This post appears to be a “continuing education” addition to my previously posted entry about our “blow-out” on the toilet valve.
Since the above incident, we make it a point to be sure and turn off the water supply to the fifth wheel at the hydrant so that we don’t come home to find water pouring out of the bottom of the coach. Since Jo and I are still working, it would be hours before we returned home.
Since we work only 3 miles from where we work, at least one of us comes home for lunch so that we can also let TJ out to do his business. Since we don’t have pet doors anymore because we live in an RV, we have to make accommodations for our little guy, thus the need to go home for lunch.
One day last week, I came home for lunch and to let TJ out and as I normally do, simply turned on the 12 volt water pump to draw what little water I needed from the fresh water tank. While preparing my lunch, I noticed a “different sound,” so I immediately went to the direction of the sound. Sure enough, it was in the bathroom and water was on the floor in front of the shower.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to run outside to shut off water, but only had to turn off the pump. I went up into the bedroom to check out the problem and when I pulled my jeans out from the storage compartment where they are kept, I found the bottom pair to be very wet. Water has sprayed against the wall where the access point is and the jeans soaked it all up. Seems like a good reason to keep jeans in that compartment instead of something that could be damaged by water.
When we were researching to purchase our RV, we looked into a model or two that had a fourth slide, also called a vanity slide because of the dresser being mostly what was in that slide. We decided against a vanity slide because of the loss of storage space. I almost wish now that we had gone with the vanity slide. If we had, the access panel to the shower plumbing would be out in the open and easier to reach.
In the photo below, you can see a thin panel screwed to the inside wall of the bottom of the storage area that is next to the shower wall. That small of an area will allow me to stick my head inside and see what is inside, but I can’t put both my head and my hand in there at the same time. So, any work inside must be done by feel, unless I set up a stand-alone mirror that I can use for viewing.
The photo below shows a Mobile Suites with a vanity slide. On the wall to the right is a wooden “plate” that covers the access hole for the shower plumbing. As you can see in this photo, that would be a lot easier to access than inside of a storage compartment. Oh well, live and learn.
I removed that access cover and found the problem. As you can see in the photo below, the hot water line has blown out, leaving only the nipple of the end of the fitting. The threaded collar part of the fitting is not seen here because I had removed it, but one can see the intact fittings of the cold water line further back.
The picture below is of the collar part of the fitting. It appears that the gasket material inside is deteriorating.
I went back to work and notified Jo of our problem. I arranged to take off an hour early so I could go buy parts for repairing our new pluming problem. Fortunately, after having the problem with the toilet, I knew to avoid the big box store hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot. In our previous search, we had found nothing there that I liked. We probably just weren’t in the right part of the stores.
I simply went to Westlake Hardware for our needs. I’m thinking that Westlake and Ace Hardware are one and the same, but I can’t be sure. I went looking for a fairly short hose that had the 1/2-inch FIP (Female Iron Pipe connection) female ends that would go directly onto the NPT male ends going to the faucet.
That also gave me a hose that would slip up over the “blown-out” nipple from the original PEX fitting, and I also bought two small hose clamps to use to hold the hose onto the exposed nipple. The photo below shows the hose with one of the two clamps that I bought. Since I would be cutting the hose, having a hose with the same fitting on each end gives me an extra, plus the additional hose clamp, just in case we have another “blow-out.”
Because of the close area in which to work, I first tried fastening the FIP fitting onto the faucet fitting first and then getting the nipple up into the hose. That wouldn’t work because I didn’t have enough leverage to make it happen. So, I removed the fitting and hose from the faucet nipple and tried pressing it into place. It still didn’t work, even with soaping the inside of the hose and the blown nipple.
During the winter, we keep a Lasko electric heater in the bedroom for heating purposes, so I held the hose in front of the heater for a while to warm it up. Then, I applied soap again and reached back inside to press the hose onto the nipple. (Naturally, I remembered to put the hose clamp on the hose first.) This time the two parts went together pretty well. I tightened the hose clamp and the attached the FIP fitting onto the faucet nipple.
Since this was done after work, I had Jo watch the fitting while I went back outside to the water manifold and turned on the hot water for the shower again.
Heh….no leaks. I did well for a change. Not bad considering I have never liked plumbing.