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Old 01-13-2017, 01:34 PM   #1
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Oetiker PEX Clamps & PEX repairs

Recently located two Pex line leaks at two separate coupling locations. One leak is an elbow and the other at a tee section. What I know so far is that I have red & blue Pex brand lines, think its 3/8 size (Prime Time RV manufactures the Crusader). I also know that I have the Oetiker PEX Clamps.

I’ve been able to find the tool needed for the installation not big deal
Have found plenty of Oetiker PEX Clamps no big deal

Have not found the same exact grayish/white plastic couplings installed in my RV however I have found plenty of lead-free brass fittings & black ones. Are there any negatives with the brass fittings or black plastic ones?

Next question is how do you remove the Oetiker Pex clamps?

Figured I would fix this myself it’s easier than taking my unit 1 1/2 away plus waiting for them to fix it and 1 ˝ hrs. drive home it’s just a hassle & the fix seems quite simple really. Thoughts?
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:45 PM   #2
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It is quite simple. I have used a lot of 1/2" brass pex fittings on my camper without issue. I have found reused plastic fittings tended to leak. To remove the clamps you snip the clamp pinch area with your Oetiker tool. Then just pull the clamps off.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:52 PM   #3
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It is quite simple. I have used a lot of 1/2" brass pex fittings on my camper without issue. I have found reused plastic fittings tended to leak. To remove the clamps you snip the clamp pinch area with your Oetiker tool. Then just pull the clamps off.
So, if I have 3/8 Pex lines I would purchase 3/8 fittings correct? Of course, I am assuming I have 3/8 Pex lines need to go back and measure the lines to be 100% sure. But the lines look like 3/8 not 1/2 inch.

Process is to use the Oetiker tool to cut off the old clamps remove fittings (I hope) don’t want to cut the line, put in the brass ones re-clamp, leak test and done. Now I have also been looking to buy small sections of Pex line one red & one blue but the quantity’s they offer are way more than I need.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KenHwy61 View Post
It is quite simple. I have used a lot of 1/2" brass pex fittings on my camper without issue. I have found reused plastic fittings tended to leak. To remove the clamps you snip the clamp pinch area with your Oetiker tool. Then just pull the clamps off.
Never tried to use the Oetiker pliers to cut off the clamp. They were usually in such a tight spot that I couldn't get enough of a grip on the pliers to cut through the ear clamp. But, what I have had 100% success with is a Dremel with a thin abrasive cut off disc. I think what I encountered on the TT were 1/2" lines so the 1/2" clamps. At least that 's what is was when the water filter was removed and the ball valves got put in my low point drains. Use sharpie marker if you feel you have to have red and blue...stripe it
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:12 PM   #5
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A Dremel cut off would work very good. Really anything to cut the ear will do. I would cut off a piece of pex and take it with you to be sure on the tubing size. Most likely is 1/2". Pex is pretty cheap and can be bought in pieces as small as 10ft. Be wary of the common rv practice of putting the white braided tubing on pex fittings. Pex fittings were never designed for braided tubing and they tend to leak when used together. The diameters are slightly different. Braided tubing requires barbed fittings which are different from pex. I got tired of the drips and leaks and removed all my braided white tubing and replaced it with pex.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:19 PM   #6
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A Dremel cut off would work very good. Really anything to cut the ear will do. I would cut off a piece of pex and take it with you to be sure on the tubing size. Most likely is 1/2". Pex is pretty cheap and can be bought in pieces as small as 10ft. Be wary of the common rv practice of putting the white braided tubing on pex fittings. Pex fittings were never designed for braided tubing and they tend to leak when used together. The diameters are slightly different. Braided tubing requires barbed fittings which are different from pex. I got tired of the drips and leaks and removed all my braided white tubing and replaced it with pex.

Yea the braided line you see in the photo came from Prime Time that way I may replace it. Keep looking for Pex line tubing online. Need to take my calipers and measure the PEX before I order. I also think the PEX has the size stamped on it either way need to figure it out don't want any water leaks.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KenHwy61 View Post
A Dremel cut off would work very good. Really anything to cut the ear will do. I would cut off a piece of pex and take it with you to be sure on the tubing size. Most likely is 1/2". Pex is pretty cheap and can be bought in pieces as small as 10ft. Be wary of the common rv practice of putting the white braided tubing on pex fittings. Pex fittings were never designed for braided tubing and they tend to leak when used together. The diameters are slightly different. Braided tubing requires barbed fittings which are different from pex. I got tired of the drips and leaks and removed all my braided white tubing and replaced it with pex.
I agree 101% with what KenHwy61 is saying...the white braided tubing is pretty much garbage. When I had a leak I took my mobile RV tech's advice and replaced it with Pex. He says he doesn't fool around anymore, and does just that when he makes repairs. I would also strongly suggest Shark Bite fittings for joining your pipes, your elbows, etc. They cost more but they work really well, makes the job quick, especially if working in tight quarters as most RV plumbing is.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:28 PM   #8
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Also if you buy a short length of pex tubing, it doesn't hurt to have on hand should you ever have a plumbing leak while out with your trailer. I have pex tubing and a couple Shark Bites and clamps in a small plumbing toolbox. It can make a difference between being able to make the fix continuing on with your trip or camping weekend, or having to pack up and head home cause you have a plumbing issue.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:19 PM   #9
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Home Depot usually has short 3 - 4 ft pieces of PEX line
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:24 PM   #10
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Lowes, and I would assume Home Depot, carry the Pex in 10' lengths & fittings. I had to look for it, as it was standing vertical, and not near the coils. Remember the pipe goes by the ID, and mostly likely 1/2" in your RV. White should work fine in your case. The only reason for the colors is to identity the Hot & Cold for long distances, were you can't easily view/identify the source.
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:40 PM   #11
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Home Depot has everything you need. The tool is the killer when it comes to price.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:50 PM   #12
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Home Depot has everything you need. The tool is the killer when it comes to price.
Thanks for the info I will look into it.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:05 PM   #13
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I would just cut the Pex back from the leaking fittings and reconnect with a new brass fittings. It does not matter what type of collar you use so long as you use the correct crimping tool. I moved my rear black flush to the water bay instead of between the slides, where it was very inconvenient, with no problems.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:12 PM   #14
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This is the one I ordered. Much cheaper than the stores.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:20 AM   #15
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Your repair is totally DIYable but because you started out comparing DIY to taking the RV into your RV dealers shop, I wanted to throw the idea out there that this stuff is not RV specific. Any plumbing van that drives by your neighborhood will have everything needed to fix this in short order.

Personally, the idea of reusing the previously crimped portion of PEX makes me nervous. I would probably cut out the old fitting, crimped PEX and all, leaving fresh ends for the new fittings. You can always add small extensions w/couplers if needed.

Also, those SharkBite fittings are stupid easy and work perfectly.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:19 AM   #16
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Shark bite fittings work great and no tools needed.
I have tried the cheaper plastic type that I had to replace in less than a year.!
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:18 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful insight. I purchased 10ft of red PEX and 10ft of blue PEX from Home Depot for $6 bucks this stuff is dirt dirt cheap.

Will order the crimping tool from Amazon all I need are a few fittings and I have an RV emergency plumbing kit that will stay on the RV. Will make the appropriate repairs within the next few weeks and post my progress.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:17 PM   #18
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Two things.
First, I read another thread on working with pex either here or on another forum. A plumber got on and stated that for large jobs, they use the crimp fittings - primarily due to cost. When he goes back for repairs, he uses either SharkBite or Watts push on fittings because they are fast. When doing a large job, $4+ per fitting vs a couple of cents for crimping pays. (RV manufacturers aren't the only ones who cut costs ) If you use the push kind of fitting on pex, make sure your cuts are square, straight, and don't have burrs.

Second, also in another thread. it was stated that the standard, cheap stainless pipe clamps cannot be used on pex because the clamps have a flat spot under the screw and have a tendency to leak. However, automotive style continuous pressure screw clamps, often used on fuel lines will work. They are also a bit more expensive, but a lot easier to work with than a crimp tool in tight spots.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:01 PM   #19
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I have an OPINION on shark bite type fittings(as most plumbers would) it is only a matter of time before they leak. Yes I have replaced leaking Parker and Parker equal leaking push to connect fittings. If it is temporary...go for it, but I would replace. JMO


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Old 01-15-2017, 01:57 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful insight. I purchased 10ft of red PEX and 10ft of blue PEX from Home Depot for $6 bucks this stuff is dirt dirt cheap.

Will order the crimping tool from Amazon all I need are a few fittings and I have an RV emergency plumbing kit that will stay on the RV. Will make the appropriate repairs within the next few weeks and post my progress.
Don't forget to order/buy the "Crimp Sleeves"also that fit your crimp tool! Youroo!!
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