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Old 04-20-2017, 08:38 AM   #1
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SMB Plumbing Questions | Shurflo Water Pump

Hi Folks -

After 12 years, and a cracked housing, I'm having to replace my original Shurflo 2088-422-444 water pump. Which of course, is no longer made, and has been replaced by model number 4008-101-E65. Which I have purchased and in my hot little hands.

Fortunately, the new replacement pump is the size physical size (roughly) and wired identically. Unfortunately, the flowline thru the pump is offset from the old about 1 to 1.5 inches. <sigh>

Any of you who have a SMB the same age as mine (2005) and who have looked at the piping will notice that it is of a rigid design using non-flexible piping. (see image below).

SO, somehow I need to offset the rigid inlet/outlet piping by about 1.5 inches. After a brief conversation w/ SMB Indiana, they suggested a mod using flexible hose like what's under your bathroom sink in your house. Unfortunately, there isn't even any room for those types of connections.

My pump is up against my inverter.

I'm left with running a braided flexible hose from the bottom of the water tank to the inlet and doing something similar to the pump outlet. Shurflo even makes a kit (94-591-01).

Here's my questions

SMB put this rigid plumbing in here to stay using ... what's the piping called? (PEX, Qest?) ... it's got the brass bands on it that you put around the plastic piping with some god-awful special expensive tool. and the only way you can get it off is with a hacksaw. (see other photo below)

Has anyone tried pushing braided hose onto one of the connections? And if so, what's the best way of securing it water-tight?

I have to admit, SMB put stuff in to stay - but replacing this pump has turned from an hour job to a day+ long project.

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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_8105809.jpg   IMG_20170419_152800467.jpg   _8105811.jpg  

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Old 04-20-2017, 09:38 AM   #2
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This situation does not need to be all that bad. Yes, the space is tight and it is a pain in the a**. But it can be done.

If this were my project, I would just re-plumb this section of your plumbing with PEX, and configure it to match the fittings on the new pump. PEX is easy to work with once you get the hang of it. You can get a set of appropriate tools for about $100. Not chump change, but it could be worse.

There are three options in the PEX world.
1. ProPEX uses plastic rings, and the tools are very expensive. Unless you want to re-plumb your house, forget this one.

2. Copper crimp rings. This is what SMB uses. You will need a tubing cutter, a crimp ring removal tool, and a crimping tool. Total cost: about $100. You can get all of this at Home Depot. Don't get the really cheap stuff. You'll just end up replacing it when it doesn't work. One of the keys here is to get a good tubing cutter. You MUST cut the tubing perfectly square. If you don't, leaks will result.

3. Stainless steel clamp rings. These are similar to the copper crimp rings, but they use a ratcheting clamp process instead of a squeeze crimp. You will need the same tubing cutter as above. You'll also need a clamp tool. No crimp ring removal tool needed.

I currently use the copper crimp rings, but I wish I had bought tools for the stainless clamp rings instead. For my next job I will probably bite the bullet and get a set of tools for the stainless clamp rings. The crimps require many four letter words in tight spaces. The clamps only require a couple.

1. The fitting shown in your photo has been scarred by your hacksaw. It will likely leak if you try to re-use it. Don't do it.

2. You can also use the "push to fit" (PTF) fittings. The PTF fittings cost about $5.00 a pop, so they aren't cheap, but they are really easy to use--and they can be removed and re-used, which is very cool. They also work very well in tight places--where the clunky crimp tool (and the somewhat less-clunky clamp tool) can face challenges. I'll stick a pic of a water heater bypass system that I installed in an earlier rig at the bottom of this post. It illustrates the use of copper clamp rings in conjunction with PTF fittings.

These are links for Home Depot tools. You can get them other places, as well. Check out the videos that HD provides--they give you the basics. And again--you don't need top-end tools, but get decent ones, or you will be crying into your Cheerios. The stuff in the links would do just fine.

PEX Cutting Tool
SharkBite PEX Pipe Cutter-U701A - The Home Depot

Copper Crimp Ring Removal Tool
SharkBite Copper Crimp Ring Removal Tool-23055 - The Home Depot

Copper Crimp Crimping Tool
SharkBite 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. Dual PEX Copper Crimp Ring Tool-23251 - The Home Depot

Stainless Steel Clamp Tool
SharkBite 3/8 in. - 1 in. PEX Clamp Tool-UC961 - The Home Depot

Push to Fit Fitting Example
SharkBite 1/2 in. Brass Push-to-Connect Coupling-U008LFA - The Home Depot

To avoid crying into your Cheerios, DO NOT GET THIS, no matter how tempted you are to save a few bucks:
SharkBite 3/8 in., 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. PEX Copper Crimp Tool with Integrated Go/No-Go Gauge-23383 - The Home Depot

Good luck! Once you get the hang of working with PEX, it's actually fun. Get some decent tools, then just tear into it and have a good time.

Example of copper clamp rings in conjunction with plastic push to fit fittings:

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Old 04-20-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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Shark bite fittings are stupid easy to use, and for just a few, not that expensive. Simply push the Pex into the fitting and your done. If you were doing hundreds of fittings, it would be less expensive to use crimp tools, but your not. I'd cut back the current Pex to where you will have room to work, then rebuild to suit using Shark bite. Shouldn't take more than a couple hours and two trips to the hardware store. Best of all, the fittings are re-usable so if you make a mistake, you only loose a short piece of plastic hose.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:58 PM   #4
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The knowledge depth of this group never ceases to amaze me

I think in my case, the Sharkbite fittings are the way to go. Getting any tools down into this hole is almost impossible, including my hands. I really don't want to invest in one-time speciality tools either.

I believe I can get a clean run of pex coming directly out of the bottom of water tank, and start the inlet side there.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:45 PM   #5
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When I did tight zone plumbing in a boiler room for a community pool, recreation facility the biggest hump was accepting that the job required Addition by Subtraction: the project wouldn't get off the ground until I started the take apart/cut-out phase. It always cheered me to see how the project became manageable after that, and... ended up so much cleaner.
You'll be pleased when you tackle this the way these champs have suggested.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:08 PM   #6
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The pex pipe will rotate on the fitting even after being crimped, so no need to cut anything to remove. Just unscrew the adapter with a pair of channel locks and reinstall the same way
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:42 PM   #7
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You've gotten some awesome advice here but I'll add my method and experience for the greater good. I've rearranged and added to SMB (gray) pex many times. I use a dremel with a cut off wheel to break the bands. Usually the dremel gets the metal hot enough where you can twist the melted gray pipe off with pliers. I have re-used many of their fittings but if you nick one up badly with a dremel wheel or saw it won't be watertight again. I get about 90% through the bands and then pop them off with a flat blade screwdriver. Wear gloves! The brass fittings and bands get hot when cut with a dremel.

As for reclamping I use a standard tubing cutter like this:

I recrimp with the ratcheting stainless clamps and and crimper from Apollo Pex available at Lowe's. The crimper was about $30 and is a lifetime tool. Also, the Apollo Pex brand fittings and pipe closely match the SMB stuff. I've never had any leak. It can also freeze and not burst. Amazing stuff.

You said you don't want to put much money into this fix but I strongly recommend you get the proper crimper, a bag of stainless crimps and a few fittings and add them to your SMB's tool kit. Problems don't happen at home. They happen on a trail 1000 miles from home......and Lowe's.

$35, just checked.

These are a few bucks a bag. You need 1/2".

Just a note on RV water pumps. There are better and cheaper ones than the Shurflo SMB uses. Quieter ones too. They're all spec' good enough for the tiny plumbing system in an SMB so get a cheap one! It'll still last forever.

Pex plumbing can be fun!

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Old 04-21-2017, 11:28 AM   #8
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I just did this in the last few weeks. I found bits and pieces at Home Dept that got the job done. Check my photo album of the picts I took to see if there's anything relevant for you. I don't have your space limitations and the bottom tank fitting looks different.
BTW, I tried a rebuild of the old pump. After two attempts (replacing what ended up being wrong parts$$) I punted and decided to get a new pump and deal with the plumbing.

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Old 09-21-2017, 01:56 PM   #9
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Big thanks to Glider, 86Scotty and the others who posted info in this thread. Super useful info. I had a pex joint leaking under my sink that I'd already taken back to SMB to no avail, still leaked. This info gave me the courage to repair it correctly using all the OEM stuff. Fun easy project and now it's fixed and doesn't leak at all. And you saved me a long trip to Fresno so thanks to all!

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