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Old 08-15-2018, 11:29 AM   #1
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Converting to PEX?

I've been chasing a leak in the plumbing of our starboard fresh water tank since we purchased the boat and have decided that the 37+ year old 1/2" copper tubing is part of the problem.

I'm considering replacing everything with PEX using SharkBite push connectors. I've searched the forum for advice, tips and perspective but surprisingly nothing came up.

Has anyone done this before? Any concerns about brass connectors in the H2O system?
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:09 PM   #2
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Pex with Sharkbite connectors is a very common and good solution for your fresh water system. Lots and lots of houses are built with copper tubing and brass connections so it should be fine for your boat.


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Old 08-15-2018, 12:16 PM   #3
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Yes....been there and done that with PEX, for the same reasons. A 1971 boat, copper throughout. I was putting in new counter tops in the heads and galley and figured there would never be a better time, with a lot if the copper exposed. The Sharkbite Pex system is popular and seems to work well. However, I did mine with the Uponor system, which uses a Milwaukee tool to expand the end of the tubing, then slipping on the fittings. I decided on this system after talking to a couple contractors who use it. The project turned out very well.

I'm presently on the boat in Alaska, but if you send me a PM, I'll give you some specific info on vendors and prices when I get home, in about a month.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:17 PM   #4
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I did a full replumbing of my boat last spring. I used pex pipes and crimped fitting as well as quick connect fittings. I used crimped fitting for connection that I know should be permanent and quick connect where I can foresee a removal for some reason.
Also I kept few length of soft tubing at pump and tank connections to temper vibrations.

L
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:45 PM   #5
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I am using PEX as needed. Love the stuff. Replumed a 34 Mainship MK1. Great stuff. Now on my current boat, as needed. Cannot or should not be used as sanitary hose.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:53 PM   #6
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Replumbed my entire boat with Pex, except the steering, no more copper on my boat. Watch the Habitat and used stores for Sharkbite connectors, there are also cheaper generic ones but ygwypf.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:26 PM   #7
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If you look online you can find shark bite fittings a lot cheaper than your local home improvement store.
In case you do not know the same shark bite fitting will work on PEX and copper as long as it is the same diameter.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:44 PM   #8
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I replumbed a previous boat with pex. Used blue for cold and red for hot. Worked great. Bought the plastic benders used in homes to make 90s without fittings.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
I did a full replumbing of my boat last spring. I used pex pipes and crimped fitting as well as quick connect fittings. I used crimped fitting for connection that I know should be permanent and quick connect where I can foresee a removal for some reason.
Also I kept few length of soft tubing at pump and tank connections to temper vibrations.

L
+1.... and zero leaks with the pinch crimp fittings even with plenty of mofification changes since first install.

Bought the extra flexible pex online from SupplyHouse.com
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:27 PM   #10
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Awesome. Thanks everyone. I plan to replace the feed lines between both tanks and the water pump with PEX and quick fittings for now as I'll likely need to re-route in the future. Some of the original cooper is under the water tank (outboard of the stringers) rather than inboard and accessible. I really don't know what they were thinking.

It'll be nice getting another 150 gallons online.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
I did a full replumbing of my boat last spring. I used pex pipes and crimped fitting as well as quick connect fittings. I used crimped fitting for connection that I know should be permanent and quick connect where I can foresee a removal for some reason.
Also I kept few length of soft tubing at pump and tank connections to temper vibrations.

L
I also re plumbed most of the fresh & raw water system w PEX. Prefer the crimp to quick connect in most situations...
They are less expensive... take up less space. A few quick connects in key locations allows future removal & mods if reqd.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:58 PM   #12
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Question: Are there plastic fittings for saltwater use? I want to install a saltwater washdown system for the bow and stern using PEX.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:07 PM   #13
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Used PEX for our saltwater system 14 years ago. No problems.

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Old 08-15-2018, 05:09 PM   #14
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Converting to PEX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
Question: Are there plastic fittings for saltwater use? I want to install a saltwater washdown system for the bow and stern using PEX.


SeaTech (or SeaTek?) fittings and tubing are another good option.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:31 PM   #15
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Question: Are there plastic fittings for saltwater use? I want to install a saltwater washdown system for the bow and stern using PEX.
Yes, but the crimp ones are not as easy to find though in my experience, but I didn't try hard on the web yet. Used a few brass knowing I will replace soon. Did a few yesterday.

Plenty of push on plastic fittings.... but more expensive.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:45 PM   #16
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Yes, but the crimp ones are not as easy to find though in my experience, but I didn't try hard on the web yet. Used a few brass knowing I will replace soon. Did a few yesterday.

Plenty of push on plastic fittings.... but more expensive.

I worry about anything that relies on spring steel or Chinese plastic below deck.
Found plastic at HD.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:28 PM   #17
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I worry about anything that relies on spring steel or Chinese plastic below deck.
Found plastic at HD.
The crimp I used are all stainless steel.

L
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Question: Are there plastic fittings for saltwater use? I want to install a saltwater washdown system for the bow and stern using PEX.
The Uponor Pex system has no metal at all, stainless or otherewise. The tubing end is expanded using a tool, a fitting is inserted, and in 5 seconds or so the tubing contracts back to its original size, with the fitting now firmly in place. Works like a charm and nothing to corrode.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:45 PM   #19
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The Uponor Pex system has no metal at all, stainless or otherewise. The tubing end is expanded using a tool, a fitting is inserted, and in 5 seconds or so the tubing contracts back to its original size, with the fitting now firmly in place. Works like a charm and nothing to corrode.
Thanks I'll check into it.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:00 AM   #20
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Love the pex, but one needs to carry spares if you plan to go off/shore. I looked, but didn’t find any pex in places like St. Tomas or Dominican Republic, but could always find a fitting of some kind to splice or repair a typical system. Never tested pex in cold climates, but I’d expect it probably needs thorough evacuation when it freezes, no?
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