Problem with leaks on new water heater.... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2009, 11:28 PM   #1
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Hi,

So I just upgraded our old Atwood 6 gal pilot light with a new Atwood 6 gal electronic ignition.

The removal and installation went smoothly... Until I turned on the water.. It started to leak at the output and input fitting of the water heater, then I had another leak (once under pressure) at another fitting 6 to 8 inches from the output.

Drained everything, re sealed all the fittings and tried again. The input fitting (the one you screw onto the water heater) is still leaking a little bit, re-drained etc... and I am going no where.
I used teflon tape, putty and still no luck.

I am going mad....

I am sure that it is not coming from the water heater but the screw-on fitting.

Any special trick I could try?

By the way what is and where can I find the tubing and valves used in RV. Mine is grey looks like pvc but seems softer.

Thank you.

Frederic
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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Frederic,

I need more info, what type of fittings are you using? are these compression?
What is the tubing?

Harry
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
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Frederic,

You may not be holding your mouth right.. Seriously, flair fittings like those are hard. Try one more time with the teflon but make sure that the tubing is exactly in line with the fitting. Start the nut carefully & be sure there is no cross-threading. Finger tight and a quarter to half turn - oh, all right, maybe a little more if still wet. It is possible to over tighten plastic - causes cross thread and leaks.

Hope someone else can come up with a source for the tubing and fittings - I'll be needing some soon.

Good Luck!

Tom
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:03 AM   #4
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Frederic,

I need more info, what type of fittings are you using? are these compression?
What is the tubing?

Harry
I am using the fitting that was on the older water heater. It's plastic and grey. The trailer is 23 years old. Looks like aluminum clamps holding the tubes together. But the fitting causing problem is threaded into the water heater (also grey plastic).

Don't know if that make sense?

Thanks

Frederic
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:05 AM   #5
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Frederic,

You may not be holding your mouth right.. Seriously, flair fittings like those are hard. Try one more time with the teflon but make sure that the tubing is exactly in line with the fitting. Start the nut carefully & be sure there is no cross-threading. Finger tight and a quarter to half turn - oh, all right, maybe a little more if still wet. It is possible to over tighten plastic - causes cross thread and leaks.

Hope someone else can come up with a source for the tubing and fittings - I'll be needing some soon.

Good Luck!

Tom
Thanks Tom,

How many layer of teflon should I use? 2, 3 more?

Thanks again,

Frederic
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:09 AM   #6
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Psst* when/if you decide your just too mad at the thing I can swing by and take it off your hands....
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:32 AM   #7
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Frederic,

Not too much, twice around is what I use. If you can visualize it (I have two left hands and two right eyes...) wrap the tape on the thread in the same direction that the nut tightens. I'm pretty sure that would be clockwise, but at this hour.. . The most important thing is to keep the tubing in line to seat the flair.

Also, check to make sure the leak isn't from where the fitting is attached to the heater. If it is leaking there the fitting might have to be reseated, tightened or replaced - depending on how it is mated to the heater. In that case, take it to the dealer for a check out.

And remember - hold your mouth just right.

Good luck, hope it works,

Tom
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:07 AM   #8
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Frederic,

Not too much, twice around is what I use. If you can visualize it (I have two left hands and two right eyes...) wrap the tape on the thread in the same direction that the nut tightens. I'm pretty sure that would be clockwise, but at this hour.. . The most important thing is to keep the tubing in line to seat the flair.

Also, check to make sure the leak isn't from where the fitting is attached to the heater. If it is leaking there the fitting might have to be reseated, tightened or replaced - depending on how it is mated to the heater. In that case, take it to the dealer for a check out.

And remember - hold your mouth just right.

Good luck, hope it works,

Tom

Tom,

Thanks again, I'll try tomorrow and let you know.

Cheers,

Frederic
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:08 AM   #9
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Psst* when/if you decide your just too mad at the thing I can swing by and take it off your hands....

If tomorrow is as bad as today, I might take you up on that...

Thanks,

Frederic
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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Hi: FredericL... The problem with Plumbers is "It always leaks after you pay!!! Doing it your self "It always leaks before your done"!!! Are you trying to re use old fittings???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:40 PM   #11
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sooooooooooo did ya get the problem solved?


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If tomorrow is as bad as today, I might take you up on that...

Thanks,

Frederic
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
I am using the fitting that was on the older water heater. It's plastic and grey. The trailer is 23 years old. Looks like aluminum clamps holding the tubes together. But the fitting causing problem is threaded into the water heater (also grey plastic).
Uh Oh. You have the the dreaded [b]Qest tubing! Canadian Television exposes "Leaky Plastic Pipes" There were HUGE lawsuits when it started leaking inside the walls of new houses. Learn the facts about Polybutylene Plumbing.

My 31 year old Fiber Stream is plumbed with it.
You cannot buy new Qest tubing. It was recalled, and only a few hardware retailers may have a few fittings still unsold on their shelf.
The compression fittings are very fragile! Do NOT use Teflon tape with it.

The replacement is WHITE plastic called "PEX". The two types are not really compatible, you're supposed to remove all of the Qest and replace it with PEX. However, if you strip it back to a harder Qest threaded "nipple" type fitting, you may be able to transition to PEX tubing after that point.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:30 AM   #13
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Frederic,

These old lines are difficult, a scratch on the mating surface can cause problems too, the plastic out gases at a set rate from its time of manufacture aging at a set rate making the plastic brittle, it becomes a pain, I re-plumb using fresh materials.

The RV stores charge a mint, the hardware stores carry the same product as mobile or manufactured home plumbing at a cheaper price in the same gray fittings.

There are "white" (repair fittings) made for this diameter gray line, also for the old gray pressed (banded) fittings for manufactured homes that work in this application too...The threads are designed in the white repair fitting to exert more force than the gray original gray fitting to more positively mate the surfaces leak free.

Tip...
Soften the line with the white type of repair fitting in very hot water before working with it.

In regards to hot water with this plastic...The issue of leaks in these fittings of earlier plastic formulas becomes problematic being accelerated by hot water, the heat creates conditions where the plastic becomes brittle in the line over time, also the flare is mated and tempered in one position only because it settles into one another molding itself in a particular position assisted by the heat or the pressure of the fitting (rather quickly)...Because of the softening effect of hot water on that type of plastic the material was changed over the years fixing the issue about 10 years ago after legal action was taken...Disturbing the fitting after a number of years requires the Braille method of reconnecting it.... you must seek and find the original position the flare was mated in by sensitive feel alone. In emergencies you can pull it off if patient enough by rotating the fitting mating surface until you feel it sink into each other best, then tighten it... its the only way I know of when dealing with the old stuff.

The prior advise is correct, the tricks given are good ones, if this work is over 10 years old do yourself the favor and resign yourself to a new install of the water lines and fittings with the new re-formulated materials...rattles, beads and a lucky rabbits foot has been known to help too...lol

Tip...

Use a one way check valve in the cold water line ahead of the tank, this prevents the hot water tank when fixed from backing up hot water towards the source side of the water feed system if conditions are right...When I exit the tank with the hot water line I often switch to copper compression fittings or I use cpvc not pvc plumbing like a standard home to the hot faucets using glued fittings and plastics formulated for heat.

The more common glued fittings are easily found when traveling and cheap...not 10.00 bucks a whack when they can be found.

Good luck.

Harry
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Uh Oh. You have the the dreaded [b]Qest tubing! Canadian Television exposes "Leaky Plastic Pipes" There were HUGE lawsuits when it started leaking inside the walls of new houses. Learn the facts about Polybutylene Plumbing.

My 31 year old Fiber Stream is plumbed with it.
You cannot buy new Qest tubing. It was recalled, and only a few hardware retailers may have a few fittings still unsold on their shelf.
The compression fittings are very fragile! Do NOT use Teflon tape with it.

The replacement is WHITE plastic called "PEX". The two types are not really compatible, you're supposed to remove all of the Qest and replace it with PEX. However, if you strip it back to a harder Qest threaded "nipple" type fitting, you may be able to transition to PEX tubing after that point.

Good Luck!
The fittings are still available in my area (must be because there is a lot of trailer trash around-myself included) The big problem with it is that clorinated water raises havoc with it... Every time I worked on it, I cut the crimped fitting off and replaced with a compression fitting (designed for the evil stuff), and any piece that I unscrewed, I replaced with new. The threaded parts don't seem to like to be reused. Parts are sorta pricey tho...... Larry
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