Friday, July 27, 2018

Pressure And More Pressure On Your RV's Water Lines

Are you putting to much water pressure on your RV's PEX water lines and their PEX fittings?  Do you know how much pressure you can put on your RV's water lines and their  PEX fittings?
Let's take a look and see what's what.

RV manufacturers typically use PEX  PlasticTubing for all RV plumbing runs. The two sizes are commonly used, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch. These are the standard size because the outside diameter of the tubing is about 1/8-inch greater than the called-for size. Red PEX is usually the Hot water line and Blue or Clear the cold water line.  But, not always.  There are special fittings used with this type of water line called PEX fittings.  Below are some examples of some fittings you might see under one of your sinks.

The fittings can be of any color or even colorless but they will all have the ribs you see on the fittings above.  You will also note that each PEX fitting has a crimped ring around it.  The ring looks like below.
To put the ring on the PEX tubing and secure the ring you would need a crimping tool.  Shown below.
OK, now that you understand what you currently have let's discuss the problems this type of system brings the RVer.  The whole system can leak at any time and usually does. Every connection, if it is not put on correctly, will leak at the worse possible time. Ah, you say no problem I will just squeeze the ring with my trusty pliers.  Well, your trusty pliers will not be able to squeeze the connector hard enough to seal the leak in most cases.  What to do?  Change the fitting to a more updated connector.  We will cover that in just a minute.

Why do these cheap PEX products not work well all the time?  PRESSURE, water pressure from campgrounds varies greatly and can not.  The PEX water system in an RV cannot safely go above 65 pounds of water pressure.  I will not allow mine to go over 55 pounds of pressure.  
How do I control the RV Parks water pressure with a brass water pressure regulator
Brass RV Water Regulator
 You can adjust this type of regulator to any safe water pressure you like for your RV.  This type of regulator does not affect the flow of the water just the pressure. There are lesser expensive water pressure regulators like the one shown below.

While this type will regulate the water pressure it also affects the flow of the water which some people find objectable.  Either one will protect your RV water system from to much PRESSURE.

OK, you just found a PEX fitting under the kitchen island that is leaking now what can you do to fix the problem and how much time is it going to cost you?
You should carry a few Shark Bite connectors like the ones shown below.
Shark Bite Coupler

Shark Bite T

Shark Bite to Threaded 
There are even more fittings to choose from but you get the idea.  The advantages of these types of connector are, 

  • INSTALLS IN SECONDS: 1/2 inch straight coupling requires no special tools, no soldering, no crimping or glue. Just push to create a watertight seal
  • COPPER, PEX, CPVC: SharkBite straight coupling plumbing fittings fits copper tubing, and CTS CPVC and PEX and connects all three types in any combination
  • CERTIFIED: SharkBite fittings are certified to 200 PSI and 200°F and can be reused up to four times

Now doesn't that beat the PEX connector and all the fuss it would take to fix a leaky connection?
The real story here is to control your water pressure coming into your RV.  If you do not you will find leaks and under the shower or under sink water damage.  
One other thing you may want to add a water shutoff to your toilet so in case you need to work on it you do not have to shut off all the water to the RV.

Shark Bite Shut Off

Until Next Time

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