Replacing current copper pipes with PEX tubing and shark bite fittings.


Old 02-15-11, 09:44 AM
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Replacing current copper pipes with PEX tubing and shark bite fittings.

I am remodeling my bathroom which will include replacing the current tub/shower diverter valve.

The current copper pipes are okay, but I made the mistake of reading up on some new technology (well, new to me anyway). That includes using PEX tubing with the shark bite fittings.

Sure, I can simply use new copper pipes and fittings then sweat them in place. But, it might be kind of fun to learn something new by using the PEX.

The PEX, and shark bite fittings, are guaranteed for decades. Much like the copper pipe.

One concern I have is that, once the remodel is done, the water pipes will be behind the wall. If a leak developed then I wouldn't immediately notice it. Then again I wouldn't immediately notice a leak if I used flux/soldered copper fittings either. So, that's not necessarily a deal breaker.

Anybody out there have any horror, or success, stories using PEX tubing with the shark bite fittings?
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Old 02-15-11, 11:38 AM
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hi ron

Im a newbie and no expert by any means. Youll probably hear from the pros. But I think in many places it is not allowed to put mechanical connections like sharkbite fittings in the wall, for the kinds of reasons you stated concerning leaks. But I certainly could be wrong!

Good luck!

p.s. love OK city, if you live anywhere around there!
Old 02-15-11, 12:25 PM
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I added a bath upstairs and used pex. I soldered the barb fittings to the diverter, the sink and toilet stops. I saw too many shark bites leak and would not put them in walls. Its up to you though just my opinion. Shark bite do have their place in emergency or open/accesable areas.

Make sure you pressure test before closing up the walls. I had my water lines filled with water a couple days before sheetrock. The crimp rings on pex are pretty good. You need to crimp squarely. Pex is a big labor savor and ran continuous lengths from the crawl to the 2nd floor bath. No joints inbetween.

Mike NJ
Old 02-15-11, 07:05 PM
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I think PEX is a great product, as are the SharkBite fittings. That said, if everything else in the house is copper, I'd probably keep it copper. Not that it has to be, but I think it would be 'more professional' to keep it all the same material
Old 02-16-11, 04:17 AM
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But at $8 each for sharkbites, I think I would invest in the proper crimping tool and rings. Paid for in the first few connections.
Old 02-16-11, 08:43 AM
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I appreciate all the responses. More than likely I'll just use the old tried and true copper pipe with copper fittings.

I just thought it might be interesting to try a different option. Even though I'd wait a couple of weeks before putting up new walls, just to make sure nothing leaked, it sure would make me cranky if I had to rip out the wall a few months down the road.
Old 02-17-11, 10:30 PM
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If you want to use something new, why not just PEX + brass fittings + crimps? Our house has PEX piping throughout with the only copper being off the water main, pipe to outside and shower fittings. Everything else is PEX (behind the walls.) We've been in our house almost 6 years without incident. PEX is insanely easy to work with. I'd be a bit weary about using push-fit connectors behind walls as well. I'm sure they are fine, but something about them makes me want them to always be accessible.
Old 02-19-11, 05:21 AM
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SharkBites are great for coupling pex with copper. I have not had any leak issues. Pex is very easy to work with but connect pex to pex with brass couplings and compression rings, not SharkBites.
Old 02-19-11, 06:01 AM
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i have a half dozen Sharkbite fittings in my house. I've never had a drip. I am really confident in their design and reliability. I have never heard of a properly assembled SharkBite failing.

The concept of relying on static O-ring compression as a sealing mechanism is time tested.

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