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Old 20-07-2011, 20:04   #1
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Freshwater System Plumbing

I have decided to replace the entire fresh water system on my 25 year old sailboat. Deteriorated tanks, hoses etc. Ripping out all the old supply lines I find that most of is 5/8" hose and then it necks down to 1/2" through the pump, then back to 5/8 to the hot water heater and to the sinks then back to 1/2" and finally 3/8" at the fixtures. Seems a lot simpler to run 1/2" everywhere using continuous lengths as much as possible eliminating as many connections as possible.

I'm going with two Nauta flexible water tanks (35.5 and 23.5 gallon), Shields White Sanitation VAC Heavy Duty Hose for the supply lines (with a Y valve), Trident Reinforced PVC Blue Tracer for the supply lines. I'll use the largest 50 mesh strainer in front of a 3 gal per minute pump and the run the water through a charcoal filter on the pressure side of the pump and individual cut off valves between the tanks and the union going to the pump.

Am I on the right track, or am I missing something?
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Old 20-07-2011, 20:24   #2
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Re: Fresh water system plumbing

Although I'm not familiar with all of the specific products mentioned, 1/2" supply lines are more than adequate. I personally would not charcoal filter all water, but only the galley line. I don't need to shower in filtered water, but would prefer drinking it.

We recently replaced an older belt driven diaphragm pump with a new 3 gal per minute unit. But, we kept the one gallon accumulator tank in the system, eliminating constant on/off cycling so common in newer pumps.

Bill
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Old 20-07-2011, 20:59   #3
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Re: Fresh water system plumbing

Welcome to the forum.

I agree with Bill on the location of the charcoal filter...and as close to the faucet as possible.

I sure like the variable speed pump on my system (vsd), have you considered going with one?

I'm not a fan of clear supply lines, however if most are in the dark you may not have a problem with growth...not sure.

You can get red tracer for the hot supply.

If you can plumb your tanks to the pump supply in a way that lets you have cross over bettwen tanks (it valved through the tank valves) this can be useful.
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Old 20-07-2011, 21:31   #4
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Re: Fresh water system plumbing

How would a tankless heater do?
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Old 20-07-2011, 21:57   #5
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Re: Fresh Water System Plumbing

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Old 20-07-2011, 21:58   #6
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Re: Fresh Water System Plumbing

I agree with James on the clear hose issue. If I were re-plumbing my boat today I would use the SeaTech series 35 fittings and their PEX tubing. It's really easy to work with. The tubing is available in three colors so you can use one for cold, one for hot and one for salt if you have a wash down. All of the tube colors are good to 100 PSI at 180 deg. F.
Sea Tech, Inc - Leading Manufacturer of Quick Connect Fittings, Quick Connect Manifolds and Valves, PEX Tubing

I like the variable speed pumps as well. They allow you to take out the pressure tank and free up some space. In fact they shouldn't be used with a pressure tank. It drives their little brain crazy.
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Old 21-07-2011, 09:26   #7
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Re: Fresh Water System Plumbing

We filter all the water as it leaves our pump as you suggest are very happy with it. If you ever plan to put chlorine in your system to shock it, you will be happy to not have any chlorine in your water anywhere.

We also have a foot pump at the galley and we filter that as well.

+1 on the variable speed pump. We have a Jabsco Sensor Max VSD 31750 and it has worked great so far.

Good luck!
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Old 21-07-2011, 11:28   #8
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

No hose... PEX tubing is the way to go ~

ciao!
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Old 21-07-2011, 20:00   #9
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

Are there any opinions about the Whale quick connect system vs the Sea-Tech system? They appear similar based on the ad in the West Marine Catalog, Whale "tubing" costs less than Sea Tech "flex pipe" but the Whale fittings cost more. I'll need about 50 feet of 1/2" hose\tube.

Can the "pipe" be installed in a bend? I have several routing areas ( on the high and low pressure side of the pump) that go in and out of the bilge where a flexible hose might be the only solution. I suppose I could use the white sanitary hose in these areas if necessary using the 1/2" hose barb adapters.
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Old 21-07-2011, 20:41   #10
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

PEX is the answer.. you can bend it yes. We have a CF expert member but I'm not sure who right now. Try forum search for PEX.

I think home depot is the best source. Stay away from West Marine.

There is a brand of connectors that has no metal parts. It uses a special tool that stretches the pipe so you can quickly put a fitting in before the shrinks to normal size again. Wirsbo, that's it. Check it out on youtube etc.

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Old 21-07-2011, 21:39   #11
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

SeaTech and Whale tubing is interchangable as long as the size is the same. In other words you can use 15mm Whale tubing with 15mm SeaTech fittings. The pex tubing can be bent but just like hose it will kink if the radius is too small. If you need a tight turn, install an elbow. Both Whale and SeaTech are excellent systems. You should shop the internet carefully and you can get a much better price on SeaTech products than where you have been looking. Half inch SeaTech tubing should be about $0.89 per foot. A 1/2" Union Elbow #2417-10 should be about $4.88.
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Old 24-07-2011, 10:22   #12
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

I've used the Watts PEX system which consists of brass fittings and stainless compression rings. There is a single tool that works with all sizes of tubing that you would care about.

The Wispro (sp?) system used plastic bands, and a tool that fits in the end of the tubing stretches the tubing and band. You then remove the tool and quickly slip the end over the fitting and the tubing and band shrink back to their normal size and seal the joint. I've seen it done, but haven't done it myself. I don't know if there is a single tool with interchangable heads for different tubing sizes, or if you need a tool for each tubing size.
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Old 24-07-2011, 10:47   #13
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I've used the Watts PEX system which consists of brass fittings and stainless compression rings. There is a single tool that works with all sizes of tubing that you would care about.

The Wispro (sp?) system used plastic bands, and a tool that fits in the end of the tubing stretches the tubing and band. You then remove the tool and quickly slip the end over the fitting and the tubing and band shrink back to their normal size and seal the joint. I've seen it done, but haven't done it myself. I don't know if there is a single tool with interchangable heads for different tubing sizes, or if you need a tool for each tubing size.

The spelling is "Wirsbo", and it is a single tool with interchangeable devices for different sizes. Here is a link to one of the suppliers: PEXSupply.com.
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Old 24-07-2011, 11:25   #14
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

Sounds like a good plan. Done properly that Trident hose will outlive you. I think you want the red tracer on the hot side though(?) 1/2" should be fine.

re: tankless water heater: I have used them on two boats. most recently I used one made for Cabins, Camping etc. ($105 auto ignition, no vent pipe and worked great.) Both my installations were right adjacent to a hatch though. Actually the last one was near the companionway.
One advantage is you dont have to have AC power or have to run the engine to get hot water. On the other hand, if you're not out cruising; you probably have AC at the dock. If you are out cruising, you probably have to run the engine daily to charge the batteries... so either way a conventional heater works good too.
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Old 10-08-2011, 14:01   #15
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Re: Freshwater System Plumbing

I actually have a new and unused Uponor (Wirsbo successor) hose expander tool with 1/2", 3/4", and 1" fittings with instructions and lube oil in a slim case. I decided to use whale quick connect so if anyone needs it I'd sell and ship it for a super price.
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