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Old 08-18-2019, 06:24 PM   #1
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Water system repair - what fittings?

So, I needed to replace the sink feed line on my van, it having failed at an elbow fitting. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out what connectors to use. I don't have a lot of experience with PEX plumbing.

I tried using a sharkbite connector, but I found it would only seal under pressure and leaked every time the pressure dropped. While this is fine in a house it's obviously no good in an RV. Just forgetting to turn on the pump before turning on the faucet makes a puddle in the cabinet.

I'm also a bit confused about what pipe Sportsmobile used, it's gray (all the other PEX stuff I see is red or blue) and seems loose on 3/8" barbs but too small for 1/2". I wish they'd used something standard because I've bought and thrown out two sets of fittings now trying to find something that works.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:36 PM   #2
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I'm really learning to hate PEX. I know how to sweat copper pipe. I know how to deal with hose connections and compression fittings, and a know how to glue PVC. But PEX just seems to be a mess of expensive proprietary systems. I really don't want to re-plumb the whole van just to deal with one bad fitting.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:18 PM   #3
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You don't have PEX pipe in your van, to old. Hopefully someone that has worked on an older van knows the type of fittings you need.

PEX is really pretty easy to work with.

-greg
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:37 PM   #4
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I think you're right, I think now that I read up on it that it must be polybutylene. Well, that's bad news. Stuff's been banned here for years so the odds of getting couplers for it are probably pretty minuscule.

Saying lots of bad words right now that I won't repeat here.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:54 PM   #5
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Some sites claim Flair-It fittings will work on PB, anyone else have experience?
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orv View Post
But PEX just seems to be a mess of expensive proprietary systems. I really don't want to re-plumb the whole van just to deal with one bad fitting.
PEX is the best thing since sliced bread. Very easy to install and I have never had a leak to date.

The "slip fittings" are the fastest repair I know of, but they are expensive. If your using it on the right pipe (CPVC, rigid copper, ect...) and push it all the way to the fitting stop it will not leak or blow off.

PEX fittings are branching out to different types of pipe OD's as well.

I use the "crimp fittings" and the copper crimp rings most of the time now.

No leak repairs in our SMB yet but if I can make PEX work I will use it. It worked great in our Airstream.

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Old 08-21-2019, 01:57 PM   #7
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Yeah, I think the reason the slip-on fittings weren't working is what I have isn't PEX, it's PB, which has a different outer diameter.
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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It looks like Flair-It fittings are the ticket. They're a plastic flare type fitting and seal against the ID of the tubing, not the OD. The 3/8-inch ones claim to fit both PEX and polybutylene. They're listed as for "accessible use only," which doesn't inspire a TON of confidence, but it seems to have made a watertight seal on my PB plumbing.


I used Flair-It #16870, 3/8-inch plastic to 1/2-inch Male Pipe Thread, which I connected to a 1/2-inch FPT to 3/8-inch compression adapter to fit my sink supply line.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:49 PM   #9
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Go to an RV store. My travel trailer is pretty much all PEX piping and connectors. The store had every fitting required to fix my toilet connection and to convert the plastic connectors to PEX. I now carry a crimping tool, some connectors and piping with me.


There are some videos about the shark bite slip on type connectors. They use rubber sliding seals so you know what that means. Many suggest that these type of fittings should only be used on the outside of buildings.



On another note, PEX has been in use in Europe for many decades. My son had his whole house converted to PEX a few years ago. It was fast and efficient. The only draw back is PEX should not be exposed to sunlight.
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