When connecting copper pipes / Ls etc... can you rank the options?

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Old 03-03-18, 10:21 AM
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When connecting copper pipes / Ls etc... can you rank the options?

I want to make sure I do some pllumbing 'right'. To me, I feel sweated connections are the most reliable and durable. As much as I feel I'm applying too much heat / they take too long to do,

But there's compression fittings, sharkbite and others?

Sharkbite (if not others) have rubber o rings, right? While yes, MUCH easier to connect (and disassemble if need be), the rubber could over time deteriorate? Maybe not 5 or 10 years, but why not do it 'right' if it's something that isn't going to change over the life of the house? Are sharkbites rated for inside the wall?

Can anyone tell me what type of connections are in this picture? Is that a compression that a plumber does with a special tool vs. the compression I think of with the ferule and compression nut?

If that's a different type of connection, what do you think of that? tool too expensive for homeowner? If a plumber was doing work in your house would you be comfortable with this type of connection vs. sweating? Or your other 'gold standard' method?
 
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Old 03-03-18, 10:29 AM
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Soldering the joints is a superior connection. With a little practice the connections usually come out good. You can always practice on some spare fittings before doing the real thing. Always heat the fitting evenly and apply the solder to the junction of the fitting and the pipe. The key to good solder joints... clean everything well.

Those crimps are becoming widely used but you need a crimping tool to crimp them. Sharkbites are too expensive for routine plumbing work.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 11:01 AM
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PJ - thanks! I always appreciate your answers to my many questions!

So if soldered is a 10 on 1 - 10 scale, what's your thoughts on a number for that plumber crimp connection? I'm thinking for the main stuff in the house / 3/4" line. Not end of the line / toilet type things.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 11:16 AM
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I can't answer that question. I've seen the fittings put on and crimped. I have seen several that were leaking. Who knows.... bad install..... defective part..... burr on the pipe. I don't have that tool and don't intend to get one.

They appear to be a real time saver which is one reason for the tradesman to use them.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 12:31 PM
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Soldering the joints is a superior connection.

Amen to that!

I'm not a PEX person, it may be ok but lets face it, it's out there to cut costs for someone, and if it goes bad the home owner will pay the price.

Sharkbites, same, I use the caps for temp use but like PEX it's a mechanical connection and has that potential to fail, much more than a quality soldered joint.

BTW, that's a beautiful plumbed system, if it's in your home somebody knew their chit!
 
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Old 03-03-18, 01:53 PM
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They appear to be a real time saver which is one reason for the tradesman to use them.
That would be the only reason to use this system. Not a good choice for the end user. I also will always opt for solder. However if it comes to valves or exposed tight fittings, Sharkbites are fine. The key here is...can it be accessed and fixed by a DIY without special tools,
 
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Old 03-03-18, 02:23 PM
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We all have our opinions on certain subjects, and I will throw mine in.

Copper is great and has proven reliable for a hundred years (maybe more). It does tend to have some issues with certain water chemistries. It's also gotten more expensive due to copper prices.

I'm a huge fan of PEX. Less expensive materials and much easier to install. Also, since there tend to be fewer connections, there are fewer points of failure. While not around nearly as long as copper, the technologies have been around for decades and is quite reliable as well.

I too have never used crimped copper and don't see the desire.

Any new plumbing projects I do are in PEX. Repairs and minor upgrades of existing copper systems I'll keep in copper.

I would rank both copper and PEX 9. CPVC around 5.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 06:32 PM
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Pro Press (the "crimped" connection system) is definitely not a DIY system but that is because of the cost of the fittings as well as the tool. I have no problem believing the Pro Press will last at least fifty years and that is often the life of a house in the US. There are two major advantages to Pro Press and they are speed and safety when installing.

Shark Bite and similar connections use an O-ring for the seal just as does Pro Press and they are just as durable as the Pro Press. They are also the most expensive fittings one could use.

Compression (ferrule) fittings are acceptable IF you use high quality fittings and install them correctly. Unfortunately, high quality fittings are often even higher in cost than the Shark Bite and hard for a DIYer to even buy. The imported junk compression fittings are not worth even the scrap value of their metal in my opinion.

Soft-soldered copper, done properly, is an excellent method. Hard soldered copper (silver soldering) is used in some high pressure applications and is excellent.

CPVC is garbage in my opinion as it gets brittle with age.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 09:27 PM
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THANK YOU ALL!!

Marq1 - that was a stock picture I found.... yeah, I wish mine looked that good.
 
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Old 03-06-18, 07:40 AM
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Sharkbite doesn't recommend reusing fittings...

I thought the quick connect/disconnect was a great feature. But Sharkbite indicates
at Plumbing and Fitting Problem FAQs | SharkBite

Q: Is a SharkBite fitting re-usable?
A: Yes, fittings can be reused for testing purposes, but any fitting used repeatedly for testing must not then be used in a permanent installation.
 
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