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Author Topic: Bunch O' water piping questions  (Read 1873 times)
WEC4104
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« on: June 26, 2007, 09:23:01 PM »

Apparently I was not as thorough in my winterizing procedure this past year (or it got colder) because I have developed at least two leaks in my water system.  One is near my kitchen sink and should be easy to repair.   

The other....  well let's just say my wife left me unsupervised one evening this week, and now the bathroom tub and two walls have been ripped out and I am looking at bare walls and plastic pipes. I found the second leak, and hopefully that's it.

My coach plumbing (by previous owners) is done mostly in a plastic piping that is battleship grey.  I went to a local RV place to get some parts and pieces, and the guy said they haven't made that stuff in years. He claimed there were leaking problems in modular homes and the lawyers had a field day. I was able to buy some grey fittings, but no pipe/tubing.

Everything I am seeing now is PEX.  Strangely enough, the PEX I have seen is translucent, and I thought water lines should block visible light to prevent stuff from growing in the water lines.

The guy at the the RV place said it was okay to use the grey fittings on PEX, but the white PEX fittings could not be used on the grey tubing.  Is he correct with this?

There seems to be several different ways to attach a fitting to PEX. Is there a preferred connector style?

Lastly, how bad is the grey stuff?  I really don't want to start replacing everything.

Wayne
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superpickle
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 09:40:27 PM »

Well, The Polybutaline is Krappy stuff.. It was Outlawed and replaced with the White stuff. My house has it and the only problems we have had are Cheep fittings leaking and one section of plastic pipe a Mouse chewed through  Roll Eyes
Dont know about the fittings, except the Tool to put those rings on is expensive..
The white stuff comes in Red and White and is sold a LOWE's and Home Depot.. We get below freezing here in winter. Got down to 9* last winter.. Pipes froze, but Did Not break.
In any case, Drain the pipes in the coach for winter unless your off somewhere..

Paul...
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WEC4104
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 10:18:16 PM »

Thanks for the feedback Paul.  I came across the following video, in which a guy explains different connectors. The expensive tool may not be the only way to go.

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/video/pex-water-pipe-connections.aspx

Last fall, I completely drained my fresh water tank, drained my water heater, blew compressed air through the lines, and left all faucets turned on. I did not dump any pink anti freeze stuff in however.
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 11:04:48 PM »

WEC - the Polybutyl pipe/fittings (if that's what your refering to- also referred to as qest) manufactured by certain companies such as Shell had the biggest problem with the fittings - this pipe and fittings are still manufactured and any new stock should be OK to replace - they make compression fittings that don't require a crimping tool - HTH
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 05:27:09 AM »

WEC - the Polybutyl pipe/fittings (if that's what your refering to- also referred to as qest) manufactured by certain companies such as Shell had the biggest problem with the fittings - this pipe and fittings are still manufactured and any new stock should be OK to replace - they make compression fittings that don't require a crimping tool - HTH
>
Wayne,
There are 3 hardware stores in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, that carry all the parts and pipe you are talking about.
It seems there is a lot of trailer parks in the area that need those parts in stock.
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WEC4104
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 05:57:10 AM »

Yep, sounds like I have the Polybutyl stuff.  I didn't know what it was called, but now that I have a name for it, I was was able to do some web searches. Seems like there are a lot of folks that have had problems with it, and talk of class action lawsuits.

I am going to be facing some decisions regarding how deep I want to get into replacing pieces.  If I find I have a bad fitting at one of the connections, I may just replace the fitting with another grey one just like it.  If I find any of the piping itself that is bad, I can't see going to extra effort to find a source for the bad stuff, so I will switch that piece over to PEX.  For the amount of work I would be doing, I'll stick with the connector styles that do not require me to buy the crimping tool.

Lastly, now that I have the bathroom walls ripped apart, I have to decide whether to perform elective surgery and start replacing pieces that have not failed.
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superpickle
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 07:20:48 AM »

Thanks for the feedback Paul.  I came across the following video, in which a guy explains different connectors. The expensive tool may not be the only way to go.

http://http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/video/pex-water-pipe-connections.aspx

Last fall, I completely drained my fresh water tank, drained my water heater, blew compressed air through the lines, and left all faucets turned on. I did not dump any pink anti freeze stuff in however.



HOT DAM  ! they show you how to make Houla Hoops  Grin

Thanks for the Vid link.. Very cool stuff  Wink
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 08:13:15 AM »

That battleship gray tubing is from Qest and it is still being made.  I just teed into my cold line to my outside shower for the misting system and used quick press fittings from Home Depot.  I wish they had been available when I originally did my plumbing since it is so quick.  Just to show how well it works, Freightliner is using the quick press fittings on most all of the air lines on the trucks.  It's great since you can remove the lines by hand (when the pressure is off) at anytime.  My Qest fittings are working just fine after 12 years.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2007, 08:21:44 AM »

Hi Wayne,
 I went to one of the big box stores and bought some expensive white fittings that worked fine for the gray pipe. I only needed two so it was not that bad. good luck, ttomas
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 09:55:15 AM »

I see the push-in fittings all the time in industry, mostly for air. The only problem with them is they have a higher leakage rate. On air, a little leakage is usually no big deal since it doesn't make a mess. I'd rather not have that suprise waiting on me with a water line tho. . . We used the push-in fittings for a water lines in dad's new shop to the water cooler, I think we found 1 that didn't leak!  Sad  We abandoned the water cooler idea & capped the line.


I'd suggest using the compression fittings made for the tubing you are connecting, if you need to, you can re-use the fitting, & you can take it apart when necessary. Oh, you can usually fix any 'start-up' leaks by tightening the nut a little more.  Grin

I'd inspect ALL of the old stuff that's now exposed & replace everything that's questionable before covering it up.
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2007, 05:46:59 PM »

Wayne,
Some years ago, there was a class action suit regarding "QEST" plumbing.  Seems the problem was leaks due to deterioration of the fittings.  Go for the PEX and you should eliminate your leakage problems for good.  Also recommend you always use a pressure regulator when hooking up to campground supplies.
HTH,
Dennis 
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