Shark Bite Fittings

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  #1  
Old 04-16-07, 07:10 AM
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Shark Bite Fittings

Does anyone have any experience with these fittings. I have spoken with 3 different plumbers who say they work great. Thoughts?
 
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Old 04-17-07, 04:37 AM
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These are the greatest things since sliced bread, IMO. Make for quick repairs on all pipes, except iron. I wouldn't use them as a general connector due to their price, but for repairs, takes an hour job down to 10 minutes.
 
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Old 04-18-07, 11:18 AM
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I agree. I just added an inside-the-house water main shut-off valve, and I housed this valve in the same type of box you would use for washing machine hose bibs. Well, I didn't like the thought of the sweating the elbows inside a plastic box, so I used two sharkbite 90's and it did the trick. Expensive? yes - $4.55/elbow. However, you can't beat the convenience. I didn't see how it would not leak, but it's dry as can be.

-Chris
 
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Old 04-20-07, 07:30 AM
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Shark Bite Fittings

I work for a water utility and we have successfully used hundreds of these fittings. We love them...
 
  #5  
Old 04-20-07, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for the replies. We used them.... so far, so good.
They sure do "bite" too.
 
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Old 04-20-07, 01:03 PM
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I may be old and old fashioned but I still like soldered copper. One of the jobs I have been working on, the plumbers have been using a crimp on fitting. Both of those types of connections depend on an o-ring to make the seal. Since rubber degrades over time and it hardens over time, I can see some repairs in the future.

Sorry, this is one of those times I think the old fashioned way of doing things is still the best way. I just can;t see depending on an o-ring for long term.

and yes, I realize Furnco fittings have been used successfully for a long time but I have seen them used only in DW&V systems. Just don;t like using rubber, especially for potable water.
 
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Old 04-20-07, 04:02 PM
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Never heard of the Shark Bite fittings(seen ones simular) before. Could have been a lot of help today(I hate crawl spaces).

Nap, which crimp fitting are you talking about? I don't know of any that use a O ring.
 
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Old 04-20-07, 04:44 PM
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I don;t know that much about them. just saw the plumbers slapping together pipe then grabbing this power crimper and crimping the fitting on. The pipe could still be moved so I asked how they seal and was told an o-ring.

Don;t know anymore than that about them. I could have been misinformed but I was hoping the guys using them understood how they work. Maybe I was wrong.
 
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Old 04-20-07, 07:37 PM
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Oh that tool! Yeah thats a big powerful crimper. I think its only for furnace pipes though. Anyone know what its called? I've seen it on TV but don't know the name(too much money to be worth the cost for me I can imagine!).
 
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Old 04-20-07, 07:52 PM
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http://www.elkhartproducts.com/xpress/xPress.cfm

I don;t think it was this specific brand but the idea is the same. It would be befitting though since the building is in Elkhart, Indiana.
 
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Old 04-20-07, 07:56 PM
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Nap, the o-rings are not natural rubber but a synthetic. You might be surprised at the different types of pipeline joints that are sealed by synthetic rubber and have been going strong for decades. This includes pipes operating at relatively high pressures.
 
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Old 04-21-07, 04:29 AM
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All the blue underground 8" water pipe buried in the street to supply fire hydrants rely on a rubber/synthetic ring in that bulge in the end of it, and they somehow hold up.
 
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Old 04-21-07, 09:35 AM
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"All the blue underground 8" water pipe buried in the street to supply fire hydrants rely on a rubber/synthetic ring in that bulge in the end of it, and they somehow hold up."


Sure, but those joints aren't in the walls of my house!! If they leak, it doesn;t cause mold to grow where I can;t see it.

Like I said before, maybe age has made me resistant to change but I just don;t like the idea. Been around o-rings (synthetic or natural rubbers) that I have seen harden or degrade with age. Considering some of the chemicals that have shown up in water systems, the chances of degradation would be even greater. Then we have the non-used empty pipe in the 120 deg weather and the -20 deg cold for a couple years while the house sets empty addition to that....well, like I said, I just don;t like the idea.
 
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Old 04-21-07, 06:36 PM
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I have a plumbing supplier just trying to sell me these things. I'm old fashioned and resistant to change, or so I'm told. I just don't like the idea of these holding up over years of pressure.

Price really isn't the issue, it's the leak in the middle of the night when it blows apart, that has me concerned.


Mentioning cast iron pipe or plastic pipe of any type with slip joints (straight ends that slip inside a bell end with a rubber gasket) is apples and oranges. Pipes buried are under tons of dirt. Fire hydrants are required to have thrust blocks so the hydrant does not slip off when it it pressurized. This is different than a pipe under pressure hanging in a basement or crawlspace. Just thought I'd throw that out.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 10:01 PM
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Soldering is not that difficult, and there isn't any question about the integrity of a properly soldered joint.
 
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Old 04-27-07, 10:08 AM
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I asked a plumber at my local HD who is really one of the most knowedgeable guys I know (rare to find at HD!). He said he has had no complaints about them and they abide by codes, but he said "I don't want to be called back to a job in 10 years if they have any problems".

His point was it is not a long term proven technology like copper solder - yet. I love the idea but I'm too scared to use them. I figure I'll let everyone else work out the bugs and then I'll jump on board.
 
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Old 04-28-07, 03:58 AM
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I was intrigued by this "Shark bite" discussion. Just looked up what it is and it is identical to quick disconnect airline fittings. These types of fittings are used extensively in just about every industry. Most are used to connect nylon or poly tubing. Air pressure is normally around 100 psi but rated for probably twice that. From my experience, some of these fittings fail, but it is an extremely small percentage, and most importantly, the failure is caused by the motion of the connecting tube (ie rotates 90 degrees, moves back and forth several inches). I use these fitting on all our automation equipment. You would be surprised as to how durable the fittings are. The best part is how easy it is to disconnect and reconnect. I would guess that with rigid pipe (ie not the plastic tubing you find on your refrigerator ice maker), the fittings would last for ever.
 
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Old 04-28-07, 12:50 PM
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The best part is how easy it is to disconnect and reconnect.
===================
that just makes it worse. The last thing I want is a pipe that comes apart easily. I want pernmanence.

I know the airline fittings you speak of. Gnereally quite good but I have also had those same type of fittings leak. If it leaks air, generally no big deal. If it leaks water in my wall, a real big deal. I have seen a lot of those fitting used in the drain off from air compressors and I have seen a lot of small amounts of leakage from them.

I simply see no reason to complicate an already proven method with one that, at least to me, is not proven long term while only providing "speed of installation" as the only true selling point.
 
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Old 05-04-07, 09:06 AM
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Back to my post, since this is becoming a long thread, I used the shark-bite NOT for cost, NOT for speed, but rather because I couldn't solder inside a small plastic washing machine hose bib box. Creating a sub-assembly and weaving it into the box in order to solder at a safer location in the line wasn't an option for me because I don't like screwing around with perfectly good drywall.

Ok, go ahead and laugh that I'd rather plumb than work with drywall :-)

-Chris
 
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Old 05-04-07, 09:43 AM
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Na..i agree with you Chris..and every post in here so far. I personally like shark bite fittings. I use them all the time in exposed areas where it is easy to get to. Never had a problem with them. As for them being easily removed....well they are and they aren't. You can't just remove them. Pull all you want heh..but if you have the tool they come off rather easily.

As some of the other plumbers noted..i agree....i wouldn't use them, just like i don't use compression fittings, inside of a wall if i can help it. Inside your washer box is fine. I don't like messing with drywall either (i suck at it *shrugs*. I doubt they'll ever blow apart..but you may get a drip in the future. At least it is in an accesible location.

As for the copper crimp pipe and fittings? Bah...i'll wait 20 more years till i get invested in that lol. Don't trust it yet. Tried the pre-fluxed fittings one time too. They are horrible. Won't use them either. Good old fashioned copper or new CPVC for me. That's all i use.
 
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Old 05-05-07, 04:57 AM
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They seem fine for quick repairs, but considering their cost, plus the high cost of copper already, I cannot fathom plumbing a whole house with these things.
Prices like $5 for an elbow, $8 for a T.. Yikes.
 
  #22  
Old 05-07-07, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
I may be old and old fashioned but I still like soldered copper. One of the jobs I have been working on, the plumbers have been using a crimp on fitting. Both of those types of connections depend on an o-ring to make the seal. Since rubber degrades over time and it hardens over time, I can see some repairs in the future.

Sorry, this is one of those times I think the old fashioned way of doing things is still the best way. I just can;t see depending on an o-ring for long term.

and yes, I realize Furnco fittings have been used successfully for a long time but I have seen them used only in DW&V systems. Just don;t like using rubber, especially for potable water.
Regarding lubricants... I used to work for a pool supply store. Using a non silicone and non petroleum based lubricant on the o-ring will work for a LONG TIME. No need to reapply unless you take it apart. And the o-ring does not dry out.
 
  #23  
Old 05-19-07, 02:19 PM
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i had a small leak in my basement that no one wanted to fix. finally one plumber said "i can fix it for $265." i have no plumbing experience. i bought all the shark bite and copper i needed. i did the job for $60. when i turned the water on......not one drip. i am amazed at this product. just wanted to put my 2 cents in. i dont care if it lasts 10 or 15 years. i will just replace it with another shark bite fitting......


mark
 
  #24  
Old 05-19-07, 05:27 PM
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Re: O rings

Nap - I seldom disagree with something you post, but not this time. O rings are used throughout piping systems on submarines and other deep divers. There are literally thousands used in dozens of different systems. Installed correctly, they are inexpensive, reliable and long lived.

It might be because I have more experience with O rings, but I have a lot more confidence in an O ring joint than a soldered fitting.
 
  #25  
Old 10-07-07, 08:11 AM
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SharkBite Fittings

I am trying to find a SharkBite fitting U009 it is a reducing coupler to go from 3/8" to 1/2" Does anybody have 2 of them or know where I can buy these.
 

Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBER; 11-09-07 at 08:50 PM.
  #26  
Old 10-07-07, 04:37 PM
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I just got a lesson in the Shark Bite system today while trying to find a solution to my current problem in another thread. I personally can't wait to try it. I could kick myself for using PVC to re-run all the piping for my outside faucets this year, would've been way easier had I know about this stuff. The demo that he gave was convincing for me - and it had been apart and back together several times and still "bit". I'd like to read more about your experiences in the future!
 
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Old 10-07-07, 08:28 PM
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i would be very hesitant to install any sharkbite fitting where it wasn't a temporary repair. i have seen them fail and when they do it's not a pinhole leak, it's a gusher. they will pull right off a copper or pex pipe if there are high pressures or if any freezing occurs in the line. don't say "impossilbe!", i've seen it happen more than once. i won't install them unless they can be seen and monitored and the customer is aware that it's a temporary repair (like bypassing a busted shower valve or temporary hookup of a water service overnight).








paul
 
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Old 10-08-07, 07:13 AM
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Paul - Are you aware that the company warrants their fittings. That includes installations in closed in areas. Next time you find a gusher have your customer call the company.

My guess is that the failed fittings were either improperly installed or the O ring was damaged when the fitting was made up.

A properly designed and assembled static O ring joint is as reliable as a soldered one. The O rings do not wear or degrade over time. They are not made from rubber. O rings are used in a huge variety of mediums, temperatures and pressures. If it weren't for the price I would use Shark Bite fittings for every joint. As it is, I would not hesitate to install one anywhere in my home.

The recommendations for not installing where they aren't accessible isn't an issue with me. If one were to leak, accessible or not, the response would be the same.
 
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Old 10-09-07, 07:41 PM
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i would preffer a trouble free product over a warantee any day of the week. i've seen improperly installed sharkbites but these were done correctly. they pulled right off of the copper or pex. some of these installations (none done by me i must add ) were where sections of copper were removed and sections of pex were installed in their place. i can't believe that the joints would have failed if solder on pex adapters were used instead of the shark bite fittings.






paul
 
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Old 11-07-07, 09:16 PM
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Sharkbite Fittings

These Fittings are Approved ASSE 1061. NSF 61

But the most common use is for the quick permenant fix of a broken pipe, frozen pipe.

We Sell them to plumbers needing a quick fix to the house wife needing a quick fix (and they all do
 

Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBER; 11-09-07 at 08:51 PM.
  #31  
Old 11-09-07, 06:01 AM
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This is a long running thread.

I'm with Paul over this. I too have now seen these things blow apart. Homeowner had made repairs, called me for more, permanent, repairs.

Sorry, don't care about "their" warranty, I worry about mine.
 
  #32  
Old 07-03-08, 08:22 AM
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A Sweated joint can also fail, most likely not a blowout but definately a leak can develop. Let me add that NOTHING is 100% because you've seen some fail doesn't mean they will all, or a majority fail.

So here's my question for permenent in wall, inaccessable installation. Is a solder joint done by an inexperienced novice better or worse than a Shark Bite done by a novice?
 
  #33  
Old 07-03-08, 09:23 AM
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I've got 4 shark bites in my home. All are in areas that are really inaccessible especially for soldering with a torch. Two of them saved me from having to remove a jetted tub for access. They replaced a soldered fitting that had a pinhole leak. None have leaked and I'm confident they won't. An O ring used in a static application is a very reliable seal.

Installing a sharkbite fitting is as simple as marking the pipe to get proper insertion depth and pushing it into the fitting. Simpler and safer than soldering.

Contrary to one of the earlier posts when properly assembled they do not come apart easily. Prove this to yourself by putting one together and trying to pull it apart.

IMO shark bites have their place in copper piping, but they are too expensive for routine use. Obviously they could fail if not properly assembled. However, if you don't have the equipment for soldering, using a sharkbite can be a lot more economical than buying a torch, solder, flux, brushes etc.
 
  #34  
Old 07-03-08, 04:19 PM
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I too am an old school plumber, but, I have just started using Watts PEX with the cinch clamps and I love it. The only thing I don't is the fact that it doesn't look as good when you are done. You just cannot afford to do jobs in copper anymore and now the customers are asking for PEX.

It has taken me a while but I have been looking at Sharkbite fittings, and I have tried to pull them apart. They seem to be pretty rugged. I agree they are a great SERVICE fitting when all else fails. (can't stop the water, to tight to solder, even though that is not possible, under the hot tub, etc.).

I think it is a perfect fitting for the homeowner, and when they blow a few fittings they will call us and we can charge them extra

All kidding aside. They appear to be a good fitting and I know lots of service plumbers that swear by there usefulness.

2 more little things to ponder.

How can these be approved when I think the metal ring inside is made of stainless steel and that is a dis-similar metal to copper, isn't it?

And for all you guys praising the O'ring, wasn't it a problem with an O'ring that caused a shuttle to explode ?.......
 
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Old 07-03-08, 05:09 PM
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Plumbinggods - I dealt with O-ring application and design for 20 years in submarines and deep submersibles. Static O-ring seals are absolutely dependable when the joint is properly designed and correctly assembled. Key words proper and correct.

If I remember the Challenger fallout correctly, an O ring failed because it was tasked outside of it's design criteria (temperature).
 
  #36  
Old 01-22-09, 03:27 PM
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SharkBite fittings.."how low will they go ?"

Hello fellas, been plumbing for years but now retired VET and can't..... had a VERY bad split in the hot water line in my home last weekend and now have to get it replaced... looking into PEX stuff and SharkBite fittings.. I live in Virginia near Smith Mtn. Lake and temps get into the single digits every so often.. Question is : how low will the Sharkbite fittings hold ?? I have always soldered my joints and none ever failed.... I may be able to do this myself so I am reading everything I can.. thanks!.. By the way --it will be in the ceiling and only protected by insulation in the attic...my house got trashed
 
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Old 01-22-09, 04:48 PM
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Company website shows how split copper line, from freezing, was sectioned out, and the SB connectors and new pipe installed in it's place. I presume they feel it will hold up.

Cars have rubber and people drive their cars in way below zero weather, and also desert-like temps as well. Rubber washers in faucets do not fall apart at hot water valves nor do the o-rings used in cartridges, for same reason.
 
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Old 01-22-09, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaBee View Post
Hello fellas, been plumbing for years but now retired VET and can't..... had a VERY bad split in the hot water line in my home last weekend and now have to get it replaced... looking into PEX stuff and SharkBite fittings.. I live in Virginia near Smith Mtn. Lake and temps get into the single digits every so often.. Question is : how low will the Sharkbite fittings hold ?? I have always soldered my joints and none ever failed.... I may be able to do this myself so I am reading everything I can.. thanks!.. By the way --it will be in the ceiling and only protected by insulation in the attic...my house got trashed

seabee, i would suggest you use s.s. crimp rings. the tool isnt overly expensive or you might be able to rent one or resale it on ebay but the sharkbites should hold up.
 
  #39  
Old 02-21-10, 06:47 AM
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time to try shark bite?

I had my water heater prof. installed about 18 months ago, and now see a white power build up in a 90 elbow. That concerns me, and I want to change it out. I'm thinking of using the shark bite. Also, I am seeing some green spots along some of the copper piping - what is that??
 
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Old 02-21-10, 01:15 PM
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Welcome to the forums. Cupric oxide. It happens when the flux it not all wiped down, or there is a leak. How is the water heater installed, with flex lines? should be if professionally installed. Hard plumbing is a pita.
 
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