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Author Topic: Sharkbite connectors reliability  (Read 21282 times)
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Mark Enomoto

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« on: May 20, 2011, 08:13 PM »

Does anyone have any long term experience with Sharkbit or push fit connectors for plumbing especially in concealed locations? http://www.sharkbite.com/  This summer I'm planning on remodeling my own kitchen and IF I can do the majority of the plumbing myself. I'm not totally solid with sweating copper so am attracted to using sharkbites. Won't be using PEX as I've heard that the rats like it out here in Hawaii. I've got one sharkbite repair in the house with no problem but would like to hear from other more experienced folks if you think is just a disaster waiting to happen. I'm told that these have been used in Europe for years and have ISO certification.

Advice?
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fatroman

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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 08:56 PM »

I've used them and some others of similar nature in my house and they've been fine so far - 4 years plus.

The ones I like the most, as far as valves go, are from Cimberio. They can be hard to find, but call / email and they'll help you find a local supplier.

http://www.cimberiovalve.com/documents/about.html
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JD2720

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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 09:24 PM »

I have not heard anything bad on them from builders around here.
I have some inside walls in my house where I had to rerout pipes when we put in a new heating system. 
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Ken Nagrod
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 11:39 PM »

Mark,

I do a good amount of plumbing work and the Shark fittings definitely speed up my repairs or changes to lines.  There's also the benefit of not having to take precautions when soldering close to wood or other flammable sources.  I like the single stop unions that allow you to cut into a line to make changes or replace a leaky fitting.  Just slide the non-stopped end onto one side, then slide it back to join the two pipes without having to flex them to get a sweat fitting on.  When working with those fittings and copper pipe, I always remove the bushings from both sides on the inside of the Sharkbite fitting.  (Those are usually loose and rattling around so take a needle nose plier to pull them out).  When I've left them in place, they sometimes jamb up the copper pipe from being inserted fully and they're only needed for CPVC pipe.  Make sure that there are no rough spots or burrs on the copper pipe or you'll groove the fitting seal and possibly create a leak.

I spoke with the owner of the company quite a while ago praising the fittings, but also making one suggestion.  I also use their ball valves, but hate how they spin once connected (the handle will rotate with the fitting 360 degrees).  He told me they were working on a design to form a keyway to keep it from rotating.

I've been using them for a few years without any issues or call backs.  Just make sure you mark your pipes with a black marker, for the depth the fitting is supposed to go.  That way you're sure that you have full insertion of both pipes into the fitting.  It can be hard to tell, until you turn the water on!

I also love how easy it is to use the keys to quickly take a Shark fitting apart without having to de-solder/solder.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 12:04 AM by Ken Nagrod » Logged
batmanrobin

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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 12:10 AM »

When you are on your backside in a crawlspace with not much room to move, you will love them. They will make even a novice a good plumber. I say that loosely!! Have used them for several years with no callbacks. Now that doesn't mean they are faultproof, only time will tell. Very good product in my opinion.
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fatroman

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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 07:55 AM »


I spoke with the owner of the company quite a while ago praising the fittings, but also making one suggestion.  I also use their ball valves, but hate how they spin once connected (the handle will rotate with the fitting 360 degrees).  He told me they were working on a design to form a keyway to keep it from rotating.

Ken,

Cimberio HQ is not too far from you (they're in Malvern, PA). The ball valves I've used from them are nice, heavy, Italian-made bodies. Same kind of push-on fit as Sharkbite, but no worries about the body turning as you move the handle.

I picked them up at Ferguson, but they didn't seem to have them when I went looking again. Called Cimberio and got the contact info for my local distributor, who put me in touch with a number of places that carried them. All in all, I was favorably impressed.

And, yeah, aren't those single stop unions just fabulous?

Best,
Steve
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Mark Enomoto

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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 05:16 PM »

Thanks, this gives me a bunch of confidence that this might not be all that scary. I may just put more shut offs around the house so that I can isolate and repair a leak should it bust. Are those Cimberio fittings ProPress fittings? Seeing the double O-rings on the interior says they are. I thought of going that route but the tool is a couple of thousand or rents for $100/day over here. Sharkbite almost feels like I'm cheating :-) Hopefully, I'll be able to post some pictures of my remodel or me weeping with a case of beer in the middle of a mess!

FOG is one of the best places for advice!
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fatroman

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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2011, 06:23 PM »

Cimberio has the press fittings, but the ones I've used are swagelocks just like the Sharkbites.

Get the little removal tool, just in case (it's cheap insurance), though you could probably make your own easily.

And make sure you get the fitting fully set onto the pipe. It will get tight and there's still a bit left to go to pop it into position.
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Alan m

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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2011, 06:46 PM »

i use these type of fittings regularly. not sure of the brand i use as they are just whats in the shop. i have the removal tool, looks handy but havnt had to use it (alsways the way isnt it ) . i have a small jig that i use for installing them to make sure thaey are seated fully. it is a bit of pipe a small bit bigger than the pex tubing . it is about 4 " s long and has a wooden dowel glued into it . this acts as a depth stop so i can mark the pex and know how far in it goes. i have one for each pex size i use.
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GPowers

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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 08:43 PM »

I use them on 1", 3/4" and 1/2" in the garage for compressed air. The system is normally pressurized at 100psi with no leaks. I installed them about 2 years ago. Made it very easy to install and to make changes.

They do get a little pricey.
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Eli

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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2011, 08:50 PM »

One important point that I don't think I've seen is make really sure to protect PEX from being dragged on the concrete or similar abrasion, as this can create a groove that obviously will leak when under pressure. Sharkbite is now bog standard on apartment refits here in AU. I had a big discussion with our current plumber about it, as we're closing up the new work behind the new cabinets, and all new plumbing chases in the bathroom behind tile.
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Ken Nagrod
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2011, 09:04 PM »


I spoke with the owner of the company quite a while ago praising the fittings, but also making one suggestion.  I also use their ball valves, but hate how they spin once connected (the handle will rotate with the fitting 360 degrees).  He told me they were working on a design to form a keyway to keep it from rotating.

Ken,

Cimberio HQ is not too far from you (they're in Malvern, PA). The ball valves I've used from them are nice, heavy, Italian-made bodies. Same kind of push-on fit as Sharkbite, but no worries about the body turning as you move the handle.

I picked them up at Ferguson, but they didn't seem to have them when I went looking again. Called Cimberio and got the contact info for my local distributor, who put me in touch with a number of places that carried them. All in all, I was favorably impressed.

And, yeah, aren't those single stop unions just fabulous?

Best,
Steve

Thanks for the info, Steve!  It's been a long time since I've been to Malvern.  I used to go there a lot when The Eastwood Company was there.
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Rene89

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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2011, 07:01 AM »

In the Netherlands we use a same type of system, I believe its called uponor. The plumbers we work with use it in all commercial and residential buildings.
Maybe you can find some info on this site http://www.uponor-usa.com. reliable?? I believe it is, never had to breakdown a concrete wall or floor  Big Grin

Cheerz René
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fatroman

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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2011, 09:20 AM »

The Uponor system is PEX, so the fittings are entirely different than the Sharkbite principle.

You expand the Uponor 'pipe', then push the PEX fitting into the opening and let the 'pipe' compress around it. With the Sharkbites, et al, you push them onto the OD of the pipe.

Uponor is my preferred flavor of PEX. It's really great stuff.
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jakiiski

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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 07:39 AM »

Uponor has a similar system, called RTM (they also make the PEX-stuff, but this in addition).

http://www.uponor.fi/fi-FI/Ratkaisut/Talotekniikka/Komposiitti/New-RTM.aspx
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2011, 08:07 AM »

The Viega ProPress (http://www.viega.net/xchg/en-us/hs.xsl/index.html) tool/fittings are used around here by some plumbers.  The only issue with these products is the cost of tooling.  For a part-time plumber, it just won't cost-justify itself, but for a production plumber, it saves a huge amount of time per joint, and completely eliminates any possibility of flame-related liability.  Just don't get any body parts caught in the jaws.  They're one-way, and not reversible. 

 Scared
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2011, 02:19 PM »

The Viega ProPress (http://www.viega.net/xchg/en-us/hs.xsl/index.html) tool/fittings are used around here by some plumbers.  The only issue with these products is the cost of tooling.  For a part-time plumber, it just won't cost-justify itself, but for a production plumber, it saves a huge amount of time per joint, and completely eliminates any possibility of flame-related liability.  Just don't get any body parts caught in the jaws.  They're one-way, and not reversible. 

 Scared



So, with this system, if you screw up and have to re-work some stuff, it means cutting it out and starting from scratch (and not being able to re-use the pipe unless you can cut it down and use it for a shorter section)?
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Sparktrician

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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2011, 08:46 AM »

The Viega ProPress (http://www.viega.net/xchg/en-us/hs.xsl/index.html) tool/fittings are used around here by some plumbers.  The only issue with these products is the cost of tooling.  For a part-time plumber, it just won't cost-justify itself, but for a production plumber, it saves a huge amount of time per joint, and completely eliminates any possibility of flame-related liability.  Just don't get any body parts caught in the jaws.  They're one-way, and not reversible. 

 Scared



So, with this system, if you screw up and have to re-work some stuff, it means cutting it out and starting from scratch (and not being able to re-use the pipe unless you can cut it down and use it for a shorter section)?


What it means is this - plan carefully, test the fit before crimping, and don't screw up.  Once crimped, the fittings can't be reused.  On top of that, the crimping tool goes for $3,000 or so.   Scared   The fittings aren't cheap, either. 

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- Willy -

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Inner10

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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2011, 10:01 AM »

Seriously, go but a 20 dollar blow torch, sand cloth, flux, solder and sweat a few joints.   I've used sharkbites for capping off temp lines but I'd go broke for permanent installs!
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 06:45 AM »

Seriously, go but a 20 dollar blow torch, sand cloth, flux, solder and sweat a few joints.   I've used sharkbites for capping off temp lines but I'd go broke for permanent installs!

Yeah, but plumbers don't go broke.  2 Cents Big Grin
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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2011, 01:09 PM »

Seriously, go but a 20 dollar blow torch, sand cloth, flux, solder and sweat a few joints.   I've used sharkbites for capping off temp lines but I'd go broke for permanent installs!

This is true, but considering how litigous things are these days, and the fact that I'm not a licensed plumber... I'd be willing to invest in a crimper and avoid liability issues of the open flame near lead and asbestos in my 107 year old building.  Nevermind the notion of a fire actually starting and the insurance company asking me just how it got going (and then not being terribly cooperative when it came to paying on a potential claim).

Now, as far as in a production environment, I can see those things paying for themselves in a hurry from a productivity standpoint.
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Sparktrician

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« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2011, 03:48 PM »

Seriously, go but a 20 dollar blow torch, sand cloth, flux, solder and sweat a few joints.   I've used sharkbites for capping off temp lines but I'd go broke for permanent installs!

This is true, but considering how litigous things are these days, and the fact that I'm not a licensed plumber... I'd be willing to invest in a crimper and avoid liability issues of the open flame near lead and asbestos in my 107 year old building.  Nevermind the notion of a fire actually starting and the insurance company asking me just how it got going (and then not being terribly cooperative when it came to paying on a potential claim).

Now, as far as in a production environment, I can see those things paying for themselves in a hurry from a productivity standpoint.


Ah!!!  Someone else understands the concept of big investment = cheap insurance. 

 Big Grin
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- Willy -

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