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Sharkbite fittings-helped me out in a jam!

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Badfish740, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    I had a valve inside the house that started leaking steadily that I couldn't isolate so I had to figure out a way to fix it quickly this weekend. The valve was the inside shutoff for the front yard hose bib-1960s era 1/2" sweated brass valve. I tried to take the valve apart to replace the washers and packing first, but the valve stem basically disintegrated when I tried to take it apart. Now I was left with a busted valve that leaked worse and the water shut off to the entire house. I DIY a lot of things, but there are certain skills that have escaped me over the years, like sweating copper. I really do need to practice, but this was not the time. The valve was tucked inside a joist bay surrounded by wiring.

    I did a little Googling and found the Sharkbite fittings (I used a ball valve to replace the old boiler drain type valve) and I have to say, it really is as easy as it looks. I kind of doubted the thing would hold pressure once I got it on, but lo and behold it does. I could definitely see a lot more uses for these things around the house (the plumbing in our house, is well, interesting...), but they are pricey. Anyway, just thought I'd throw it out there. Between their ease of use with copper and the fact that you can join them to pex as well it makes me want to do my own gasser install! :)
    pen likes this.

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  2. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    At work we use the 3/4" and 1" ball valves when we are in a jam. I've had water shutoffs that didn't hold and used the fittings downstream until we could shut the water off upstream to make a proper repair. They handle I believe 200 psi.
  3. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Sharkbites are da bomb.
    Pricey, but real time savers.
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Good to know - thanks!
  5. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Used them here to run water to the addition & garage. Worth every penny due to speed of work and lack of aggravation.
    PapaDave likes this.
  6. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    IMHO those shark bite fittings should only be used temporarily. I would never bury one in a wall. I know they work, but for how long. Life as a water pipe is full of hot/cold cycles, corrosion, and moisture. What happens in 5 years or 10. Anybody have any long term experience or horror stories? I'd like to know if my concerns are unfounded because Sharkbite's sure are easy to work with, particularly when coupling pipes of different materials.
  7. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    I use them for my hot water tank because it needs to be replaced every couple of years (hard water). I also used them for the hose bib. I'm not sure I would use them behind a wall though
  8. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    They are approved for use in no access locations by the national plumbing code, but I would be hesitant as well. This particular fitting is located on the utility (unfinished) side of the basement in plain view, so if it ever started dripping it wouldn't really hurt anything and I would notice it pretty quickly. If I were doing new construction myself I would use regular pex fittings behind walls and in other inaccessible locations. They have a long track record of reliability. If I had to make connections in the basement I wouldn't hesitate to use Sharkbites though. They make pretty much everything you would need for a hydronic heating system.
  9. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    Going on year 6 with them on my hot water heater. I was hesitant as well, but I can easily kill water to it and sweat it in if need be. No leaks yet. Worth twice what they charge in my opinion.
  10. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I'm a little over 5 years on a handful of Sharkbites in my house with zero issues. I'm a big fan. I recommend them to any DIYer like myself.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I have about the same about of time on a full bathroom addition I did. All of the shower valves and jive were done with sharbites. The best thing was using pex for the shower head and spout necks so that I could set the depth of these things after the stall was installed.

    Plug and play and not a leak yet. I pressure tested to 100.

    Recently I did buy the sharkbite brand crimper for 57$ at home depot for 1/2" and 3/4" pex fittings with the copper rings. These are just as easy as sharkbites and much cheaper after you own the crimper tool.
  12. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Two thumbs up from me for sharkbites, or the gator brand. I have a 35yo house with acidic well water; lots of practice sweating copper at 2am to ensure the boss has a hot shower in the morning, so now I keep 2 of each size sharkbite ready to temporarily replace any section of copper as pinholes appear. Most are accessible but I have two installed in a virtually inaccessible location for 5 years with no problems.
    One word of warning, there are cheaper brands of push connect fittings for sale even in reputable stores, beware of ones with blue plastic ends. I used one valve to isolate piping as I installed replacement cPVC, but with no pipe on the outlet side it lasted about 30 seconds before blowing off. Those suckers don’t leak, they explode at 50psi/50pgm! I figured I must have installed it wrong, so I double checked the insertion depth but Bang, it happened again.
    Even if I do sweat copper for my replacement piping (usually cPVC unless I need water again fast), the tie-ins are always sharkbites because getting a pipe drained dry enough to sweat properly just isn't worth saving $7.

    TE
  13. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Exactomundo.
  14. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    I researched them on plumber forums and not a single negative comment other than price. This was two years ago before I moved all the plumbing in my basement. Many had concerns, but no failures. Pex and shark bites are pretty sweet.
  15. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    I have had a 50/50 success rate with PEX. I would rather use crimp type, but they are OK in a pinch just don't trust them in a wall.
  16. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    7 years and just fine here.
  17. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    I keep a 3/4 and 1/2 valves on hand for emergencies. Then I go ahead and sweat in the repair when time allows. Great invention for sure.
    USMC80 likes this.
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The pex failed or your fittings? I've never heard of pex failure. Best thing since sliced bread.
    jdp1152 likes this.
  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear it worked out, since it sounds like you were in a bind. But for the rest of you, claiming they're a time-saver, I can't imagine anything faster than sweating copper. Scrub, paste, slip together, heat, solder. Takes me less time than measuring out the copper lengths and hammering in the hangers. Do a few thousand of them, and it's as routine as blowing your nose.

    <-- plumber's apprentice as a kid
    gmule likes this.
  20. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    I agree sweating pipes is easy. Those sharkbites are great to stop running water right now. All you have to do is slip it over the end of the pipe and turn the valve.
  21. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Joful, done both many times and I gotta say......Pex and sharkies are faster.
    Worked with my brother (HVAC&Plumbing) for about 17 years, and when we discovered those....game over.
    Although, copper sure does look nice when done well.
    Hate using the Pex coils though.:mad:
  22. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Took me awhile to get it. Unfortunately not until after I'd played around with a lot of PB (polybutylene) later recalled and cpvc.

    Best tricks that helped were using bread to stuff in the pipe to stop the dripping (though later learned how to tilt the pipe) and using Mapp gas vs. propane. Also getting one of those push button torches is something I'd recommend to speed things up. Tended to avoid sweating copper for a long time, but having a house with hot water (baseboard) heat and moving doorways around required being able to do it well.
  23. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    No failure on the PEX end, slight leakage coming past the tube/fitting seal.
    I have a PEX crimper set, once they are crimped I know I have a good seal.

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