View Full Version : Plumbing Fittings

Jerry Bruette
07-14-2014, 11:03 PM
Anybody here ever use any of the quick connect plumbing fittings like Probite,Sharkbite, or the Watts quick connect?

I'm thinking of using them in combination with copper and pex in my cabin.

What say, anything good or bad?

Jason Roehl
07-14-2014, 11:14 PM
I have a couple on my utility sink in my garage. The wall is open and the plumbing is visible. The fittings have been on there for 7+ years with no leaks. I was dumbfounded when I first discovered them, thinking there was no way they could work, but so far, so good!

Von Bickley
07-14-2014, 11:14 PM
I have not used any myself, but I have heard very good comments about the Sharkbite.

Kev Williams
07-14-2014, 11:16 PM
They work great, but I have a hard time spending $9 when a $0.45 copper solder-on will work... ;)

Jerry Bruette
07-14-2014, 11:25 PM
I'm not putting any plumbing in the wall, but some will be behind some cabinets.

Mike Lassiter
07-14-2014, 11:36 PM
I have used a few. Personal I prefer the crimp on fittings. I replaced both toilets in a 20 years old mobile home we got for rental property. The 20 year old plastic cut off valves leaked when cut off and I couldn't find crimp on cut off valves locally when I did. I bought 2 toilet supply lines with flexible hoses on push on cut off valves made on them. liked how they were made and had stainless braided line from the cut off valve to the toilet fitting.

First toilet replacement was flawless, but the one in the master bath with carpet on the floor blew off the water line when I turned the water back on. The water meter about 75 feet from the door. Ground muddy from rain and no grass from dirt work. Walked back to the door and as I open it I hear water gushing. Ran back to turn off the water and came back in to find the push on fitting blew off and basically let a 1/2" pipe flood the floor. Carpet had water ponded on it. Everything drenched. Took about 2 hours to wet vaccum water and dry carpet with fans. Home Depot 30 miles away. The fitting wouldn't lock on the water line. Really pissed me off that it happened and I had to drive 60 miles to get another one.I took a piece of pex and tried the replacement before leaving the store. Months later still working alright.

There was a cracked 3/4" line under the floor when we got it, and really the easiest way for me to replace what needed to be, and get pipes all back together was by using a 3/4" elbow Sharkbite fitting. I have had no trouble with it. Fittings are expensive compared to crimp on pex fittings. 3 mobile homes have required different repairs over the years ( mice eatting around line going through floor and eatting pipe thin until it developed a pin hole leak amoung others) so I bought a crimping tool kit from several sizes and althought the tool wasn't cheap the difference in fitting cost more than offsets that. NEVER had a crimped on fitting leak. There have been a few times were I have had to remove a fitting that was crimped on and for the cost of a crimp ring the fitting is reuseable.
I maybe the only person ever to have had a Sharkbite fitting to blow off the line, but if it had happened later than it did, the water would have ran all evening and all night into the next day when I returned to do other things. How many gallons of water on city water do you figure could have leaked over that time?
I seriously doubt Sharkbite nor Home Depot would offer to repair the buckled floor or damaged sheetrock from hours of water leaking. I really was uneasy about them until someone moved into the mobile home.

Brian Elfert
07-15-2014, 7:13 AM
I have used a lot of Sharkbite fittings, mostly in my converted bus. They are even certified to be hidden in walls. If used with copper pipes the exterior of the pipe has to be be perfectly smooth so the o-ring doesn't get nicked. My father has used a few in his house because he has had problems soldering pipes with water inside. The ones I used were all with PEX so no issues with the pipe not being smooth on the outside.

My brother used some sort of fitting like this in his house inside the ceiling and it leaked eventually. It cost him $400 to have a plumber in to replace the fitting. There was enough damage to file an insurance claim. Insurance didn't pay for the repair to the pipe, but they did pay to fix the damage. I'm pretty sure it was not a Sharkbite, but I don't know exactly what type of fitting it was.

I switched to Sharkbite after many of the crimped PEX connections in my converted bus leaked. I have since purchased a new crimping tool and no more leaks with crimped connections.

Rich Engelhardt
07-15-2014, 7:43 AM
I know two plumbers that both have 100% confidence in Sharkbite fittings & both have no problem using them for any application - even hidden.
I sure hope one of them is right because we used Sharkbite fittings for the new tiled tub enclosure this past Winter in our bathroom & it's all walled in now with no access.
Yes - we could have used soldered connections - but - the labor saved made the Sharkbite the same cost.

On another job, I had a different plumber in to do some work and I asked him to replace some pipes going to a laundry tub and the Sharkbite fittings used on them that I had installed a year before.
He gave it a quick once over, noted that the fittings were Sharkbite brand fittings, and refused to do the work. He said he'd do it if I insisted, but, there was no real reason to since he'd just do the same thing & use the same Sharkbite fittings.

Just be sure to use actual Sharkbite brand fittings. They were, as I understand it, made from the get go to join Pex to other materials.
I don't have as much faith in any other brand - nor do I believe all of them are ok'ed for use behind walls.

Avoid the Blue Hawk crap that Lowes sells. Those are complete junk knock offs.

Chris Damm
07-15-2014, 8:03 AM
I've used Sharkbites for emergency repairs where I couldn't solder but to use them on a whole job is an economic nightmare. There are better (and cheaper) ways to plumb a whole cabin.

Mark Bolton
07-15-2014, 8:19 AM
I've used Sharkbites for emergency repairs where I couldn't solder but to use them on a whole job is an economic nightmare. There are better (and cheaper) ways to plumb a whole cabin.

Same for us. We've used them if we are in a tough spot but even though I've seen and used that type of connection in industrial applications for many years I just have a hard time trusting them with the damage that can occur if they fail. It just doesn't make sense when there is a much more secure connection available and as mentioned at a major fraction of the cost.

Rich Engelhardt
07-15-2014, 8:44 AM
It just doesn't make sense when there is a much more secure connection available
Is it more secure?

On a recent renovation, I had - not one but two - old soldered connections just simply fall apart.
The only thing that had been holding them in place was the pressure of the water in the lines.
Once the main was shut off and the lines drained, the pipes just fell out of the ceiling on their own!

Mark Bolton
07-15-2014, 10:04 AM
Is it more secure?

On a recent renovation, I had - not one but two - old soldered connections just simply fall apart.
The only thing that had been holding them in place was the pressure of the water in the lines.
Once the main was shut off and the lines drained, the pipes just fell out of the ceiling on their own!

No idea about your situation. Could've been poorly soldered, poorly cleaned, cold joint, contaminated with oil, bad/wrong solder, bad/wrong flux, froze at some point, or any number of things.

I apprenticed in the plumbing trade in my teens and have been in residential and some industrial/ light commercial ever since and have soldered 6 and 8 inch copper mains carrying well over 100 psi and I just don't feel comfortable with sharkbites.

I have seen that style fitting leak many times especially on air. A great place to see it is on the pressure switch on a compressor. Notorious to leak when the tube is not running in straight.

I've fought to get a lot more soldered joints apart than those that come apart easy.

With all that though we rarely run copper any more because it's gotten so expensive. I don't like the environmental aspects of pex but it's what we run nearly 100% now.

John Pratt
07-15-2014, 10:04 AM
I have several Sharkbite fittings in my house which were installed at the recommendation of my brother the plumber (35yrs exp.). He uses them a lot. I haven't had any problems in the 7 years I have had them on. They are definitely more expensive, but it's a choice I have been happy with.

Evan Patton
07-15-2014, 10:11 AM
I had crimped PEX in my last house and it was great. Highly recommend it if for no other reason that it won't burst if frozen, especially for a cabin.

I've used the Watts successfully, but recently have had several leak issues causing me to to to brass ferrule fittings.

Brett Luna
07-15-2014, 7:51 PM
I can sweat copper fittings but I'm not expert, so when it came to connecting the jet tub fixtures (with lots of melty-welty stuff nearby) during our master bath remodel, I used Sharkbite fittings. They're behind an access door in the surround I built so repair isn't a major issue but they've been leak free since installation.

Ole Anderson
07-16-2014, 9:56 PM
I have no problem sweating copper, but for an occasional fix, especially if there might be water in the pipes, Sharkbite is my fitting of choice. As stated, clean the outside of the pipe as though you were sweating the joint. No leaks to date. In fact I was just at my buddy's summer home up north last week and had to fix a split outside spigot the PO left the hose on and it froze. No plumbing equipment with me but I had my Sawzall and some wrenches. Got'er done with a new frostproof outlet and a single Sharkbite fitting. I now have at least 5 rolls of Teflon tape.

But to plumb an entire cabin, get a crimper for the PEX, much cheaper.

Jerry Bruette
07-17-2014, 12:03 AM
I'm putting in two sinks and one shower and they're all within about ten feet of each other. I also plan on putting in valves so I can drain the system to prevent freezing.

Is crimping as fast and easy as the sharkbites?

Mike Lassiter
07-18-2014, 8:28 PM
Jerry the crimping is not quite that fast and easy, but if done right you will not ever have to worry about the connections leaking. As someone else noted, part of the problem with the push on Sharkbite fittings is the pex tubing being pulled sideways on the fittings causing leaks over time. I have worked on class 8 trucks for years and the same problem with the push on air line fittings that are used for the air system. The rubber oring will fail in time if the plastic air lines are not relatively straight and not in a bind going into the fitting. The other alternative is to use the old compression fittings that you tighten a nut that has a insert and ferell that goes over the line and gets tightened into the outer wall of the tubing. Some of the Sharkbite fittings have a plastic insert that is suppose to be inserted inside the plastic tubing to stiffen the wall and support it to help prevent leaking.

I am basically rebuilding a 16x80 single wide mobile home that is over 20 years old and I am replacing all the gray water lines with new pex blue and red while doing all the work I am. The really neat thing I think is I can run 100 feet if I want and only have a fitting at either end. No glued coupling every 10 feet to mess with like CPVC or PVC, but there are times crimping fittings has been "interesting" trying to get the crimping tool into a "spot" with the handles spread open. Often you can prevent that by crimping things together after cutting and fitting everything in place right then getting it all out in the open and do the crimping.
Another word of wisdom. You can buy plastic fittings that are crimp style. While they may work I have never and will never use them for fear the plastic will crack under stress of the tubing being pulling on the fitting and breaking it over time. Metal fittings for me, they are bullet proof.