/7/365 for seven straight years...  In that time, the main fresh water pump (as opposed to the dedicated separate pump for our drinking water) has pumped over 25,000 gallons of water.

Maybe a year or so ago the pump started to lose its ability to draw from the tank (the pump is above the tank and must lift the water three and a half feet through a dip tube) when the tank was very low, and I had to rebuild the head.  I did use a rebuild kit but have since discovered that reconditioning the diaphragm with WD40 works equally well if the diaphragm is not ruptured.  Both motors are still running strong and have not even needed so much as brushes in that time.

FWIW.  YMMV.

-Sean
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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2011, 08:03:32 PM »

Why the high dollar shark fitting ? you can remove the crimp ring I have the Zurn removal tool cost 25 bucks and with the pocket crimp tool I can get in place that needs crimping as easy as you can with a shark fitting

good luck 
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« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2011, 08:30:12 PM »

Also make sure you protect the lines from abrasion. Unlike a house that stays still, a bus in movement can rub hoses in ways you will not believe. Be overly cautious when a line goes through a partition or metal piece. There are plastic shields that slip in holes to insulate lines from other materials. Also tie-wrap them as often as possible. Take a look into your engine compartment and note how rubber hoses are secured. You will NEVER be too careful.
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