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Old 09-12-2015, 06:26 PM   #1
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Melted PEX?

I had something interesting happen to my hot water line just outside the Atwood water heater (See Pic).

It's more than just a busted line, it looks like it could not handle the temperature of the water and bubbled out until it busted.

Knowing PEX is rated for over 200 degrees, and knowing the Atwood heater has thermostats to keep the water temp well under 200 degrees, I'm wondering if I have the right pipe for the hot water in my coach.

I fixed the section in the pic by replacing everything with PEX that is stamped to handle over 200 degrees. But I am now worried about the rest of the hot water supply lines.

What do you think...did my Atwood heater run away with itself and super heat the water or is the hot water supply line not up to snuff?

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Old 09-12-2015, 06:42 PM   #2
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I thought all hot water piping was red and thicker than that.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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Nothing about that set up except the clamps look pex to me but of course I haven't seen everything.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:58 PM   #4
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That is an absolute first for me. I have never seen that happen.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:00 PM   #5
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The PEX I bought to fix this is the same thickness as what you see in the pic. But I have never seen PEX that is "translucent" like you see in the pic. That's what has me wondering if they used the wrong pipe for the hot water side.

All the PEX I have ever seen is solid and either White, Red, or Blue. Regardless of color, PEX is rated to handle over 200 degrees without busting.

I'm questioning if the pipe in my coach is only rated for something much lower, thus the reason it bubbled up and popped?



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Old 09-12-2015, 07:03 PM   #6
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How hard would it be to rerun the hot side in the coach, for at least a little peace of mind? I know on some it can be very difficult, others it isn't so bad to fish new lines.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:12 PM   #7
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Good question BigJohn, I suspect the rear connections would be rather easy to get to but kitchen and front bath may be a challenge.

We have only had the coach 4 months so it's still under warranty. I have a note into Forest River (Mitch) to get his thoughts. If it's the wrong pipe I'm sure FR will take care of it for us.



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Old 09-12-2015, 07:19 PM   #8
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I hope they can advise and fix you up. Keep us posted. Would love to know what's up with the original tubing.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:22 PM   #9
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Maybe it was just a bad piece the used
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:31 PM   #10
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Check the pressure relief valve. It should have bleed off the pressure before that line broke.

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Old 09-12-2015, 07:56 PM   #11
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That actually looks like polyethylene tubing which is only rated for 140deg F. And that configuration looks like it's probably pretty close to the heater itself.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:02 PM   #12
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Looks like someone used flex tubing instead of Pex.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:44 PM   #13
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AVid, the pressure relief valve never went off.

Flybob/Bama, I'm thinking the same thing...they used poly tubing instead of PEX. And you are right, the piece that failed is right out of the heater so the water is at it's hottest right there.

Here is a pic of the repaired piece. I ran Red PEX as far as I could easily get to for now. We will see what FR comes up with when I talk with them on Monday.

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Old 09-12-2015, 08:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceblaze580 View Post
Maybe it was just a bad piece the used

That was my first thought until it got the piece out and saw it looked like flex tubing and not PEX. Now I'm leaning towards they grabbed the wrong tubing on the assembly line!




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Old 09-12-2015, 09:11 PM   #15
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Update: I was able to get to a piece of the tubing with writing on it. While it is not Shark Bite PEX, it is tubing that is rated to the same specs as Shark Bite PEX and it is rated for hot water.

Here is an excerpt from the specs:

"SafePEX tubing is SDR-9 plumbing tubing that meets ASTM F 876, ASTM F 877 and CSA B137.5 specifications. Pressure rating: 160psi 73.4 deg F, 100psi 180 deg F, 80psi at 200 deg F. SafePEX tubing is produced by the peroxide (Engel) method. This method performs “hot” cross-linking, above the crystal melting temperature. It provides more consistent and uniform cross-linking than the other two methods."

I have a regulator on the city water supply hose that is set to 55psi. I find it hard to believe that I exceeded the PSI rating.

The highest temps I have ever heard the Atwood heaters getting to is about 160 before thermostats and pressure regulators start kicking in...so I find it hard to believe I exceeded the temp ratings of the hose.

Maybe it was just a bad piece of hose that failed.

I'll be keeping a close eye on the temps from the Atwood just in case it is running away with itself.




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Old 09-13-2015, 10:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkdavis View Post
That was my first thought until it got the piece out and saw it looked like flex tubing and not PEX. Now I'm leaning towards they grabbed the wrong tubing on the assembly line!




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2015 Berkshire 38RB
2007 Jeep Wrangler JKU

If there is flex tubing on the entire hot side forest river will have fun pulling pipe
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