Sharkbite leak on PEX

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Terry

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Okay. Sometimes it happens. I got a call from a homeowner in a highrise condo that had a repair done by another company and it was still leaking.

oh-kay-plumbing-van.jpg


No. I wasn't this company, but it could have been someone like this. I love this. A plumbing company that is just Okay.

sharkbite-leak-1.jpg


Normally you can cut PEX and push a Sharkbite on and you're good to go. You can see the water leak behind the Sharkbite.

sharkbite-leak-2.jpg


Lucky for me, and I mean lucky. The PEX in the wall is the same stuff I carry and have tools for. I went ahead and extended the valve out a ways, and added a male adapter that makes changing the shutoff easier for the next guy. They guy I followed had a muti-turn valve which I replaced with Dahl. I do like 1/4 turn shutoffs.
 

Gsmith22

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sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I found it searching the forum and it is discussing a situation I am trying to prevent. I have 30yr old copper that is very thin from acidic well water. Getting water pH adjusted but looking to also repipe with uponor pex-a. Knowing what you know and having to deal with situations like above, is there a consensus on how to install new 1/4 turn valves at toilets/sinks/general terminations? Uponor makes all these various methods but I wonder if simply running pex and terminating with a MIP thread pex adapter for connection to a FIP thread 1/4 turn valve is best? No issue with new install and makes valve changout (if ever necessary) much easier. Curious on everyone's thoughts or general practice for new install thinking ahead for easier repairs. thanks
 

JohnCT

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sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I found it searching the forum and it is discussing a situation I am trying to prevent. I have 30yr old copper that is very thin from acidic well water. Getting water pH adjusted but looking to also repipe with uponor pex-a. Knowing what you know and having to deal with situations like above, is there a consensus on how to install new 1/4 turn valves at toilets/sinks/general terminations? Uponor makes all these various methods but I wonder if simply running pex and terminating with a MIP thread pex adapter for connection to a FIP thread 1/4 turn valve is best? No issue with new install and makes valve changout (if ever necessary) much easier. Curious on everyone's thoughts or general practice for new install thinking ahead for easier repairs. thanks

I am in the EXACT same situation. I've already installed an acid tank to stop further damage, but I'm still looking at a full repipe. I'm thinking that with the acid tank, maybe using a brass drop ear elbow and a copper exit pipe feeding the angle stop would be the best solution:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Wirsbo-Uponor-LF4235050-ProPEX-LF-Drop-Ear-Brass-Elbow-1-2-PEX-x-1-2-FIP

My sinks/vanities have the pipe coming up through the floor of the vanities - not the wall, so I'm just going to go from PEX right to the valve. There will be plenty of exposed PEX inside the vanities to cut and re-expand for future repairs whereas I won't get that option behind the toilets. I got 20 years on acid water, so maybe I can get 50 years with new brass drop ears and the acid reducing tank. I won't be around then away...

John
 

Reach4

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I'm thinking that with the acid tank, maybe using a brass drop ear elbow and a copper exit pipe feeding the angle stop would be the best solution:
I think gsmith22's intention was to use plastic or 316 stainless for non-replaceable parts.

Uponor Q8525050
q8525050-3.jpg
 
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Gsmith22

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I was trying to eliminate any pex to different pipe connection at an enclosed location assuming that if trouble occurred, that would be the place of trouble and I would have to cut off a section of pipe to re-expand and connect to again inside an enclosed location. I think your first method would place the drop ear inside a wall or floor which I may or may not have access to, no?
For any direct pex to valve connection situation, it strikes me that replacing a valve you would lose say 2 inches of pex pipe on a valve replacement so there is only so many times that you could replace a valve. Which is why Terry's original post with the MIP adapter caught my eye - no cutting off adapter just screw on new valve. I feel like I will be the guy that has to deal with 2 to 3 valve replacements if I don't plan for it. I plan for it, valve will work for the next 100 years LOL
 

Gsmith22

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reach4 - you have good memory but that intention was at the water treatment system area where I was injecting soda ash - where low pH might still be around before the soda ash gets thoroughly mixed and pH adjusted. For this post, I was thinking about/planning ahead for say a toilet or vanity a 100 feet away where pH has been raised and I am really just dealing with general best practice of pex plumbing
 

Jadnashua

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My preference is to use a pex-copper stubout to a valve with the proper anchoring system to make it all rigid. Make sure you use two wrenches (one on the fitting and one on the valve) when using pex, or you may just find it rotates, especially with pex-a expansion fittings. That won't cause it to leak, but it can be frustrating unless you know what's happening.
 

Gsmith22

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don't you worry about the same issue if a valve goes bad - cutting off the copper at the valve or unsoldering and having to resolder over the last valve area? Seems like it would create the same issue of losing pipe length over time to valve changes. Or does everyone use compression valves on the stubout (PEX or copper) and just re-compress to the same pipe area (PEX or copper)? I was trying to avoid a press-fitting (Sharkbite) at this type of location. Something about it strikes me as temporary. I can definitely see the benefit of copper making the stubout rigid vs PEX. I guess its all preference. Terry's MIP adapter caught my attention at solving a problem that is maybe only in my mind :)
 

Terry

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I like copper stubouts with compression stops. I can remove and replace when needed.
The pictures above were done with male adapters which allows future replacements. Some of the contractors around here are using Sharkbite style stops on PEX, which can be a little harder to work with later on. Those are the new construction guys and they aren't doing service work.
 

Gsmith22

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Thanks for the suggestions. I am truly interested in what the service people run across and what works best because that will be me fixing a leak at 10pm on a sunday :) So I have narrowed it down to copper stubout with compression valve (better rigidity and ease of future replace) or pex stubout with MIP adapter (ease of future replace). Would anyone ever feel comfortable with a compression valve on a pex stubout (ignoring rigidity issue)? Can you recompress over a section of pex that previously had a compression valve (assuming the stainless insert was properly installed in the pex)?
 

Reach4

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With a Sharkbite valve on PEX. It could be a 2-handed or nimble-finger operation to turn it off and on, if you use a flex supply line. The same consideration could apply with an expansion PEX connection in line, which might have trouble resisting torque.

I suspect if you used a plated copper riser to the toilet, that could apply enough counter-torque to make turning the valve on and off easier.
 
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Gsmith22

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I wouldn't use sharkbite but I can see what you are talking about re: propex fitting depending on which direction you are turning the angle stop handle relative to how the propex expansion fitting is arranged. The fitting might rotate during simple on/off of the valve similar to what jadnashua was mentioning with regards to installing a valve on an mip fitting and holding it with wrench on fitting and valve to tighten the valve to the fitting
 

JohnCT

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I think gsmith22's intention was to use plastic or 316 stainless for non-replaceable parts.

Uponor Q8525050
q8525050-3.jpg

Yeah, I definitely understood his question as I'm in the same position. But I've always been uneasy about using PEX for the stub out to a valve in case any service work need be done later on, so I added that as an option for him to consider. If I couldn't raise the pH, I would have all plastic behind the walls and ceiling for sure. But since I added the acid neutralizer and my pH is now 7.0, my thought is that I will still repipe with PEX, but use either a copper stub out or brass drop ear for ease of service later on.

John
 

Jadnashua

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The compression stops designed for copper work just fine on pex IF you use the internal re-enforcement sleeve, otherwise, there's nothing rigid to compress against, and it will leak and may just slip off the tubing. THey work fine, but the pex can still move around which is why I prefer a copper stubout that is anchored to the studs.

Sharkbites work unless one or more of these issues exist:
- it isn't inserted all the way to the internal stop
- it is not cut square across the end
- there's a rough edge that damages the O-ring when inserting
- you've removed the internal stiffener when using on pex
- the tubing or pipe has score marks on it preventing the O-ring from sealing
- the pipe is not round (i.e., it was crushed somewhat - on pex, the stiffener will round it out if it isn't already)

That may seem like a lot, but in reality, they work pretty well. Expensive except maybe for a one-off or a really awkward position. I had one connection behind the water heater that was almost impossible to get a torch onto, at least all around to evenly heat up the connections before adding the solder without overheating it. Removing the WH and reinstalling it wasn't a good option. I ended up using a Sharkbite slip connector there...worked fine.
 
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