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    Question PEX materials

    I own a VERY old house and have been poking and picking at it for 38 years. One doesn't actually own a house like this.

    It owns you.

    I've been getting information about using PEX for our potable water supply and I believe this will be my material of choice from here on out. The actual process and methods are what I'm investigating right now and would appreciate input from those who KNOW.

    There's a brand of fittings that are sold under the trade name SHARKBITE. I'm very interested in getting some comments about it.

    d...



  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Sb

    Good, bulky, and expensive. Not for tight spaces or closely spaced connections.

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    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    The integrity of sharkbite seals is a rubber O-ring.
    Faucets, shower valves, and most other valves periodically need servicing when the rubber washers wear or decay.
    I've used sharkbite on hydronic systems where they're exposed and easy to service.
    Personal preference, I wouldn't use them on higher pressure potable water, especially in concealed locations.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking shark bites

    Its hard to believe but they are even
    used .... underground .....now....

    I do not think they are considered a pex fitting....

    but they have save my a// numerous times
    when you have to tie into or make changes to
    some odd-ball brand of pex and convert to something you
    have on hand in your truck

    I use them on occasion to get myself out
    of very bad jams.....and they do work great.

    and they are certainly worth the money becasue of the
    greif, time and misery that you avoid by useing them

    they probably should not be used for a complete house installation
    although I have actually seen that done before....by a handy-man


    but in the back of my mind
    someday 25 years from now
    they will probably be trouble

    who knows ...we wait and see

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    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of easy, but these things are $$$. I have not used them yet and i'm sure I will one day, but why spend the money if you can use something that is better quality and more pro like.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Haven't used a sharkbite in 5-6 months now.....last time was transitioning from CPVC to copper on a water heater, 4' from the top of the heater.

    A customer did insist on me using the supplied ones *tees* under a sink which made it so hard to keep everything looking uniform and straight.


    His call not mine.

    I got a bunch of these on a run lot auction so I got collateral baaa-by~!!!
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking time is money

    Quote Originally Posted by patrick88 View Post
    I'm a big fan of easy, but these things are $$$. I have not used them yet and i'm sure I will one day, but why spend the money if you can use something that is better quality and more pro like.

    I agree with you in theory ....

    but in reality ....if you are in a frozen crawl space on
    a Satruday afternoon as the sun is going down and
    you really , really need to figure out a way to make a


    repair to something and get the hell out of their quick..

    been there and done that on a odd-ball frozen pex hose bib...



    they are worth their weight in gold in the pinch

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    If you are going to plumb an entire house, buy a brand of PEX and their fittings, the crimp style has the cheapest tools.

    Buy or rent the tools and do the job right.

    Wirsbo expansion PEX is rumored to be the best, who knows yet. The expansion tools are very expensive and work on less brands than the crimp style.

    This site has a lot of info on the compatibility of PEX, fittings and tools, http://www.pexinfo.com/ . As a DIYer I would stick with one brand of pipe fittings and tools.

    The sharkbites and compression and other snap lock type fittings are for quick repairs or joining different types of pipe, not for plumbing an entire house.

    Zurn has a good how to on their website, but their fittings are having issues in some water conditions, but the how to is good.

    At this point I would use a home run manifold system and try to keep access to all the fittings, the pipe is good the problems come from the fittings. Keep room in the pipe for expansion and contraction, lots of room, do not strap it straight and tight or you will have trouble.
    Last edited by construct30; 12-25-2007 at 12:02 PM.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I consider Sharkbites to be God's gift to plumbers! They are approved for copper, PEX, & CPVC in concealed locations and underground. I however use them only when stopping water flow is a problem. I would not consider them for a whole house repipe due to their cost. They have saved my butt more than once.

    I would strongly recommend picking a PEX ststem for your whole house repipe and go with it all the way including connections. I consider Wirsbro to have the best system but compatibility with other systems is a problem. If I was a new construction plumber I would without any doubt in my mind use Wirsbro. However in the repair plumbing business you have to be ready to work with whatever PEX system you are presented with. So I carry the Watts Waterpex on my truck which will work with all the systems. With the cinch clamp system the same tool is used for all sizes so it works for me in keeping the pile of tools and parts under control in the limited space of my truck.

    http://www.watts.com/pro/divisions/p...cinchclamp.asp

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    How do the cinch clamps work for you, I have the cinch tool, but I always use the copper crimps. It is nice only needing one tool. I have both ways, just wondered how the cinch clamps work, bought the tool, never used it. Do they cut off OK with the tool if you need to make changes?

    I am going to check into the wirsbo tools, they have dropped some in price. I think for service work it is getting to where you have to have it all, it sucks, wish they had all gotten together before they started.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by construct30 View Post

    I am going to check into the wirsbo tools, they have dropped some in price. I think for service work it is getting to where you have to have it all, it sucks, wish they had all gotten together before they started.
    Right...like that would ever happen!!!

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I like the cinch clamps! I actually don't even have the tool. I have an ancient pair if electricians pliers I found on a job site that had sat up in a suspended ceiling for about 20 years. I use them and they snip right off.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    Right...like that would ever happen!!!
    It could happen... It could happen... It could happen... OK maybe not.

    I even clicked my heels together.

  14. #14
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    Right...like that would ever happen!!!
    Ya know, there are times when we get all worked up over codes dictating little details regarding MFG & fitting types.
    a dangerous example is CSST, Wardflex vs Tracpipe...each are very similar, but they require different numbers of corrugates inside the compression fitting.
    I'd seen a whole house incorrectly fitted because the guy confused one name for another.
    Only one fitting leaked on the test, if it hadn't...God only knows what woulda happened down the road.
    The powers that be really need to force MFG's to get on the same page..IMO.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

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