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Old 02-23-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
Doppel
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Default SharkBite plumbing fittings are ridiculous

I'm a plumbing newb (like most reading this thread!) , but I saw these at Home Depot some time back and read up on them. http://www.sharkbiteplumbing.com/

Although they are not legal for sale in California or Vermont for some reason (the ones I got), the general consensus among professional plumbers is that although these are quite expensive they work as advertised (a few disagree, basically because worried about them but have no clear indication as why). I just used some for the first time on Pex (and the same one works on copper). Was just absurd. It simply pushes on. Then I put the water back on and no leaks. I know, that's what they're supposed to do, but it's unreal something that is literally just pushed on like this onto a smooth plastic like Pex should hold up for many years.

It's like Pex wasn't easy and quick enough so they had to make these. Lowes carries "GatorBite" versions...

This is an older thread but since we now have a forum for such threads and this is still active, I've moved it to Home & Garden.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Thanks.

Good to know. I recently redid the plumbing in my ancient house with PEX. Actually a plumber did it. Been trying to figure out the best way to work on this stuff. I'll try the SharkBite stuff.

I love it when I finish a plumbing repair the first time and there's no leak.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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Yep, SharkBite fittings are definitely worth the price premium, especially if you're doing the work yourself.

One of those rare products that simply just freaking work with no strings attached.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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What's also crazy is how loose they feel once attached.
You can freely spin them around the tubing as if it's not even connected.

I don't trust them though. (I guess I am getting old and not trusting technology)

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edro View Post
What's also crazy is how loose they feel once attached.
You can freely spin them around the tubing as if it's not even connected.

I don't trust them though.
I know! I saw them do that at Home Depot and figured they'd been worn out, but no mine spin easily, too. I wouldn't trust them if not for overwhelming support of them based on my searches online, simply because they really do seem too darn easy.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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But do you really want your drinking water sitting in plastic all day?
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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I had a friend I went on plumbing jobs with. All he used was SharkBites, basically.

Never had a problem with one so far. I guess it helps that plumbing follows material standards, so a SharkBite really only has to do one job, but it does it well.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
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But do you really want your drinking water sitting in plastic all day?
Great, we're basically using bottled water IN THE HOUSE.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
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PEX is quickly becoming the norm for new construction because its CHEAP to install. The ridiculous price of copper helps too
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janas19 View Post
I had a friend I went on plumbing jobs with. All he used was SharkBites, basically.

Never had a problem with one so far. I guess it helps that plumbing follows material standards, so a SharkBite really only has to do one job, but it does it well.
Your plumber friend isn't doing his customers a great service by using SharkBites. Not even thinking about possible failure rates, the fittings cost 10-20 times as much as regular fittings (PEX or copper). If he's a professional, it shouldn't take him much longer to sweat on a copper fitting or attach a PEX ring than it does to use a SharkBite. There are instances where clearance is an issue where it's a good idea to use SharkBites, but that's about it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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They look like a good idea, but I won't use them. The reason is simply that they're new. New things often have major problems a few years down the road, I don't want to have to go back and re-plumb dozens of projects.
For copper, there is also a glue available, so you don't have to sweat fittings. It's pretty nifty stuff, but I won't use it either.

In the county where I live pex isn't allowed, the official reason is that rats chew through it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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the only reason I could find as to why they can't be sold in CA/VT

Quote:
SharkBite Lead Free Fittings
As of January 1, 2010, changes to California and Vermont laws prohibit selling any pipe, fitting, or fixture that is intended to dispense or convey drinking water and that has a weighted average lead content of more than 0.25% based on a wetted surface area calculation.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:26 PM   #13
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the only reason I could find as to why they can't be sold in CA/VT
For CA, it's certainly the lead law.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:29 PM   #14
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Press lock fittings are nothing new. We have been using them for at least 20 years in Industrial applications. It is just new for home users.

http://www.coleparmer.com/Category/P...FcGc7Qodyl8hyw
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NutBucket View Post
PEX is quickly becoming the norm for new construction because its CHEAP to install. The ridiculous price of copper helps too

I wouldn't buy a house with it, had one and it was the worst experience ever. It is just a way to plumb cheap and fast with no concern for the long term. Copper cost but in the long run it can't be beat.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #16
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For my first pex install I used Shark Bites. They are great for small projects where it's not worth buying the $200 crimper. Though for big jobs it's cheaper to buy the crimper and the regular fittings and rings. Then you have the crimper for next time and the fittings are way cheaper.

What's nice about pex is the overall lower chance of leak, as there are way less fittings and joints in a proper install that uses a main manifold. If I was to replumb from scratch that's what I'd do, just have two manifolds, one for hot and one for cold, and each "device" would have it's own individual run.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
Thanks.

Good to know. I recently redid the plumbing in my ancient house with PEX. Actually a plumber did it. Been trying to figure out the best way to work on this stuff. I'll try the SharkBite stuff.

I love it when I finish a plumbing repair the first time and there's no leak.

Fern
Definately not a plumbing expert here but I would be a little cautious with them. When I got mine for some plumbing work I was doing one fitting leaked all over the place. I took it apart and the little gasket was out of place. While it was pretty easy to put back in place I see two problems with this.
1) Generally if its really easy to put back in place its probably also easy to slip out of place
2) It has a rubber gasket that will wear out

I just needed a simple T in my basement so I'm not too worried about it but its not something I would trust behind a wall

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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
For my first pex install I used Shark Bites. They are great for small projects where it's not worth buying the $200 crimper. Though for big jobs it's cheaper to buy the crimper and the regular fittings and rings. Then you have the crimper for next time and the fittings are way cheaper.
Yeah - if we re-do the bathroom I'll definatly be investing in the crimpers instead of the sharkbite fittings
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:37 PM   #18
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I had pex put in by my contractor. Yeah, it's foolish to use Sharkbite everywhere, because it's extremely expensive for the fittings. You're much better off using traditional pex fittings. Much cheaper and work great.

He did use Sharkbite in the transition points from copper to pex. They are legal in-wall here, but nonetheless I asked him to make the main transition points in areas where I have physical access. So, they're in utility closets and behind a trap door.

BTW, because we used pex for the new plumbing, I had the electrician come in and re-bond all the existing copper water pipes and gas lines to earth. The gas lines had been bonded to the copper water pipes previously, but since there was intervening pex, the copper water pipes were no longer grounded.

As for GatorBite, they don't quite have the same reputation as SharkBite.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
He did use Sharkbite in the transition points from copper to pex. They are legal in-wall here, but nonetheless I asked him to make the main transition points in areas where I have physical access. So, they're in utility closets and behind a trap door.
I wouldn't have let that fly in my home -- he should have just been unlazy and broken out his torch and flux. They make fittings that can either sweat over top of copper pipe or sweat into a copper fitting and feature the PEX barb on the other end (you can get them as simple transitions, Ts, 90s, drop-eared, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Modelworks
I wouldn't buy a house with it, had one and it was the worst experience ever. It is just a way to plumb cheap and fast with no concern for the long term. Copper cost but in the long run it can't be beat.
Cheap and fast isn't always a bad thing. Besides being cheap and fast, PEX also has the benefit of being less likely to burst if your water lines were to freeze. I'd put PEX in my house with no hesitation. I might go for PEX-A over PEX-B though (expansion versus crimp/cinch). I'd have my heating system done with HePEX too.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:13 PM   #20
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I wouldn't buy a house with it, had one and it was the worst experience ever. It is just a way to plumb cheap and fast with no concern for the long term. Copper cost but in the long run it can't be beat.
What happened? I know a lot of professionals are moving to PEX. I enjoy reading about technologies that bite us in the ass, and that's happened for thousands of years, on topic however being sometime back I guess copper was being replaced with some plastic piping (I can't remember what) and causing some issues down the line, but it wasn't PEX. It's been in use in some capacity for decades. I have heard rats are more prone to eat it.

A lot of homes now are built with PEX. The contractor I had in recently owns many properties and a few years back had one undergoing renovation, but unlived in. Thieves relieved him one night of all of his copper (and finished walls) and he switched then to PEX.

EDIT: Think this was the bad stuff I was talking about: http://www.repipenews.com/

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GregGreen View Post
I wouldn't have let that fly in my home -- he should have just been unlazy and broken out his torch and flux. They make fittings that can either sweat over top of copper pipe or sweat into a copper fitting and feature the PEX barb on the other end (you can get them as simple transitions, Ts, 90s, drop-eared, etc).
I had no problem with it, as they are fully code approved in Ontario, even for in-wall.

It's not as if he has an aversion to sweating copper by the way, as he broke out the torch for the pure copper connections of course.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modelworks View Post
I wouldn't buy a house with it, had one and it was the worst experience ever. It is just a way to plumb cheap and fast with no concern for the long term. Copper cost but in the long run it can't be beat.
I'm not sure if it's changed or not, but Wirsbo Pex used to be warranted for life if installed by a certified installer.

I just happened to glance down at the price of copper pipe while I was shuffling through Home Depot (needed yet another 250 foot roll of copper wiring). The (10 foot sections of copper pipe; it was either 1/2" or 3/4", I just glanced, would have been over $20 including tax.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:27 AM   #23
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I bought mine from Home Depot in CA. Love how easy it is to install.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
Thanks.

Good to know. I recently redid the plumbing in my ancient house with PEX. Actually a plumber did it. Been trying to figure out the best way to work on this stuff. I'll try the SharkBite stuff.

I love it when I finish a plumbing repair the first time and there's no leak.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcgeek11 View Post
Press lock fittings are nothing new. We have been using them for at least 20 years in Industrial applications. It is just new for home users.

http://www.coleparmer.com/Category/P...FcGc7Qodyl8hyw
Those fittings are rated for cold water usage only.

Sharkbite fittings are like any other press lock fittings that employed o-rings and water pressure to seal. However, if I recall correctly o-ring have life expectancy of 15 years or more pending the material used.

http://www.cashacme.com/_images/pdf_...B_Warranty.pdf

Quote:
SharkBite®
1. PEX Tubing cross-linked polyethylene (non-barrier & barrier PEX) pipe for a period of twenty-five
(25) years from the date of manufacture.
2. SharkBite®
Push-Fit Fittings brass push fit fitting for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date of
manufacture.
3. SharkBite®
Brass PEX Barbed-Fittings and SharkBite®
Copper PEX Manifolds for a period of sixty (60) months
from the date of manufacture.
4. All other valves and accessories sold under Cash Acme’s brand names of the SharkBite®
PEX and / or
SharkBite®
Connection System for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of manufacture.

Last edited by iGas; 02-24-2012 at 02:09 AM.
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