Plumbing connections using barbed fittings - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2015, 08:16 AM   #15
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Good info guys, thanks for the link Bob. I went on Lowe's site and found the barb fittings I purchased and the specs says hose clamp required, just goes to show how unreliable/uninformed the guys at the retail stores are about the products they sell. When I was in retail sales I learned everything I could about the products I sold so not to misinform a customer...
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:34 AM   #16
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Just read through that PDF link you posted Bob, excellent information on barb connections. Looks like the guys at the stores might have been right after all. I believe they are not needed in my case as you just about can't pull the tubing off the barbs without a tremendous amount of force & twisting back & forth. I am going to install everything and pressure test the system at the house and see if anything leaks. I will report back with my results...
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:10 AM   #17
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Yep, when there is no risk whatsoever of any damage when a fitting leaks, going without a clamp will save a few pennies. That's about the only argument I can see in favor of not using them.


A better test might be to leave the pressure pump ON for about a month in the summer when inside temps get over 120 degrees.


Because water pumps do get left ON by accident, the damage a leak can cause can be considerable. Many of the reports of "Soft Spots" and other floor damage is cause by internal water leaks.


And the guys at the local hardware store usually don't have a clue about RV plumbing conditions. And what did you say the Lowes website specified?
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:41 AM   #18
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I agree about the low cost of using a clamp, but Bob, my decision on not using clamps was based on the link you provided which stated in the document:

"There is also a downside to clamps. If installed incorrectly, clamps can actually induce leaks and failures. If a tie ‐ type clamp is cinched too tightly on low durometer, or soft tubing the clamp can lift the tubing away from the fitting. Securing a clamp over the portion of tubing that is stretched over a barb can have the same effect degrade the seal enough to cause leaks."



My connections have multiple barbs, so my thought was to test for leaks then add clamps if needed.

Maybe I should consider some kind of sealant with the fitting?

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Old 09-17-2015, 11:06 AM   #19
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The trick with clamps is to tighten them enough to do the job and not to over tighten them which can reduce the sealing area as well as damage the inner lining of the hose, which is the what actually holds the water in.

If you want to use screw type hose clamps, I would recommend the stainless steel clamps designed for silicone hose. These clamps have an inner liner band that protects the hose cover from the worm slots on the tightening band.

There are some hoses that are specifically designed for use with barbed fittings, though offhand I don't know of any that are good for drinking water. What is called 'push on' hose has the reinforcing braid laid up in such a fashion that when pressure is applied it actually tightens up on the fitting. On this hose you must use the barbed fittings specifically designed for this hose. This hose does require hose clamps if used in pulsating applications.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:10 AM   #20
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The standard test for plumbing (domestic water and DWV) is to apply air pressure and see if the system will hold pressure for 24 hours. Going to a big box home store and asking the 18 yesr old clerk what parts to use and how to install.them is an good example of stupidity in my book . When using barbed fittings in critical locations we often used 2 clamps. It only seems expensive until you spend 8 hours tearing everything apart to fix a leak IMHO
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Johnny M View Post
I agree about the low cost of using a clamp, but Bob, my decision on not using clamps was based on the link you provided which stated in the document:

"There is also a downside to clamps. If installed incorrectly, clamps can actually induce leaks and failures. If a tie ‐ type clamp is cinched too tightly on low durometer, or soft tubing the clamp can lift the tubing away from the fitting. Securing a clamp over the portion of tubing that is stretched over a barb can have the same effect degrade the seal enough to cause leaks."



My connections have multiple barbs, so my thought was to test for leaks then add clamps if needed.

Maybe I should consider some kind of sealant with the fitting?

One has to hope that the clamp installation will be done "correctly" as would all of the other aspects of the installation. All bets are off if one has to always fear that something will be done incorrectly.

The whole world of RV's is running with hoses clamped into place with correct sized & tightened clamps. But I am sure that more than a few have had unclamped hoses pop-off after anything from hours to years of use.

BTW: Any sealant that does not harden would have to be adhesive compatible with both materials, the hose and the fitting, sealants that don't harden would tend to provide a lubricant to help the hose slip off with time.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #22
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Clamps must be sized to the hose. Parkliner used too big a clamp on my shower hose - it leaked, as the clamp was tightened into an odd shape. Correct clamps (I always use two on barbed connections) did the trick.

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Old 09-17-2015, 11:41 AM   #23
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This is what I used inside my 13 foot Scamp. This tube is rated at 250 psi. Uses barb fittings and hose clamps.

Sioux Chief 3/8 in. x 10 ft. Vinyl Braided Tubing-SBVKG10 - The Home Depot
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:47 AM   #24
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This is what I used inside my 13 foot Scamp. This tube is rated at 250 psi. Uses barb fittings and hose clamps.

Sioux Chief 3/8 in. x 10 ft. Vinyl Braided Tubing-SBVKG10 - The Home Depot
That is what is used in my Parkliner as well. Heavy duty stuff!

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Old 09-17-2015, 11:55 AM   #25
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My thoughts are that the suitability of hose clamps in part depends on the compressibility of the hose’s wall. Rubber and vinyl hoses being pretty good for this while the harder PEX tubing isn’t. Tightening down on PEX is more likely to deform it into a non-circular shape than it is to compress it while staying round. It might be possible to jam a barbed fitting into PEX and count on friction to hold it in place but it’s not something I’d recommend (I’m still in charge of what I recommend, right?). Even if the PEX ID is close to the barb’s OD I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about the connection.
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:35 PM   #26
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"BTW: Any sealant that does not harden would have to be adhesive compatible with both materials, the hose and the fitting, sealants that don't harden would tend to provide a lubricant to help the hose slip off with time"

And OK for potable water on fresh water connections.
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:46 PM   #27
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My thoughts are that the suitability of hose clamps in part depends on the compressibility of the hoseís wall. Rubber and vinyl hoses being pretty good for this while the harder PEX tubing isnít. Tightening down on PEX is more likely to deform it into a non-circular shape than it is to compress it while staying round. It might be possible to jam a barbed fitting into PEX and count on friction to hold it in place but itís not something Iíd recommend (Iím still in charge of what I recommend, right?). Even if the PEX ID is close to the barbís OD Iím not feeling warm and fuzzy about the connection.
PEX tubing and fittings are not designed for the use of hose clamp in any RV application.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:42 PM   #28
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I haven't redone the plumbing in my camper..yet, but it's on my agenda. However I did remove about 30 to 40 feet of Hot and Cold copper water line in the upstairs of my house. The water lines go from an upstairs bathroom to my stained glass shop via bedroom eaves and a closet. I used Sharkbite fittings and PEX pipe and have not had any problems with it, zero. I drain them when it gets cold up here so that they won't freeze. I've been told that the PEX is a lot more tolerant of the freezing than copper is, but I'd just as soon not push it. But I've had no leaks..in fact, getting the Sharkbites and the PEX to separate requires a little U shaped plastic tool (that is purchased separately according to the size of the PEX) and it takes a little doing (for me) to separate them. Works great, I plan on using the PEX and Sharkbites to reno my camper water lines.
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