Help now a leaking water heater!!! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-14-2015, 11:39 AM   #1
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Help now a leaking water heater!!!

Hi all,

When it rains it... well OK this one is not rain related, but DW has commented that the storage cabinet under the stove has been damp/wet.

Too warm now for condensation so I emptied everything and mopped up (maybe 1/4 tsp) of water and began checking the water lines.

Scamp has all very well color coded and turns out the blue = cold input to the water heater is leaking at a line connector of some sort.

I say some sort since I do not recognize how it may work.

Only dripping a drop or two at a time. There is a collar thing (OK not very scientific description) but it snaps off. It is a 3/4 round piece that has a tab facing inward and two arrows On & Off each pointing 180 degrees opposite. I turned off the water out side (Oh yep the demand water pump does work w/o pressure) and turned this to OFF to see if the hoses would separate. I was wondering what type of seal they have.

Likely this is some sort of on-off valve and not a connector as such?

The hoses to not turn with gentle pressure nor pull apart. I snapped the collar back on and moved to the ON position. Seems still a drop or two of water forms there.

I do not want to gunk it up with silicon the bane of many plumbing issues, so thought about a low pressure fix with black tightly wound electrical tape. This usually seals low pressure drips and is easily removed if need be.

I found a Surbuban WH install PDF on line, but it does not have details on the water line per se.

Any clues/help out there before I do something dumb?

About to Trundle down to talk to Bob, but will check back for other input.

Bat Dude

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Old 12-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
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Bam.....Pow.....holy water leaks Batman

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Old 12-14-2015, 03:37 PM   #3
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 1,249
I can say with reasonable certainty that you have described the shut off (and PEX plumbing).. I have the same valve that shuts off the water supply to the water heater. And I have two more in the plumbing lines under the port side rear seat for draining the pipes.

The collar should be OK if you snap it back on, its just gripping the shutoff, giving you something to grab. I doubt that is the cause of the dripping.

Sounds like the PEX connection to the valve is bad. If it was only the valve you might be able to heat the PEX pipe, remove it, then reinstall however its likely the connection between the valve and the pipe.

I would cut the PEX a few inches back in both directions from the valve, then use new pipe with a fitting, and a new valve (they are cheap). It's not hard except it requires a rather expensive (~$400) device to expand the PEX pipe so that you can insert fittings and valves.

Any plumber should be able to handle the repair.

In the meantime I would put something under the valve to catch the dripping water and not use city water.. just fill you fresh water tank and run the pump only when needed.

PS, tape, sillycone, etc will not work.
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:31 AM   #4
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A Hex on the PEX


Also had a PM from another member suggesting I google PEX.

Does look like an easy fix/replacement IF one had the specialized tools.

There is a roving RV repair person that is available here so I may call and see if it is not an unreasonable cost.
Given we will not be back in Michigan until early April this is a fix we need to address ASAP.

Love the bats you posted in the signatures.

Set the acoustic monitoring station out the night before and found 6 species flying around.

Tnx all,
Bat Dude
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:50 AM   #5
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Name: Jack L
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There are some fittings for PEX pipe that do not require any special tools. Any big box home center or good hardware store sells them. Even Camping World has them. It should be a simple do it yourself project if you have some basic mechanical skills.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:26 AM   #6
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You, too, can use the :bat smiley

The emoticon is part of our group. The code for it is

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Old 12-15-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
Name: Bruce
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As has been said, look up "Sharkbite" fittings if you don't have PEX crimping tools or there is a crimp tool for using behind toilets and other close quarters (uses a specific size of vicegrip to close it) that can be bought relativity cheap.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:18 AM   #8
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Name: Steve
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Sharkbites are generally brass fittings. Most of the big box home improvement stores will have them. Also available are less expensive plastic fittings.
Just be sure it says it works with pex on the package. Neither require a tool, just a good clean end of the tubing.

Plus, I believe most stores will rent the ring tool for a modest amount.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:39 PM   #9
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Issue solved with a mobile RV repair service.

It was the valve itself that was dripping not the connections. The valve was simply cut out with apparently a very sharp LeateherPerson tool blade and a replacement union installed. All completed in < 10 minutes. No heat, no crimping and the item was called a Quick Repair union by the service person.

The service person indicated he had not seen one of these values in use for nearly 8 years.

Then the $$$ part.

A whopping U.S. $20.00

The $40 service travel call was waived as the outfit was already working in the campground for days helping a poor unfortunate woman in a huge class C on a Ford chassis.

She took the wrong road to the campground and the 100 year old overhanging oak trees unkindly removed most of her roof, AC unit, awning etc. etc. So the mobile RV crew were replacing the entire roof, AC, awning etc. etc.

Apparently all is covered under her Progressive RV insurance.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:40 PM   #10
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Win, win, win! (Well, sort of... at least she was covered and able to get it fixed on-site...)
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:26 PM   #11
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Talking to that unfortunate lady today we were told the repair service found evidence of an old roof leak that caused wood rot so they fixed that too. Her insurance paid for a new awning even though the old one was not damaged. She cleaned off the whole roof, front to back, including the rear ladder. And that was in a 20 MPH zone that is marked "Low hanging branches". Real nice lady, she is work camping here, and has taken the incident with good humor.

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