Hi, I have a 1988 Southwind. I have a leaking water valve, that dumps the freshwater tank. It is gray, some sort of plastic. My water lines are of the same gray material it seems, and has silver (aluminum?) ring crimp type connectors that look like the PEX Copper ring crimps. But, unlike PEX, the water line is pretty rigid. It strikes me that PEX wasn't around in 1988, so this is possibly something else. Not sure what it is, though, with the rings crimped on.
Can anyone tell me what it is? And, before I cut into it, whether or not the PEX crimps should work on it - I plan to replace the valve, with a PEX valve, and will be putting a PEX union in, to make it easier next time, since I have to cut out the plumbing to work on this valve.
Any help would be appreciated!
Roger and Karen Phillips
'88 28' Fleetwood Southwind, "Titanic Three"
Sounds like you have Polybutylene Plumbing.
It was a cheap plumbing material that was quick and easy to install.......but had many problems later on.
You can use PEX crimps but IIRC you have to have the proper sized insert and crimp.
You can also use 'Sharkbite' fittings/valves/connectors BUT may have problem with the poly piping cracking.
Check out options at Home Depot (Sharkbite) or Lowes (Gatorbites) for repairing poly plumbing.
2007 RAM 3500 QC LB SRW 5.9L CTD 48re 4:10 4K in bed 'quiet genny'
2007 HitchHiker II 32.5 UKTG 2000W Xantex Inverter
Hit the Road Debit Free & Clear April '07
Came off the road still Debit Free & Clear Jan. '14
ouch. I was afraid it was something like that. I'll be replacing with PEX as I go, but hopefully will be able to work with this, for a while. hopefully, fishing the PEX through won't be too difficult...
thanks for the info - Lowes and Home Depot in the morning!
The shark bite or gator bite fittings will work just fine for the pipe. In my years as a journeyman plumber I found not to try to use pex fittings on the gray pipe the shark bite fittings work just great though.
It's Qest tubing and it was good as long as aluminum crimp bands weren't used. The better way was to use copper crimps or qest threaded fittings. Either of these will work great over the life of the RV. In fact, Qest tubing is supposed to be able to freeze once or twice without cracking.
Latent failures associated with this product were caused by the silver colored aluminum crimp bands. If you don't have them then I would leave it as is - the plumbing will last forever. If you do have the aluminum then it's just a matter of time before it fails.
Scott, Grace and Wesly
2003 Dodge 3500 4x4, 6 speed Cummins (lightly bombed),
2004 Forest River 25RKS many, many mods.
POS H0NDA eu2000i
I have quest in my house for 18 years without a problem. It has even froze a few times but not busted. The biggest problem I have seen in our area was when they used plastic elbows and couplings. The rings have been blamed for years and I am sure they have proof to back it up but the plastic elbows etc are what I have seen bust/leak every time. My TT has quest( 95 model) but has copper fittings and It has never had a leak. Knock on wood.
There was a company called qest or "quest" back in the day that went defunct. They made some pretty rough plumbing. You can still find their parts online. Usually their color is grey on everything.
4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.
I have polybutylene in my rig and found that it was prone to leak. As Wills250psd said, the problems happened at the joints, not the tubing itself. A Google search led to the info that the fittings were attacked by chlorine in the drinking water supply. After replacing the leaking fitting with a Sharkbite, I I got a Watts pressure reducer and keep the supply below 40psi -- no further problems. I think many water systems are now using bromine, instead of chlorine, so maybe that helps, too.
Oh, by the way, mine has the copper bands (I had always assumed they were brass, until reading this thread.)
'94 Holiday Rambler Navigator
38', Cummins 8.3 300hp, Allison 3060
pushed by a 2005 Honda Element
The inside diameter of the Polybutylene (grey) is slightly different in size from the Pex. Go to the Pex section in Home Depot and look for a "transition" fitting that allows you to crimp the fitting to the "grey" Poly and on the other end run the new Pex. The transition fitting conforms to the two different inside diameters.
2005 Monaco Dynasty Diamond IV 42' ISL 400; Tag Axle; Residential Refrig (sold)
2004 F450, 6.0 auto, 4:30 pumpkin; BrakeSmart; 50 gal aux.tank, 01 HR Presidential 35CKS, 3 slides, axles flipped; TrailAir Pinbox. pin weight 2760. Total gross 24,060 lbs.