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Old 04-21-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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Polybutylene Plumbing

The interior domestic water system of my 1982 Defever 41 trawler is plumbed with polybutylene piping and fittings (the gray stuff).
Now I cant buy parts for it at Ace, True Value, Lowes or Home Cheapo. Went to local plumbing supply, a big company, and they dont carry it either.
I have some spare fittings but the lack of supply parts at these common hardware stores has me concerned.
R.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

Quote:
superdiver wrote:
What is recommended to replace it with? What will (in theory) be around for a prolonged period of time?
*

*I am thinking of simply using 1/2 reinforced plastic water hose (reinforced PVC) like this

http://tinyurl.com/3tdmmxh

but at $1.50/ft, it gets expensive quickly. My 1986 Catalina 30 sailboat had that throughout.

My water system is still in very good condtion....But I need to start thinking about how to transition to being able to make repairs when needed.

Looks like i need to stock up on 1/2" hose adapters and Ts and a roll of 1/2 reinforced PVC hose as my repair parts.

R.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

You may want to check www.plumbingsupply.com/polyb.html
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

I use the clear reinforced plastic hose with copper fitting on the hot and plastic fitting on the cold.* If the water is to hot, the plastic fitting will get soft and start leaking.*
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:07 AM   #5
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

Try McMaste-Carr

http://www.mcmaster.com/#polybutylen...ttings/=bzgwnq
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

Ralph, I purchased several fittings from Amazon: search for Qest fittings. A Google search for Qest or Pex elbows (for example) should steer you in the right direction.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

John Guest speedfit plumbing fittings and pipe.
I have used this extensively on all my retro fit plumbing on Tidahapah.
I don't know if available in the US but sure is a great product.
www.johnguest.com
Probably a US company anyway.
They have colour coded pipes as well. Blue, Green , red and white .

Benn
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:13 AM   #8
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

5/8 Copper soft refrigeration tubing , with Flare fittings is always my first choice ,NO parts but but tubing needed for repairs.

Refrigeration, not auto flair for best results.

Use refrigeration , not other flair nuts too!
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

Quote:
superdiver wrote:
The problem I have is that its the fittings that I am having trouble with, they are not the same as regular plumbing fittings and threads..
We had the same problem with our grey polybutylene pipes.* There is a thread on this forum, just search for "polybutylene" started by "rusbet". We ended up trying a number of difference products and the easiest and most successful was a short flex pipe section and an adapter called "flair-it" from Ace Hardware.*
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:45 PM   #10
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

You can probably mate it with Sharkbite fittings - they mate pretty much anything to anything.* My local Ace carries them - if you can pull out a small section of tubing, you can probably check and see if it'll fit.

If you're replacing, use PEX.* I built a new house with it and did the plumbing myself.* It's inexpensive, flexible, and very easy to install.* On a boat, you can get away with the crimp type (Zurn) that the home centers sell - the crimp type causes a flow restriction that's a problem with home installations, but probably not as much on a boat.

I used the Wirsbo/Uponor system which involves an expander tool - a very nice system, but the tool is about $150, and the plumbing supply isn't supposed to sell it to you unless you've taken the approved course on how to install it without screwing up.* The salesman at my supply house gave me the abbreviated course at the counter.

Check pexsupply.com for pex & sharkbite stuff.

*
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:12 AM   #11
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

"the crimp type causes a flow restriction that's a problem with home installations, but probably not as much on a boat."

I work the other way , on a boat the electric has to be created , stored and then delivered to the pump.

Flow restrictions stink as they causes more pump time for less water.

5/8 Flaired soft copper refrigeration tubing does not grow bugs , does not leach into the water and offers great water flow with very low (15-20psi ) set pressure.

And parts to replace/repair/modify are worldwide OTS.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:36 PM   #12
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

Pex = about $0.30 a foot.

Cu = about $3.00 a foot

Fittings are about the same ratio in cost

Pex doesn't burst if the first hard freeze hits before the freshwater system has been blown out for the winter.

So they both have their advantages and disadvantages (like many things in life... )

*
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:37 PM   #13
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RE: Polybutylene Plumbing

I replaced all the the gray pipe on the boat with new red and blue pex and our fresh water system hasnt been the same but much better. No weeping leaks cracking or breaking.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:50 AM   #14
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pex water lines?

So glad I read your post on our new 1986 present 42 honey do list is to repair freshwater shower and sink lines.I never saw this gray semi rigid tubing. It looks original. Can I use the never pex lines or would the reinforced nylon clear rubber tubing be ok.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:09 AM   #15
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Don't rule out your local RV dealer or Camping world. My 5th wheel trailer had all grey piping and all the RV dealers locally have replacement parts and fittings in stock if you want to just stay with the original equipment. I had several trailers and can't say I ever had a leak.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Shoalwaters View Post
Ralph, I purchased several fittings from Amazon: search for Qest fittings. A Google search for Qest or Pex elbows (for example) should steer you in the right direction.
Yes, the brand name is "Qest".

They are available on amazon.com, but my local Ace Hardware store has a complete stock.

If a local Ace Hardware store doesn't stock them, they should be able to get them.
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