Plumbing connections using barbed fittings - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-16-2015, 12:29 PM   #1
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Plumbing connections using barbed fittings

Being that I have limited plumbing experience I would like to know what others here have experienced good or bad with the white flexible tubing type water lines using barbed connections. Both Home Depot & local hardware guys both recommended using barbed connections with this type tubing. I was going to use clear vinyl tubing the same way but it has 45 PSI stamped on it so I switched to the white flexible kind that says 100 psi. According to them and to what I have found on the internet the water tubing simply is pushed onto the barbed connections and that alone is enough to seal even up to 100 psi. Using a hose clamp can actually make the self sealing connection fail & leak.

Being that this is such a small plumbing job I don't want to spend a lot of $$$ buying special crimping tools or expensive fitting if what they are telling me is true about the barbed connections...

I would appreciate your input....
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:07 PM   #2
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The Sharkbite type connectors have a bad reputation. They might work fine for you, but I would avoid them.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:29 PM   #3
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Gordon, I did look at those but I purchased standard brass barbed connections based on the stores' recommendation
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
The Sharkbite type connectors have a bad reputation. They might work fine for you, but I would avoid them.
I used them to do a very complicated plumbing repair in my home and was amazed by how easy they were to work with. They turned an all day job into a one hour job. I couldn't be happier with them
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #5
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I have a regular commercial PEX ring crimping tool and use both plastic and brass fittings without problems. I don't care for the mini-variety of PEX ring crimping tools.


I don't know of a "Barbed Fitting" that will hold any pressure without a clamp, can you provide a link so we will all know about them


There is a push-in fitting for PEX, but I am a little leery about using them in an RV due to vibration and shifting.


However, there is the "Flare-It" fitting line that works well and I have used for a number of repairs vs. new installs. Here's a pic. They are a little pricy, but if you only need a few it's a good way to make sure everything stays in place. They have a full range of fittings, not just those shown in this link.


https://www.google.com/search?q=pex+...We391XFRkpM%3A



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Old 09-16-2015, 03:27 PM   #6
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Bob, I don't have a picture or a link but the "plumbing" guy in the Home Depot said the barbed connections with the flexible tubing are meant to seal without a clamp of any kind FWIW, and a more reliable salesperson at a local Ace said the same thing and added that using a clamp can actually cause the hose to pinch up around the barb and leak, he highly suggested not using the hose clamps that I was going to use with it...
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:28 PM   #7
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I also asked the ACE guy about the pressure blowing them off, he said it would handle up to 100 psi
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
The Sharkbite type connectors have a bad reputation. They might work fine for you, but I would avoid them.
X2
I used one when I replaced an outdoor faucet and in a month or two it started seeping but then it stopped again

that's ok for my basement but not in my Casita.

I have a mini PEX crimp tool and it always gives me good results. for an occasional mod or repair on my trailer it's fine. But If I were to get into a major project I would spring for a more expensive tool
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:23 PM   #9
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When using PEX with a Sharkbite type fittings you have to insert a white stiffiner into the PEX prior to using the slip-on fitting. They are usually in the package with the fitting but some people don't know what they are used for and throw them away. If you do not use the stiffiner (white top hat) you are prone to have leaks. I have bought fittings that did not have the stiffiners in the package, I usually keep some on hand. They are left overs from using Sharkbites on copper tubing.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:59 PM   #10
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So can anyone here tell me if I was told wrong about using the hose clamps with barbed fittings???
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:31 PM   #11
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I always use clamps on barbs with out ever an issue. Have had a few blow off before I started using clamps though. I will say that not all barbs are designed the same.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:58 PM   #12
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Pex fittings and their type of attachment.
Types of PEX Fittings and Connection Systems
FWIW: Scamp uses expansion fittings.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:51 PM   #13
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Is the plumbing you concerned about pressurized with the city water connection or an electric pump in the trailer. If not not to worry.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:06 AM   #14
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Here's an interesting paper that may rank above the Guys at Ace and Home Depot. And yes, use of the incorrect size clamps can make matters worse, but I have never seen that problem when the right clamp was used. Anyplace that a leak can cause a problem (meaning anywhere in an RV) gets a clamp.


https://www.bnl.gov/esh/shsd/PDF/Com...troduction.pdf
(BNL = Brookhaven National Laboratories)

The original source of the document is
Tubing Connectors & Tube Couplings €“ Colder Products Company
who seems to a bit about fittings



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Old 09-17-2015, 07:16 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, 07:34 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, 08:10 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, 09:41 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, 10:06 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, 10:10 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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