Sharkbite


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Old 06-12-20, 11:26 AM
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Sharkbite

A general question. Is Sharkbite as easy to use with copper piping as the instruction videos show? Is it reliable? Quite a while ago I seem to recall some ifs, ands and buts. It seems like it may have withstood the test of time now. I'm an old school sweat person, but if Sharkbite is is reliable, I may be persuaded to change. Especially in cases where it's hard to get all the water out of the pipe and there's no plain white bread in the house.
 

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06-13-20, 03:18 PM
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Even sweated copper can and will fail eventually.
Yea, but I'd put odds that every one of those other "systems" will be long gone by the time copper fails.

I know nothing is forever and in rare situations copper can be compromised but that is the extreme exception.

All these new systems, they are not better, they are just cheaper!
 
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Old 06-12-20, 11:59 AM
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I have used them a few times and yes, they seem to be exactly as easy as it's made out to be. You just pay a little more for those type of fittings. But for connecting pex to copper it's the bomb. Some guys are leery about using them inside a concealed area, but the times I have used them it has always been in an unfinished basement or where there is an access panel behind a shower, etc.
 
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Old 06-12-20, 01:14 PM
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Shark/Gator bite fittings are as easy to use as they say. Just make sure the outside end of the pipe is deburred and shove the fitting on.

As for longevity bite fittings have so far held up well for me if used when there is no strain on the fitting. If there is tension or bending force on the fitting I have had a few leak. I never use them in a concealed location like inside a wall but I use them often where they are accessible in case they need replacing in the future. There is one O ring inside that forms the seal so I assume like other O rings, it's life has some limit.
 
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Old 06-12-20, 02:26 PM
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I used them before and they were fine. I have one thats been on for many years now. I agree that they are very easy to install and make sure the copper has no burrs.

I did make one mistake with one however. I connected it to close to a fitting. I pushed the Sharkbite on a small amount of pipe left (after I had made a cut) sticking out of a tee, so the Sharkbite was then touching the tee. It worked fine. But later when I wanted to remove the Sharkbite it was impossible.

To remove the Sharkbite you use a horseshoe looking tool (bright orange) and put it over the pipe and pull in towards the Sharkbite. That releases it. Well, there was no way I could use any tool at all to release the Sharkbite. But fortunately that was all temporary and I had to cut everything up anyway to do the real job, so all I really lost was the Sharkbite.

I know not everyone would be that dumb lol, but I thought Id mention that anyway.


 
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Old 06-13-20, 03:02 AM
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Thanks everyone for the input! I may have to buy a coupling to play with on some scrap pipe I have in my shop.

zoesdad, never underestimate my ability to screw something up LOL!!
 
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Old 06-13-20, 03:10 AM
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I assume like other O rings, it's life has some limit.
Is it reliable?
Just yesterday an O-ring on my big blue whole house water filter failed, I have never seen that happen before, water everywhere in the basement.

And you think I would ever install a water line fitting with a similar, sourced to the lowest cost supplier in China, O-ring construction!
 
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Old 06-13-20, 05:22 AM
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I would never use push-fit connections for a whole plumbing system (PEX and copper is much more cheap, easy, and reliable), but for a quick fix, or a difficult location, I have no issue using SharkBite or similar connectors.

Like XSleeper, the most common place I use them these days is adapting from copper to PEX.
 
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Old 06-13-20, 05:53 AM
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I agree with all comments on this. They are reliable as any mechanical item. Even sweated copper can and will fail eventually. The key is not to use in a concealed area. Don't put any strain on them. And if sweated copper or Pex can be used then that is the better choice for both cost and long term reliability.
 
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Old 06-13-20, 09:57 AM
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I've used several over the past 10 years or so with no problems yet. I agree with above advice about not using in concealed location. They are difficult to remove in tight spaces.

There have been 2 occasions that I got bad ones. You're supposed to mark the pipe to ensure that it goes far enough into the fitting, and on both of these repairs the Sharkbite just wouldn't go all the way to my mark. One of them didn't leak, but I didn't trust it so I took the fittings back and exchanged for new ones and both times the new one went right on all the way, so that tells me it was definitely the fitting and not my pipe or my cut.

My next project involves running new supply and drain lines to the bathroom that I'm gutting. I'm going to use Pex and to connect to the existing copper I could use Sharkbites, but I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to learn to sweat copper since the area in my basement is very accessible and as much as I like Sharkbites I don't want the whole house plumbed with them.

 
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Old 06-13-20, 03:18 PM
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Even sweated copper can and will fail eventually.
Yea, but I'd put odds that every one of those other "systems" will be long gone by the time copper fails.

I know nothing is forever and in rare situations copper can be compromised but that is the extreme exception.

All these new systems, they are not better, they are just cheaper!
 
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Old 06-13-20, 05:50 PM
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Even sweated copper can and will fail eventually.
A couple weeks ago I had a pinhole leak soaking through the ceiling below a bathroom. A copper coupling installed likely in the 80's failed. Happened nearby a cast iron stack split, so we assumed it was related. I figure the cast stack was 90-100 years old, even though the copper ~40 years old. Not bad for either, but goes to show there's certainly no perfect system.
 
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Old 06-13-20, 06:01 PM
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But how easy would've it been to repair with a SharkBite for the non-plumber, non-handyman? It has it's place. Not that I would replace that kind of fitting in that location with a SharkBite but non concealed locations it's fine. In fact I believe a SharkBite fitting is better than a Pex fitting. Much easier to fix, change or swap out.
 
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Old 06-14-20, 04:05 AM
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We'll be discussing this topic for the next 20 years, maybe longer, and still be offering our personal opinions.

And we all know what options are like, that everybody has one, and this is the encored version of that saying!
 
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Old 06-14-20, 04:07 AM
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Marq, ever the purest!
 
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Old 06-14-20, 05:00 AM
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Just an FYI, I'll always be sweating copper wherever possible. But I can see some real uses for a SharkBite fitting, even as temporary fix in a tough spot when water is needed quickly. Although, knowing me, sometimes temporary can become permanent!
 
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Old 06-14-20, 05:06 AM
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One of the most useful Sharkbite fittings are end caps. Great for remolding a bathroom. You can cap off water supply and still keep water flow throughout the rest of home.
 
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Old 06-14-20, 06:34 AM
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One of the most useful Sharkbite fittings are end caps
And I have and use them for this purpose only!
 
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Old 06-14-20, 07:36 AM
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A really interesting thread on a topic (Shark Bite) that has been discussed many times. I remember when they first came on the scene they were universally condemned in this forum.

FWIW - I have little reservation about using them anywhere. I have never had one fail. I have probably a half dozen in my basement. One of them replaced a leaking soldered elbow. Properly assembled (that's the key) they are very reliable. One reason for their reliability is that the O-ring is static, not dynamic.


 
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Old 06-15-20, 08:53 AM
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I've always been slow to accept new technology that has not withstood the test of time, thus my reason for starting this thread. Great discussion here.

This whole discussion about new technology reminds me of the mid to late-80's when we got our first CAD software in the office, a simplistic 2-d program (MacDraft). I said "no way, I'm staying on the boards!". A few months later, the owner of the firm said "THOU SHALT"!! Fast forward a year and I never used my drawing board again; I loved CAD!
 
 

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