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Old 10-24-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
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Default Broken bypass valve help

So, as usual when I attempt something that should be easy, it isnít. I started the process to winterize my RV and the most basic part of all stopped me. I broke off the bypass valve for the hot water heater. Itís plastic and snapped right off in my hand. Worse than that I dropped it into the abyss and canít find it.

I know you canít turn those with a pair of pliers. My question is will a regular household plumber replace that? Getting to an RV dealer will be six months and winter will well be over. I canít attempt taking it apart myself. I donít even know how the tubing is attached to the valve stem. It has round crimped like connections.

Iíve attached a photo. Any wisdom would be appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:11 PM   #2
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Looks like Pex tubing & clamp rings. Plumbers will have the tools for that. Maybe get the plumber to replace those valves with metal valves.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Looks like Pex tubing & clamp rings. Plumbers will have the tools for that. Maybe get the plumber to replace those valves with metal valves.
Thank you. Yes I think replacing them would be a good idea. These turn very hard and I know I'll do it again. I'll make some plumber calls Monday morning!
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:15 PM   #4
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I realize many people are reluctant to do repairs themselves but PEX tubing is very easy to work with with a few simple tools and a trip to a big box hardware store. I am sure there are lots of good YouTube videos to help you to clamp on a new valve.

I would shut off the water pump and drain the water heater. Then I would buy a new valve, a short piece of similar diameter PEX tubing, a few PEX clamps, a PEX tube cutter and a PEX crimping tool all of which will be much cheaper than a plumbers bill and come in handy again some day. After clamping on the new valve and testing it with your water pump for leaks, you can pat yourself on the back and enjoy the mandatory congratulatory ice cold beer.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:14 AM   #5
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As jrobe mentions, working with PEX tubing is easy enough if you're handy. Someone at a hardware store will sell you what you need.

Something to look out for is that there might not be enough red tube left after cutting (allowing for the width of the bottom of the tubing cutting tool to keep it flush) to install a new fitting. If so, that will make it more complicated. You might end up having to remove a larger section.

Cutting the rings off is an option but probably need a Dremel tool with cutting wheel & ensuing sparks all done in a confined space it appears.

broken valve_.JPG

There are easier to remove clamps for PEX than the rings used in your van. I'd use them for the repair.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:19 AM   #6
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Dangit @jrobe! You really make me want to try this! Worst case I screw it up more and then call a plumber LOL.

Great advice @markopolo. Key take away "If you're handy" which I'm not. I can take a computer apart with my eyes closed, but this kind of stuff I'm just terrible. Thanks for the detailed photo with the cut lines. I was hoping the clamps could be cut with another tool but using a dremel in there seems like I'll do more damage than good. Probably better to replace a larger section of tubing.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:39 AM   #7
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Ok, I will go one step further to try to save you some money (personally, I am a cheapskate and a youtube do it yourselfer).

Here is a video on removing different PEX clamps. I have cut them with a hacksaw blade also if I can fit it in there.



Here is a video on attaching new PEX clamps. My hardware store sells the clamp tool for $40.



Here is a nice sturdy metal valve for $6 that will last a lifetime. Thy sell a 5 foot section of 1/2" PEX tubing (blue or red) for $2 and you can cut it to fit.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...?tid=-1&ipos=1
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:21 PM   #8
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Not all pex is created equal!!!https://www.plumbermag.com/how-to-ar...-created-equal
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:20 AM   #9
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So this morning I gut my gumption up, went to the orange big box, and bought all of the supplies i would need for this job. Called a good friend who is the director of maintenance for a school district, and he came over.

After much deliberating and head scratching we came to the conclusion that the only way to get to the pipes was to either take out the back seat, which is an electric fold down, or take out the water heater. There's just no room to get the tools in to either cut the pex or crimp it back. Both of those choices were a no. All is not lost however.

While messing with the broken valve, i noticed that the valve stem was sticking out in the back of the valve. I pushed it back into its normal position and found that there was plenty of stem left to use pliers to turn the valve either open or closed. So, at least I can get the winterizing done. For now, the bypass valves are in the correct position and the broken one is secured with a hose clamp to keep the stem from moving or pushing out of place.

If I could just find the stem with knob, I could fix this without taking out any pex tubing. I've google searched a ton and can't find a valve like I have or replacement parts. The numbers on the handle are : VI F877 PLS B137.5 F2159.

Edit: I may have found it! https://www.supplyhouse.com/Viega-43...EX-Crimp-Valve

Does this look right?

I'm good for the winter, but I'll have to do something permanent in the spring.

Thanks again everyone for all of your help!
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