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Old 06-21-2014, 01:16 PM   #1
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Unhappy Pipe burst behind shower

Hello everyone. I have a rather unique problem that developed today. The pipe between my shower controls and the shower head itself has burst or become detached behind the shower. I disassembled the shower controls and, not surprisingly, you cannot access the piping from the front. It's full on summer here in New England, so no way this was related to cold weather.

I honestly don't see any way this can be serviced without pulling the shower out which means dismantling the entire bathroom.

Has anyone had anything like this happen, and if so what did it take to fix it?

The weird thing is that the piece of pipe that broke is the part without constant pressure on it. I would suspect over-pressure from the park, but this particular location isn't exposed to water pressure unless the shower is on.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:44 PM   #2
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Can you post any photos to give us an idea of the situation? I guess if you could snap a pic then you could probably just repair it.

The reason i ask is because I had my cold water supply line burst last year and it was a PITA to fix but I finally got it fixed. My access panel is in the bedroom.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:48 PM   #3
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I'd remove shower head and attached hose. Then you can either replace the connecting line between shower head and faucet or re connect the old one. I don't think you'll have to remove the whole shower, maybe just cut around the shower head if needed and replace with a cover plate.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:03 PM   #4
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What does the shower back up to where the controls are. Side of the coach or an interior wall. If its an interior wall you may be able to access it from there.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
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I would follow Don's suggestion. On the "back" of the wall that has all the shower plumbing is typically a large mirror. While I have never tried to remove the mirror to see if there is access there, several others have posted in the past that this is how you get to the shower plumbing.

If you have the mirror but it does not allow access, it would be a simple matter to remove the mirror (some use fishing line to cut the adhesive that holds the mirror to the wall) and then cut an access hole.

Like you, I am very surprised that the "unpressurized" side of things let go. This has to be a fluke or someone crimped the pex pipe incorrectly and it finally gave way. Is there any way you have access to the copper ring crimp fittings? You might want to tighten them if you do.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:03 AM   #6
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I have an '04 Holiday Rambler Imperial, which has access to the shower plumbing from the back through a removal panel which is only exposed when the kitchen slide was out. I had my coach freeze and had a couple of the PEX fittings burst. I Googled the floor plan for your coach and it looks like there is a pantry between the kitchen slide and the shower. It looks like your access panel is inside that pantry. I also looked at some pictures of the '05 40PST on line, and it appears that the pantry has glass doors that open to the kitchen side. I'd suggest that you carefully examine the back of that cabinet to see if it is removable.

On my coach, it was a real stretch to get at the back of the shower valve. There were 3 connectors and a plastic plug on the back of the valve, which was a Moen. First was to unscrew the fittings, which were somewhat akin to a hose end connector. Then the valve was removed through the shower side, being careful not to let anything fall down into the cavity behind the shower. The PEX fittings are secured to the tubing with a compressed copper ring. Rather than cut the tube, which might make it too short, I used a Dremel tool to cut through the copper ring. Spreading that ring with a screwdriver, the old fitting could be slid out. I was able to get the fittings at my local Home Depot. The new fittings use a different compression ring, which has a section that can be squeezed to make a tight seal. There is a special tool for squeezing, but I did it with a tile nipper.

Good luck, and I hope that you have long arms to reach the back of the valve.

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Old 06-22-2014, 01:49 AM   #7
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Sorry to say it, but I had the same problem. I bought the MH used. It had been sitting for a few years and when I turned on the water I thought all was fine.

Right before a trip I tried the shower. Heard water running when I turned on the shower valve. To cut to the chase I had to pull the vanity in order to get the shower out. There was no access from the back of shower, pantry was there. The valve had a plastic plug in the bottom and it had broken. Monaco ran the shower line from the top of the valve, turned left, then down then right then up to a fitting through the shower wall to which the hose was attached inside the shower. Thus creating a pocket which couldn't be drained. The only way to winterize is with pink antifreeze. I replaced the plug and reinstalled the shower and vanity. I was short on time and it was the weekend so I couldn't get any fittings to install the line from the bottom like it should have been in the first place. The lines were 3/8 pex and neither HD or Lowes carry 3/8. Now I will have to use antifreeze in order to properly winterize. Hope you come out better.

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Old 06-22-2014, 11:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadrun View Post
Can you post any photos to give us an idea of the situation? I guess if you could snap a pic then you could probably just repair it.

The reason i ask is because I had my cold water supply line burst last year and it was a PITA to fix but I finally got it fixed. My access panel is in the bedroom.
The shower plumbing on my '05 Windsor is behind the Kitchen Slide. There is no access panel unless there's one behind the slide (access with slide removed).
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob&AnnaMari View Post
I would follow Don's suggestion. On the "back" of the wall that has all the shower plumbing is typically a large mirror. While I have never tried to remove the mirror to see if there is access there, several others have posted in the past that this is how you get to the shower plumbing.

If you have the mirror but it does not allow access, it would be a simple matter to remove the mirror (some use fishing line to cut the adhesive that holds the mirror to the wall) and then cut an access hole.

Like you, I am very surprised that the "unpressurized" side of things let go. This has to be a fluke or someone crimped the pex pipe incorrectly and it finally gave way. Is there any way you have access to the copper ring crimp fittings? You might want to tighten them if you do.
There is no access panel. The plumbing is in the corner and just forward of it is the kitchen slide. Its buried deep.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanewise View Post
Sorry to say it, but I had the same problem. I bought the MH used. It had been sitting for a few years and when I turned on the water I thought all was fine.

Right before a trip I tried the shower. Heard water running when I turned on the shower valve. To cut to the chase I had to pull the vanity in order to get the shower out. There was no access from the back of shower, pantry was there. The valve had a plastic plug in the bottom and it had broken. Monaco ran the shower line from the top of the valve, turned left, then down then right then up to a fitting through the shower wall to which the hose was attached inside the shower. Thus creating a pocket which couldn't be drained. The only way to winterize is with pink antifreeze. I replaced the plug and reinstalled the shower and vanity. I was short on time and it was the weekend so I couldn't get any fittings to install the line from the bottom like it should have been in the first place. The lines were 3/8 pex and neither HD or Lowes carry 3/8. Now I will have to use antifreeze in order to properly winterize. Hope you come out better.

04 Camelot 40 PST

Lane
Sounds like you have the same arrangement as me. I was afraid it would all have to come out! I will replace the faucet with the most expensive I can find if I have to pull the shower!
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanewise View Post
Sorry to say it, but I had the same problem. I bought the MH used. It had been sitting for a few years and when I turned on the water I thought all was fine.

Right before a trip I tried the shower. Heard water running when I turned on the shower valve. To cut to the chase I had to pull the vanity in order to get the shower out. There was no access from the back of shower, pantry was there. The valve had a plastic plug in the bottom and it had broken. Monaco ran the shower line from the top of the valve, turned left, then down then right then up to a fitting through the shower wall to which the hose was attached inside the shower. Thus creating a pocket which couldn't be drained. The only way to winterize is with pink antifreeze. I replaced the plug and reinstalled the shower and vanity. I was short on time and it was the weekend so I couldn't get any fittings to install the line from the bottom like it should have been in the first place. The lines were 3/8 pex and neither HD or Lowes carry 3/8. Now I will have to use antifreeze in order to properly winterize. Hope you come out better.

04 Camelot 40 PST

Lane
Get an air fitting for the city water connection and use compressed air to blow the lines out, drain the HW tank and pour antifreeze in all the traps.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:01 AM   #12
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Lane,

If your floor plan is like mine, (I believe it is), I can extend the slide and then remove the shelving inside the pantry. The back panel of the pantry is removable and that should allow access to the plumbing and valves.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:02 AM   #13
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To follow up on my original post, we disassembled the Moen shower valve, which included a plastic backer that blocked the entire opening. We tied a string to it and pushed the valve back and lowered it out of the way. We then had enough access to reach in and unscrew all the pipes from the valve. All were attached with a hand-tighten type nylon fitting, and the valve was connected exactly as the person above said it would be, with the outlet looping up, over, down and back up to the outlet for the hand sprayer. This short loop of pipe from the top of the valve down to the spray nozzle connection was where the problem occurred.

We found that one of these nylon hand-tighten nuts had been over-tightened and had finally fractured, allowing the water to pour out behind the shower. Thank goodness it was on the outlet side, and not the supply!

We found all the necessary parts at Home Depot to fix the PEX pipe and fittings, but we had to buy a tool to crimp the clamp rings for the PEX piping and another to cut the PEX properly. All in all, the PEX, fittings and tools cost about $85. Far less than the thousands it would have cost to have to remove the vanity or shower. I count myself lucky.

We made repairs quickly after obtaining the tools, pulled up the backer with the string, and re-assembled the valve. All is good as new.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:32 AM   #14
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Those plastic "nuts" are a Catch 22. Get them too tight and your problem crops up. Not tight enough and they work loose over time. It's a pretty fine line.

At least they don't rust!
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