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Old 02-10-2016, 08:02 PM   #1
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pipes are made of plastic ?

I notice all RV internal pipes are always made of plastic including the heads/screws.
Is there a reason why they are all plastic , not brass/ stainless steel screws ?

My winterizer kit has stainless steel head screw.
If I install that metal head screw against a plastic pump thread, would that be OK ?
I wonder if there is a concern that different material expand/contract at different rate at heat/cold, and thus the plastic will break ?
Is that a reason why all RV pipes are made of plastic ?
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:06 PM   #2
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I think there are two reasons:

1) Plastic is cheaper.
2) The PEX (plastic) piping is more tolerant to freezing.

I have done some work on my piping and used brass fittings with PEX, but I think the plastic fittings are fine. One thing I am concerned with are the plastic shutoff valves, I will replace those with brass ball valves eventually.


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Originally Posted by pawntan View Post
I notice all RV internal pipes are always made of plastic including the heads/screws.
Is there a reason why they are all plastic , not brass/ stainless steel screws ?

My winterizer kit has stainless steel head screw.
If I install that metal head screw against a plastic pump thread, would that be OK ?
I wonder if there is a concern that different material expand/contract at different rate at heat/cold, and thus the plastic will break ?
Is that a reason why all RV pipes are made of plastic ?
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:09 PM   #3
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The reason boils down to ease of installation and more than anything cost of materials and labor to install.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:15 PM   #4
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I like copper pipes in my house and PEX in my trailer. Pex is easy to install, lightweight and somewhat flexible. If you've ever looked at how piping is installed in trailers, being flexible is important as you go bouncing down the road.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:38 PM   #5
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I always have shared my harsh thoughts with manf. about using junk plastic fittings (90's, T's etc) with pex tubing. What good is having pex tubing if your fittings are junk. The pex won't break / crack easy with a freeze, but you can guarantee the small plastic fittings will. Any time I redo something with the pex in any RV, it doesn't go back together with a plastic fitting.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:24 AM   #6
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I always have shared my harsh thoughts with manf. about using junk plastic fittings (90's, T's etc) with pex tubing.
Those plastic fittings are also made by Nibco who make the PEX system

http://www.nibco.com/PEX/PEX-Fittings
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:38 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=motorbreath;376275]I think there are two reasons:

1) Plastic is cheaper.
2) The PEX (plastic) piping is more tolerant to freezing.
QUOTE]

Two more reasons PEX is used:

3) PEX is a lot lighter in weight;
4) PEX is a lot more flexible. Copper works great in your home, but you don't pull your house down the road at 65 (+) m.p.h.! Soldered joints would surely crack & break from all the vibrations, etc.

The crimped-on fittings (connections) certainly are the weak points of the system. But band-crimping is fast and (once you pay $60+ for the crimping tool) inexpensive. That's why they're used in the assembly line manufacturing process. I use to do quite a bit of plumbing work in mobile homes, which also use PEX tubing. Whenever I have to replace a valve or fitting, I always use a "Shark-bite" fitting. They have brass bodies, are even faster to install than PEX fittings, are considerably ore reliable, and you can remove & reinstall them easily if needed. They are a bit more expensive, but worth the $ IMHO.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:38 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Brownie;376365]
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorbreath View Post
I think there are two reasons:

Whenever I have to replace a valve or fitting, I always use a "Shark-bite" fitting. They have brass bodies, are even faster to install than PEX fittings, are considerably ore reliable, and you can remove & reinstall them easily if needed. They are a bit more expensive, but worth the $ IMHO.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:41 AM   #9
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I love PEX tubing but always use metal fittings and crimp rings (no clamps). I've had and heard of folks having a lot of trouble with the plastic fittings. Why take the chance? Metal fittings are cheap. I can't do anything about what the manufacturer did but any mods or repairs are done with metal fittings.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:57 AM   #10
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PEX is the 21st Century normal. All new homes in my area are all plumbed with PEX.
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