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Water heater bypass


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Well looking at all the posts im doing today it appears theres something im avoiding doing😂 however in the sprit of avoiding what i should be doing i want to share my water leak issue.

During prep for a upcoming trip i dewinterized the hot water heater only to find my bypass valve now had a serious leak when under pressure. I had seen a needed valve at a local rv repair shop which i got for a GREAT price, however unbeknownst to me that was the easiest an least costly part of the repair. In order to GET to the valve i had to remove the entire hot water heater to access the valve, which also meant i had to cut the pex tube in order to get the valve off... However that wasnt the worst part, that part was reserved for the circle clamps that held the pex in place. In my ignorance i used a saw blade to cut thru the clamps, (that was the 1st mistake) as for the blade nicked the sealing portion of the fittings that the Pex covered😡. No problem, a quick trip to a plumbing store solved that, plus was able to find the compleate circile clamps needed to reattach the new Pex... Where the real nightmare was, me trying to find a tool used to tighten the clamps, NO ONE, i mean NO ONE, had the tool required to crimp these clamps, i tried tool rental places, plumbing supply tool rentals, my friends, every option came up goose egg😡 

i did manage to find that Lowes sold the tools required to compleate this nightmare... Master card to the rescue!!! $100.00 dollors later i now am the PROUD owner of the latest eddition to my tool box... oh yea!

So i now proudly carry thise tools on board cause my 2003 Holiday Rambler uses that clamping device on my entire rig. To finish this little story i will finish by saying if i ever find someone else that needs the services of this tool you can bet it gonna cost them at least a 30 pack of beer an have to suffer thru the entire story of just how i came upon owning those tools... So concider yourself pre-warned😎




Edited by Rikadoo
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Yup, I have done that in a HomeDepot parking lot.  Their Pex pliers were $80 from memory.  But cheaper than a leak!

Oh, and the right tool to cut Pex (and PVC / CPVC) is a blade in ratcheting pliers that HomeDepot also sells for $17.  Cuts clean and square and quick.

Edited by DavidL
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Well, my friend....you've just wasted $100 but will utter some new words when trying to change out any additional fittings. Here's why. Home Depot and Lowes sell Shark Bite fittings. Straight cut the PEX tubing, insert said tubing into the SharkBite and you're done. No clamping necessary. If you need to remove it, there's a small orange collar you place over the end and squeeze. BOOM! it pops right off. I've been using them since they came out about 10 years ago. Never had a leak. They are using them in all new construction that uses PEX. The sweet thing about them is you convenience. You don't have the long handled tool to bang up everything and you can get into some really small places that you cannot with the tool you bought. Monaco used those clamps because they are cheaper than the Shark Bites. But....they put that plumbing together OUTSIDE the coach.....Dennis


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I agree with Dennis, Shark Bite fittings are the way to go.  More expensive but they make me a 10 times better plumber!! The ease of use is amazing and they work on different types of pipe as well, brass, PEX, cpvc etc. Having the ability to pull it apart to make future repairs or if something does not fit just right is worth the extra cash.  Knock on wood but I have yet to have any fail and I used them exclusively for the top out in my house 12 years ago.

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FWIW,  I just did similar repair...  the check valve between the cutoff switch and tank would bind and I got no hot water..  The internals of check valve was plastic and had eroded over the years....  new one is all brass, hope it last as long (15 years)...   I would recommend anyone removing HW tank to check/replace check valve.   And I already owned pex pliers, cutter, and pinch rings from previous repairs.

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