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Old 11-15-2015, 10:54 AM   #1
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Domestic Plumbing - 5/8" fittings?

I'm a bit of a plumbing neophyte. I'm trying to add a by-pass to my water heater. It has plastic tubing with some odd fittings which use barbed ends with threaded nuts. I figure I would rip it all out and replace it with those easy to use "quick connect" fittings. Well... turns out my hose is 5/8" OD and seems most all fittings don't come in that size. I did see some fittings on West Marine's site that claim to be 5/8" OD. But they are made by Seatech and oddly enough, Seatech's web site doesn't show any 5/8" fittings. Any guidance on how best to proceed would be appreciated.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-15-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
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Pipe and tubing is measured by its ID not OD. The fittings on your water heater are 1/2" PEX. Any hardware store has them.


David
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:03 PM   #3
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OD is on the fitting package

Thanks for the reply David. But the Watts quick connect fittings use OD on their packaging. I bought 1/2 OD tubing at Home Depot and 1/2" OD fittings. But the OD on my tubing is definitely 5/8". Seems everyone's fittings jump to 3/4".Click image for larger version

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Old 11-15-2015, 12:19 PM   #4
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Irrespective of tubing size and the quick connect fittings, let me challenge the premise of putting in valves, tees, etc to make winterizing the hot water heater easier. It will take an hour or so to install the fittings and they will cost ???

I just winterized my boat's potable water system and it has what looks like the same hot water heater plumbed with PEX fittings like yours. I just unscrewed the PEX nut on both the in and out connections to the water heater, slipped a 1/2" piece of clear plastic tubing over the end of the tubing barb, clamped it down with a 3/4" hose clamp and I was done. If you unscrew the joints between the elbow and the water heater inlet, you will have a PEX barb that you can slip the tubing over.

Took about three minutes and cost a couple of bucks for the 1/2" tubing.


Next year after flushing out the antifreeze, I will pull off the tubing and reconnect. Should take a couple of minutes.

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Old 11-15-2015, 01:20 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Pipe is, as far as I know measured as to ID. Tubing on the other hand is measured as to OD. Copper is done this way. Plastic may be different.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:49 PM   #6
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That doesn't look like Pex to me.
This is Pex:
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Old 11-15-2015, 02:33 PM   #7
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They both could be pex.....just different fittings.....the transparent pex looks just like my salt water system pex.

There are 2 way valves for just what you are looking to do. Many RV places sell them as older RVS were not set up that way but the newer ones often are.

My RV had a 2 way valve on the water heater and one at the water pump to select the water tank or a pigtail that you put in one gallon bottles of RV antifreeze. Flip 2 valves to bypass the water heater and that issue and use the fresh water pump to winterize the system. After winterizing hundreds of boats..,I never felt anything was easier.

In some ways, the RV industry makes the marine industry look like dolts.
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Old 11-15-2015, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackD View Post
It has plastic tubing with some odd fittings which use barbed ends with threaded nuts. I figure I would rip it all out and replace it with those easy to use "quick connect" fittings. Well... turns out my hose is 5/8" OD and seems most all fittings don't come in that size.

The fittings in your pics are Flair-It fittings, available on line or at many RV stores.

See FLAIR-IT by THC for details...

I understand SharkBite metal fittings -- from Home Depot, etc. -- are also equally easy to use... and there's not necessarily a reason why all your fittings have to be the same product.

-Chris
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Irrespective of tubing size and the quick connect fittings, let me challenge the premise of putting in valves, tees, etc to make winterizing the hot water heater easier. It will take an hour or so to install the fittings and they will cost ???

I just winterized my boat's potable water system and it has what looks like the same hot water heater plumbed with PEX fittings like yours. I just unscrewed the PEX nut on both the in and out connections to the water heater, slipped a 1/2" piece of clear plastic tubing over the end of the tubing barb, clamped it down with a 3/4" hose clamp and I was done. If you unscrew the joints between the elbow and the water heater inlet, you will have a PEX barb that you can slip the tubing over.

Took about three minutes and cost a couple of bucks for the 1/2" tubing.

I don't even bother to do that. We have the same water heater as pictured (Atwood) and I mostly just drain it... draining being augmented with the air compressor via the whole freshwater system.

After using the compressor, I usually bump a little antifreeze through the freshwater strainer/pump/accumulator and some of that AF usually gets into the water heater tank too... but that's not entirely intentional.

Anyway, the Atwood manual says any residual water left in the tank won't harm anything if it freezes. And note, the drain is lower than the inlet/outlet fittings.

I leave a length of drain hose permanently attached to the spigot, and usually connect that to a longer hose I can use to actually drain the tank overboard... which in turn saves wet-vac'ing the bilge afterwards.

-Chris
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:52 AM   #10
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I took a different approach on mine. Not better but I will share for an added choice. I unscrewed the fittings directly off the water heater, which left me two female threaded fittings. Home Depot sells a short 1/2 inch plastic pipe with threads on both ends with the sprinkler stuff that screwed onto both pipes to join them and bypass heater
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:59 AM   #11
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Try this.
(Camco - RV Boat Quick Turn Permanent By-Pass Kit Plumbing Heater Element Motorhome).
It should hook up to your existing set up.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:12 AM   #12
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Camco

Quote:
Originally Posted by jskinner30PII View Post
Try this.
(Camco - RV Boat Quick Turn Permanent By-Pass Kit Plumbing Heater Element Motorhome).
It should hook up to your existing set up.
Yep! Have it sitting here on my desk. I guess the issue is more about trying to eliminate those odd fittings. Thanks to all!
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:30 AM   #13
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I hate plastic fittings, it made everyone a plumber? Are you having an issue with the fittings leaking or do you just want to change them out? I havethe 1/2 pex, red and blue. I found over the years the plastic tubing becomespretty rigid, does not want to conform to a new angle or pitch . Not sure youcan get to all your fittings? The Shark bite fittings are expansive but arereusable and will work on any same OD dimension tubing. They are great if you want tojoin dissimilar metals and plastic. Sometimes a little heat helps when changing out plastic fittings and retaining the same pipe or tubing runs. You could go to Home depot and purchase the pex fittings and tubing or use what you have above.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:18 PM   #14
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Careful!?! The PEX on my 2005 MS34T is metric 15mmID. The threaded connections are 1/2". No shopping at Lowes for these.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:58 PM   #15
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Several plumber friends have warned me about Pex tubing from Home Depot. They raved about Pex, just buy it from a plumbing supply house for more predictable quality.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:58 PM   #16
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Jack, I was trying to figure out what the reading on your caliper in post three meant.
What the heck does E290 mean? Oh wait........never mind.

Actually that's pretty close to 15mm.
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Old 11-19-2015, 07:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Careful!?! The PEX on my 2005 MS34T is metric 15mmID. The threaded connections are 1/2". No shopping at Lowes for these.
Long John,

ID or OD? I'm starting to thinkmy 5/8" is really 15mm tubing. That is OD though.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:24 AM   #18
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OK, I give up. What does e290 mean??
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:26 AM   #19
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E290

I think that was a joke. "E290" was the reading on my caliper. Upside down. In other words ".0623"
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Old 11-19-2015, 08:30 PM   #20
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JackD, I'll have to look when I go back hopefully this weekend. I might have mis-remembered cuz I'm old. I remember solving the problem by removing the push-on PEX coupling, dropping a little glycerin on the PEX, heating a piece of nylon reinforced flex tubing and slipping it over the end of the pex. Double hose clamp. A barbed nipple on the other end of the flex tubing can connect to anything. My memory is that the flex was 3/4" ID.
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