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Old 10-23-2016, 12:47 PM   #1
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Water lines repair

Hi folks - my 89 Travel Lite needs a couple of modifications. The water lines are the gray plastic type and I have a question about it. I can see no signs of any sort of water heater bypass on the trailer and want to put one in using a short piece of pipe(to tie in the in-out lines), a couple of tees and three ball valves.
I finally found the low point drains when I got down and rolled around underneath like a beached whale and they are capped using screw type fittings. I want to put a couple of ball valves in place of those screw on caps so they can be operated without having to crawl underneath again.
So to get to the point, with the gray type tubing will standard pvc type ball valves glue on or do I want something else?

Thanks for any help folks.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:27 PM   #2
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I didn't think any RV was built without a water heater bypass! The bypass valves are usually right behind the WH.

I believe the pipes are 3/8" "PEX" tubing, not standard PVC. I'm not familiar with valves that are designed for 3/8" PEX, but I'm sure they are out there. I Googled "shut-off valve for 3/8" PEX tubing" and only see ones for 1/2" PEX.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:28 PM   #3
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I do not believe that you can glue to the gray pipe. I think "shark bite makes fitting that can be used to join the gray or PB type pipe to PEX , PVC or copper.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:48 PM   #4
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Can't glue PEX. You can use shark bite connectors or you can buy a tool and use cinch clamps to put things together. Amazon has a range of PEX tools, I just ordered one.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I do not believe that you can glue to the gray pipe. I think "shark bite makes fitting that can be used to join the gray or PB type pipe to PEX , PVC or copper.
Yes, no glue. Sharkbite also makes a valve with bites. Expensive but handy.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:33 PM   #6
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The gray pipe in a 89 is polybutylene (PB) which isn't made anymore-and for good reason. Google it but in a nutshell it doesn't react well with the chlorine in water or sanitizer and gets brittle and breaks seemingly just by looking at it. Shark Bite or Eagle Claw or any other brand of that style fitting will work to adapt it to PEX. (My preference is Sea Tech as they are made specifically to be used in a marine environment) I would suggest at a minimum to replace whatever you can access while adding the bypass and replace the rest when time and money permits.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I didn't think any RV was built without a water heater bypass! The bypass valves are usually right behind the WH.
Actually a LOT of rigs were built without a bypass! The last TT I owned was built in the early-mid '80's and it didn't have one, nor even a battery charger in the converter.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:48 PM   #8
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Use sharkbite coupling to PEX tubing, if you are doing a lot of repairs you will be ahead by then using PEX fittings and Stainless crimp rings. Sharkbite is $$$..
Polybutylene Pipe Fittings & Conversion Couplings
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bill06447 View Post
The gray pipe in a 89 is polybutylene (PB) which isn't made anymore-and for good reason. Google it but in a nutshell it doesn't react well with the chlorine in water or sanitizer and gets brittle and breaks seemingly just by looking at it. Shark Bite or Eagle Claw or any other brand of that style fitting will work to adapt it to PEX. (My preference is Sea Tech as they are made specifically to be used in a marine environment) I would suggest at a minimum to replace whatever you can access while adding the bypass and replace the rest when time and money permits.

Thanks Bill! That's my "learned something new" for today! This site is amazing!
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:29 PM   #10
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You don't need the pricey Sharkbite fittings. Most any hardware or plumbing store will have compression fittings for the gray polybutyl tubing, which are still in use in many thousands of homes, RVs and mobile homes. Qest and Flair-It are the most common brands. The Flair-it fittings are real easy to use, just slip on and hand tighten.

Polybutylene Fittings - Plastic Fittings - Ace Hardware
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