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Old 07-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Running PEX in mobile home


Let me preface this by saying that I have little experience with plumbing.I am in the process of installing a new water heater in a mobile home. (the old one rusted out). All of the plumbing is polybutilene (gray hoses of death). We are on a well so I feel that PEX may be the best choice. I know they make sharkbite connectors that will go from PEX to poly (I am not prepared to replumb the entire trailer right now). Here is what I want to do:
-Install a shutoff where the polybutilene comes out of the ground. (The one at the well won't shut completely off)
-Run PEX from there into the trailer and into the water heater (can you connect PEX directly to the heater? There is some sort of flexible copper fitting there now)
-Run PEX from the water heater to a point where I can transition back to the polybutilene.

Does this make sense/sound reasonable?
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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Running PEX in mobile home


Yes it sounds reasonable. Watch for any existing tees that branch to other fixtures on the cold side before the water heater.

My code does not allow me to run pex to the heater- I must stay 18" of developed length away- sounds like yours is piped that way to, so I'd stick with that. Don't forget a shut off valve at the cw to the heater.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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Running PEX in mobile home


I would also go with at least 3/4 to the heater and any main runs.
You'll get about twice the flow then a 1/2 line.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Running PEX in mobile home


Hi Eplumber,


I think the current lines are 3/4", so I should be good to go there. How exactly should I make the transition to the water heater, since I can't run pex straight to it?
Also, do I need to buy a special shutoff since ill be using pex?
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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Running PEX in mobile home


They make Pex to Pex, or Shark Bite to Shark Bite shut offs.
The cheapest place I've found the fittings, hose and shut offs is Pex Supply.
The shut offs are about 1/2 the price of the box store.
Most often I use a dielectric nipple on the heater, a copper flex line then the Pex.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Running PEX in mobile home


Well that certainly makes it easier thanks for the help.

This polybutylene is really a pain. We have a leak at nearly every fixture.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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Running PEX in mobile home


Replacing all of it at one time could be done in a day by a pro.
There's going to have to be some wall damage done to get this done but you can not make an omelet without breaking some eggs.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:58 PM   #8
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Running PEX in mobile home


Is your hot water tank gas or electric? If it was gas did it have for mobile home use only on it? The reason I ask is mobile home gas HWT usually draw air from beneath the home and are a special manufacture for that. Using a home depot house tank that is gas may cause the occupants of the home to asphyxiate.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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Running PEX in mobile home


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
My code does not allow me to run pex to the heater- I must stay 18" of developed length away- sounds like yours is piped that way to, so I'd stick with that. Don't forget a shut off valve at the cw to the heater.
You can use a Flexible Water Heater Connector to meet code. Some even have the shut off valve on one side.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #10
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Running PEX in mobile home


I plan on doing it all at some point in the future. This is on our farm, in an extremely rural area, and my main interest is having our running water back for the time being. We've had to keep the well completely off because the shutoff didn't work.

It is an electric 30 gallon Rheem water heater. I should have mentioned that in the OP. naturally there was no drip pan installed so it took the subfloor with it.

Those flexible lines are an interesting idea. Although I had a contractor tell me that the similar flexible lines used for toilets are prone to failure. Is this true?

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #11
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Running PEX in mobile home


Yes, those flexible toilet lines are a real problem. Actually, I will never use any sort of flex line except behind an oven. My plumber friend told me a recall is under way for those toilet lines, but I am not sure. I had a house so destroyed by a water leak I just walked away. Those di electric nipples are a whole other discussion. They sell kits at the big box to install water heater, I think they are like 30 bucks. You will not be needing the gas line, so not sure.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:34 PM   #12
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Running PEX in mobile home


I've never once had a flex line leak and I've installed hundreds of them.
Only way I've seen one leak is when someone over tightens it. It only needs to be snugged.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:09 PM   #13
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Running PEX in mobile home


Thanks for the info. Once I get started I may come back with more questions
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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Running PEX in mobile home


Here are the facts about those braided lines. As I was saying they are bad news and here is the class action lawsuit to prove what I was telling everyone. http://www.classaction.org/fluidmast...ply-lines.html Not to mention, a flex line on a toilet does not look professional.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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Running PEX in mobile home


I may look into using a copper flex line instead.
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