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Thread: Shark Bite Valve ??

  1. #1

    Default Shark Bite Valve ??

    Hi All -

    I have a question on what the pro's think of Shark Bite valves and fittings? I can assume most pro's probably hate them, being that they are unconventional, and make it so easy for DIY'ers to do plumbing themselves - however being that I am on a strict budget, and can not afford a plumber this time around, I was hoping for some objectional advice and opinions on these. As unpregidous as possible.

    Anyway - I am faced with replacing the 2 master shutoff water valves in my mother in law's home, right by the water meter in the basement. Both the street side valve and the house side valves.

    Though i have used compression valves plenty of times in the past, and also can sweat (kind of good) - I was hoping the shark bite valves in thsi case, would be great to use, so I can get them replaced quickly, while the city waits for me so they can turn the water back on in the street at the curb.
    And thereby getting it al done quick, and with very minimal inconvenience to me and the residents of the household, etc.

    I used a shark bite fitting once before in my own home, and surprisingly, I was amazed that it actually worked.

    But I am not sure if using one on the main water shutoff would be wize or not? Do they hold up and last as long as conventional valves would?

    Also, I am not sure if shark bite vlaves, although the body is mostly brass like conventional vlaves, will conduct electricity like a conventional valve does. Being that the main water line, is how the whole house is being grounded with.

    I looked closely at one of the shark bite valves (3/4" ball valve), and I can't be sure that the "circuit" will NOT be broken by the plastic and steel push fitting on each end??

    Any comments??

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    When price matters more than quality, plumbing will always suffer. Sharkbites are great for fast temporary repairs. they are great for testing. Would I put a fitting with a rubber O ring in it in a concealed wall? Never. Want to have some fun? Cut a 1/2" copper line. Put a sharkbite coupling in place. Turn on the water and then flex the pipe where the coupling is. See the leak? You will. I have a rule. If I can't afford to do it right then I just don't do it. Price should never be the deciding factor. Essentially what you are asking is "Is there an el cheepo way to get out of doing this job right?"

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I use Sharkbites and have a higher level of confidence in them than most of the pro's. I spent a number of years as the staff plumber in an industrial maint. department. We had a large number of CNC machines that used a very similar technology on their pnematic systems. The environment was hot, oily, moving rapidly and a few other hazards among them high pressure. The technology performed well and reliably.

    However, I would sweat the valve on in that application. I use them primarily as a transition coupling and in situations where the water cannot be shut off completely.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhmaster View Post
    Turn on the water and then flex the pipe where the coupling is. See the leak? You will.
    That is something that you need to try before you say it happens!

    If it does there is one reason and that is that you have not inserted the pipe all the way.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Nope, pipe properly inserted, flex the joint water leaks.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    You are describing something I have never seen.

  7. #7
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    I see shark bites as a sure way to get a customer pissed off about prices.
    I only use shark bites for transition.
    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.

  8. #8
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I have seen shark bites leak.

    They will leak when the tubing is not round or is damaged, the OD is not correct, or the O ring becomes damaged.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    I have seen shark bites leak.

    They will leak when the tubing is not round or is damaged, the OD is not correct, or the O ring becomes damaged.
    Exactly! When flexed they will not leak if the tube was in good condition, and properly assembled. I find the "Second Stage" in to the tube stop is actually in very close tolerance to the O.D. of the tube and does not allow enough "Flexing" to cause any leakage. It is in fact IMO tight enough that tube insertion is difficult.

  10. #10

    Default shark bites and code

    Are these fittings generally accepted by code. If so, are there any limitations, such as not to be used in walls or near water heaters? Crawl space and basement only? Kind of curious. I had some work done a year ago and plumber used a few in the crawl space.

  11. #11
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    I think the package they come in say not to use in wall. I could be wrong.
    It is not a good idea to use anything like that in a wall. I don't use compression fitting in walls. Well I tend not to use any compression either.

    Emergency use only I say.
    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.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    They are approved for use in concealed locations and underground.

    The SharkBite® push-fit fittings are listed by IAPMO and are certified for potable and hydronic heating water distribution (note: Glycol mixture for hydronics is not to exceed 50% concentration). The SharkBite® push-fit fittings have been certified for underground applications and as a manufactured joint without access panels and they meet UPC, IPC and cUPC requirements.

    Please consult with local plumbing codes concerning specific applications.
    http://www.cashacme.com/prod_sharkbite.php
    Last edited by Redwood; 08-03-2008 at 06:44 PM.

  13. #13
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Thank you for the info Redwood, but I still will not use the in concealed places.
    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.

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks to the both of you for the replys. I'm not a plumber by trade (truck and equipment mechanic for the military) but I do my own remodel work at home and want to do things the right way and to code. Learning these ways helps me to do my work better.
    Thanks again.

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