PEX system with the 1/2-inch pipe and plastic push connections. I was concerned with this type of plumbing for a boat, but having worked for a service tech for a large power and sailboat dealer in Texas, I knew many of the new boats were coming from the factory with PEX and had not had any problems or failures. Additional feedback from other boat owners that also had PEX on board convinced me that this was indeed the way to go.
blue for cold water and the red for hot water or opt to use white throughout. For simplicity and to save some on the expense, we decided to use the white throughout, since the plumbing on Beach House is not that complicated. I also decided to purchase the 100-foot roll instead of individual 10-foot pieces. Had we needed mostly straight runs, I probably would have used the 10-foot lengths.
twist and lock push fitting for a couple of reasons. They were much less expensive than the SharkBite fittings and much easier to install than the crimp fittings, which require some very expensive tools to install. Putting the connections on is very easy to do if you follow directions. The fittings are threaded and have a blue line which tells you that the fitting is unlocked and the pipe can be inserted. If the blue line is not visible, the pipe won't seat, but by loosening the twist cap, the blue line becomes visible. With the insert in the tubing, push the pipe into the connector until it is as far as it will go, about an inch and a quarter. With the tubing fully inserted, the screw cap is tightened until it touches the body of the connector. The blue line will no longer be visible. That's it and the connection is tight and won't leak. The fitting can also be turned to any direction needed without concerns of breaking the seal.
The same types of connectors that are on the water heater are needed to bring water to the three faucets on the boat. I decided to add valves so the water could be cut off if the faucet needs repair without shutting down the entire system. This is much the same as found in most homes. The valves are then connected to the faucet itself by a flexible hose designed for just this purpose. Two of these are installed in each head and the galley.
swivel fitting connects to the pump itself. We also have a charcoal filter on our water system that has to be connected. It all went much easier than expected and certainly much easier than many other projects. The entire process, installing the new plumbing and removing the old, took a total of about 20 hours. And that was taking my time and included breaks for head scratching. The results have been a major improvement and the water is flowing as expected once again.