Sunday, February 14, 2016

911, What Is Your Emergency? ----- Water!!!

Have you ever opened the Kitchen or Bathroom under sink cupboard doors only to find the contents wet or a bit damp?  To make  matters worse, you are dry camping (boon docking) and have no one around to ask what to do.  Well, wonder no more just keep reading to find out.

First you need to find the source of the leak.  This could be from water seeping around the top of the sink and draining inside the cupboard.  This is a simple and quick fix. Just use some Kitchen and Bath approved caulk, such as,
Follow the instructions on the tube and that water seepage should be a thing of the past.  I keep a tube of this product in white and clear in the RV all the time because you just never know.  But, what if that is not the problem?  
Next check all the black sewer pipes to be sure the fittings are good and tight.  The black drain pipe fittings should be hand tight not wrench tight.  Do be careful not to over tighten these fittings as you can break the pipe or strip out the plastic threads on the pipes.  I check these fittings every time in the Spring before the first camping trip and several more times during the year to be sure they are tight and doing just fine.  I did find a loose one in the Master Bathroom last year.  So all the black pipe fittings are tight and you still find water and things damp.  Now, what?
Well, there is really only one thing left.  The hot and cold water fittings.
From the picture above you can see the red (hot) and, in this case, the white (cold) water lines as well as the black plastic sewer pipes. Getting a bit closer, we see where the problem is.

The metal clip that holds the screw on connector has come a bit loose and the water is dripping out from that fitting on to the stuff under the sink.  It is not a flood but a constant drip.  This scenario is not good for lots of reasons and needs to be taken care of right now.  If you do not have the PEX crimping tool you will never get the metal squeezed tight enough to stop the slow leak.  
There is a quick and sure-fire way to fix this problem and end up with a far better connection than what the RV manufacturer used.  It is called a Shark Bite connector.
This is a push-on type of connector for the plastic hose and does not need any special soldering or tool to install.  You just cut off the leaking end and push on the Shark Bite.  Screw the female end to the faucet and you are good to go.
Please note to double check that after you cut off the old leaking connection, that you will still have enough plastic pipe to reach back to the faucet once you put on the Shark Bite.  The plastic pipe used in most RVs is 1/2" and the Shark Bite Connector you will need is the 1/2" type.  This connector is available in most hardware stores and the Big Box retailers of plumbing supplies. The packaging looks like below.

The package and product at my big box retailer was not hanging just stuffed  into a box on the shelf so I had to look a bit for it. 
So here is what I ended up with.
You can see on the red plastic pipe what I had before the switch and you can see by the white pipe what I have now.  My plan is to change over the red pipe connector to a Shark Bite type to ensure no more future leaks from this area.

Here is a convenience add on that I bought, just to help in replacing future connections with Shark Bite.  It is called the Shark Bite Deburring Tool. After cutting the old fitting off the PEX plastic pipe, you use this tool to deburr the pipe and the tool shows you how much of the plastic pipe you have to push into the Shark Bite connector to make a good water tight seal.
Again this tool is not mandatory.  It is just a nice convenience tool to have around.  One last tool you might want to pick up is the PEX plastic pipe cutting tool.  Again not a mandatory tool to have just a nice tool to have.
Well, that is it.  If you have a water leak anywhere even a constant drip you need to fix it fast and the Shark Bite pipe fitting system is the fastest and easiest system I know of.  I keep a couple around because you just never know when you will need them and the cost is cheap insurance against a faucet connection leaking and damaging the rig.

I would like to thank Michael Cook who's Facebook posting gave me the idea for this post.

Until next time.

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