Should I Replace Plumbing Lines? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-06-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
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Name: Pamela
Trailer: 1984 Fiber Stream
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Took a quick look under the sink today and noticed that all the plumbing lines appear to be gray. Isn't that the older style stuff that everyone has problems with? I think it's called Qest or something similar. Should I just keep an eye on it or is it better to bite the bullet and replace it with PEX? (I haven't begun on the plumbing yet; just making lists for future renovations and repairs.)

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Old 05-06-2010, 06:47 PM   #2
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I was thinking of leaving my old plumbing in but since the PEX is relatively inexpensive I feel it is best to replace it all with new. Pretty easy to work with and, depending on your method of attaching the fittings, you can always rent the crimp tool at Home Depot for a day once you figure out where all your lines run and fittings will be placed.

Mind you my trailer is completely gutted so it will be easy to route the new lines whereas it may not be as easy in a trailer that is not gutted.

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:26 AM   #3
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Should I just keep an eye on it or is it better to bite the bullet and replace it with PEX?
That would depend on the condition of your faucets. I researched the Qest<sup></sup> plumbing when I was replacing the faucets for the sink/shower in the bathroom. Mine leaked mainly because the compression nut was cracked from over tightening. I had a difficult time finding replacement fittings until I consulted a local old-fashioned independent hardware store. I bought everything they had in their stock (which wasn't much) and repaired my existing plumbing because, for the most part, it was in good condition.

If your plumbing is presently NOT leaking, I would hold off and just keep an eye on it for now.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:54 AM   #4
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Should I just keep an eye on it or is it better to bite the bullet and replace it with PEX?

What Frederick said...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. We have the old gray stuff in our Stream and it works fine. I have replaced the bathroom fixture, the water heater and the kitchen counter (had to remove and replace the kitchen faucet). No leaks and still using the old fittings.

If you start replacing fittings and have troubles then may be the time.
Tom - '79 Fiber Stream

There is no such thing as an all black cat.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:15 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1973 Boler 1300 (Glass-Fab
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The "old grey stuff" is PVC. It was prone to rupture under high pressure when heated. But, because it is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) it also imparts a taste to water it contains ("outgassing"). Trailer pressures shouldn't be a problem. And be sure to flush the lines out a bit before using it for drinking. But it's still PVC, and for some, that's not a desirable product!

PEX, on the other hand, is "Crosslinked Polyethylene" (PE) (X). Polyethylene is inert once hardened. It doesn't outgas, and it is very tough. There is also Blue PEX, which has an aluminum tube sandwiched into it, which allows bending of tight curves (Ideal for campers!). Be sure to use a bending sleeve to prevent kinking.

These products can be used with slip-on fittings, which eliminate the need for a crimping tool. I used these with PEX in my Boler re-plumb. There might be concern about vibration loosening such fittings, so make sure the pipe is fastened down. As Kevin says, a crimper is easy to find, and cheap by the hour (Prepare all the pipe and fittings first, then crimp all at once).
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:00 PM   #6
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Name: Kathy
Trailer: 1980 17 ft Boler/2006 Nissan Frontier
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great advice.. I have replaced my water pump in my boler and adapted Pex to my PVC.. all is working well and the crimp tool is easy to use. I have no concerns about the PVC and the trailer is 30 years old.

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