Shark bite, please don’t cringe

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supergirl

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I do all the plumbing for our projects. He does all the electrical.
There is a space I just cannot get to due to physical limitations: the crawl space.
We have needed a few small plumbing alterations there and we really cannot use a torch, trust me, I would if I could. (Insulation limited space, just a mess).
He is happy to use a shark bite and has found you tube videos saying they are just perfect and equivalent to any other way to connect water lines. I cringe.

I have imploded him to at least rent a crimper, we even have a friend with some version of one- not sure of the brand, but a good one.
He is hell bent on keeping the sharkbites in place.

Some are copper to copper, some are copper to pex. There are also shark bite valves to close off certain runs, like to the outdoor spigots (that don’t take well to our process in -20°F, and the washing machine that is not used in winter) It’s a second home and we winterize it a few times when we come and go in the winter, and we turn off the well pimp when we leave in warm weather, but the house is not occupied full time. This also worries me although with the water off a little less.

If properly installed, can I sleep at night, or am I right that they make great shorter term solutions till a better job can be done?
My vote is crimp copper fittings… if sweating is not an option for longer term.
 

JohnCT

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I've used the Bites for temporary repairs, but truth be known, if the pipe is properly prepped and the Bite is properly installed, it will last for a really really long time. Make sure there is no side tension on the fitting (don't pull/flex the pipe into the fitting), and you should be fine. Even if they do fail, it will be in a drip drip mode - not a complete failure that will dump 10 gallons a minute into the crawlspace.

The biggest screwups people make with Sharkbites is not deburring the copper pipe after cutting, not cleaning the pipe like you would in the same manner as if you were soldering, and not fully inserting the pipe into the Bite locking it in.

Now, if you can get a copper press tool in there, you can sweat the pipe instead. IMO, sweating makes the most sense in areas of poor access, and remember that ProPress still requires an O-Ring for sealing like the Bite does. The press is better because it physically stabilizes the pipe better than the Bite does and the press O-Ring is under higher compression than a Bite O-Ring is.

John
 

John Gayewski

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Sharkbite will work. They can be hard to install with the o rings popping out and you really need to mark the pipe with full insertion depth to know it's on all of the way. I really only use them for temporary things, but people do bury them in walls and they are rated for such.
 

Reach4

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While I have used neither, I would lean toward clamps rather than crimps. The clamp tool does not have to encircle the pipe.
 

ThaPluma

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I've used the Bites for temporary repairs, but truth be known, if the pipe is properly prepped and the Bite is properly installed, it will last for a really really long time. Make sure there is no side tension on the fitting (don't pull/flex the pipe into the fitting), and you should be fine. Even if they do fail, it will be in a drip drip mode - not a complete failure that will dump 10 gallons a minute into the crawlspace.

The biggest screwups people make with Sharkbites is not deburring the copper pipe after cutting, not cleaning the pipe like you would in the same manner as if you were soldering, and not fully inserting the pipe into the Bite locking it in.

Now, if you can get a copper press tool in there, you can sweat the pipe instead. IMO, sweating makes the most sense in areas of poor access, and remember that ProPress still requires an O-Ring for sealing like the Bite does. The press is better because it physically stabilizes the pipe better than the Bite does and the press O-Ring is under higher compression than a Bite O-Ring is.

John
Hey John, one thing I know about Sharkbites is you should not sand the pipe like you would if soldering. The teeth on the sharkbite fitting grip better on uncleaned copper. The copper should be deburred but not sanded. Just an FYI
 

supergirl

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I've used the Bites for temporary repairs, but truth be known, if the pipe is properly prepped and the Bite is properly installed, it will last for a really really long time. Make sure there is no side tension on the fitting (don't pull/flex the pipe into the fitting), and you should be fine. Even if they do fail, it will be in a drip drip mode - not a complete failure that will dump 10 gallons a minute into the crawlspace.

The biggest screwups people make with Sharkbites is not deburring the copper pipe after cutting, not cleaning the pipe like you would in the same manner as if you were soldering, and not fully inserting the pipe into the Bite locking it in.

Now, if you can get a copper press tool in there, you can sweat the pipe instead. IMO, sweating makes the most sense in areas of poor access, and remember that ProPress still requires an O-Ring for sealing like the Bite does. The press is better because it physically stabilizes the pipe better than the Bite does and the press O-Ring is under higher compression than a Bite O-Ring is.

John
That’s a great response! Thank you

It’s more the flame that’s the issue down there.

I can share this with my partner in crime… he is not doing all of that but surely can and will. Gives me a little piece of mind as well.
 

JohnCT

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Hey John, one thing I know about Sharkbites is you should not sand the pipe like you would if soldering. The teeth on the sharkbite fitting grip better on uncleaned copper. The copper should be deburred but not sanded. Just an FYI

I've never heard that (and not saying it's not correct), but intuitively, I know it's sharp points in the teeth inside the Shark that bites *into* the copper. In other words, this is not a friction fit where the surface texture of the pipe contributes to the hold. {?}

John
 

Jeff H Young

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Splitting hairs on the sanding excessively sanding isnt good, knocking off whatever crap is on there is a good thing. burrs are the main thing or forieghn substance.
I thought supergirl talking about renting a "crimper" was talking actually about pressing copper joints .
Sounds like its cobbled together id be mostly concerned , with proper installation practices over the type of joints. Basicaly if youy did bad work re do it if you did good work dont worry. Follow manufacture instructions and code!!
 

Tuttles Revenge

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In classic manufacture limiting their liability. Sharkbite brand instructions do not mention sanding clean a copper pipe.. just that it must be free of burrs and scratches.. So either sanding to make it conform, or finding a surface that meets that criteria.

Actually, wording my google search differently resulted in a blurb that states not to shine a copper tube prior to connection with sharkbite.. however the corresponding website has no mention of it..

1708457980008.png

So still not a satisfactory from the source answer.
 

Jeff H Young

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I might take sand cloth to copper with flux or rat poo maybe mud on the pipe . But Im not sanding brandnew pipe, barely do that when Im Soldering LOL
 

James23912

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I do all the plumbing for our projects. He does all the electrical.
There is a space I just cannot get to due to physical limitations: the crawl space.
We have needed a few small plumbing alterations there and we really cannot use a torch, trust me, I would if I could. (Insulation limited space, just a mess).
He is happy to use a shark bite and has found you tube videos saying they are just perfect and equivalent to any other way to connect water lines. I cringe.

I have imploded him to at least rent a crimper, we even have a friend with some version of one- not sure of the brand, but a good one.
He is hell bent on keeping the sharkbites in place.

Some are copper to copper, some are copper to pex. There are also shark bite valves to close off certain runs, like to the outdoor spigots (that don’t take well to our process in -20°F, and the washing machine that is not used in winter) It’s a second home and we winterize it a few times when we come and go in the winter, and we turn off the well pimp when we leave in warm weather, but the house is not occupied full time. This also worries me although with the water off a little less.

If properly installed, can I sleep at night, or am I right that they make great shorter term solutions till a better job can be done?
My vote is crimp copper fittings… if sweating is not an option for longer term.
I was building a new house with almost
t no plumbing knowledge and tight budget so I used them in connecting from my water tank to a filter to the water softener to the water heater and expansion tank. as well as attaching to the manifolds , that was four years ago with zero problems. those are all in the open in the cellar where I can see them. I also used them to connect the water lines for sinks and toilets. I’m sure I could have learned to sweat copper in but didn’t want my first effort to be one that counted. I would never tell,anyone what to do but that is my experience with the things
 

John Gayewski

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I used the Watts plastic push fit connectors to connect pex b and pex A at my mom's house. My brother (electrician) moved some pex to make room for wire and pulled one of the connections apart.

Even with the stiffener and the wedge lock that comes with the Watts brand they can pull apart pretty easily. Those are made of plastic and I think are lesser quality then a sharkbite fitting. I haven't used sharkbite on pex that often but I this they would also pull apart.
 
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