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Old 01-04-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Henderson
1,107 posts, read 1,339,382 times
Reputation: 1017

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Like most newer houses in the Vegas area, I have PEX piping that is crimped in place. I recently upgraded a toilet in my house but could not get the supply line to stop leaking so I installed a new Shark Bite supply valve. Does anyone have long term experience with this type of fitting? I am concerned about the hard water destroying the valve over time. Thanks for any experience you might share.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:37 PM
 
Location: In the Silver State of Nevada in Las Vegas NV
1,062 posts, read 1,450,631 times
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Go to their web site the info is there !!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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I've gone round and round on this myself over the years. Ultimately, I've decided that if it's in an enclosed wall/floor/ceiling I either sweat the pipe or use a crimp fitting. I am sure shark bite's are fine but I just can't get over the feeling of having one in a wall and the possibility (in my head I'm sure) of having a failure. I've visited more plumbing forums over the years looking for a definitive answer and even the pro's seem split on the subject. Some say no way and others have used them for years with no issues. I will add that in my years of researching this topic I have never heard of anyone experiencing a catastrophic failure of a shark bite resulting in excessive damage. All I have found were a few isolated cases of one leaking here or there over a long period of time. Of course you could say that about any plumbing joint be in copper sweat, epoxied plastic, etc. There is always a change of failure with any mechanical joint of any kind. I would use them back east in a basement as it's all exposed plumbing and a leak is visible (and in an unfinished basement not nearly as big a deal as a finished room).

Keeping this on topic for the Vegas forum, I never really thought about the possibility of hard water being an issue. I removed some 1/2" copper pipe in our house here in Vegas during a kitchen remodel. The house was built in 1985. I was quite surprised to see no discernible build up in the pipe from hard water. We had a few toilet and sink fittings that were or had leaked a little over the years. There was quite a bit of build up on them so I assumed that would be the same issue inside the pipes. This was not the case and the house has never had any kind of water softener or other type of treatment device. I believe the mineral build up occurs when the water is exposed to oxygen and/or evaporates, leaving the minerals behind. I would not worry too much about mineral build up effecting the sharkbite.

I do keep a couple in the house in the common sizes in case we ever experience a leak. Shut off the water, punch a hole in the wall and cap it off all in 5 minutes. The sharkbite caps would be fantastic to stop a leak quick.

I will have a plumber over to the house soon to consult on a bathroom remodel and plan to ask about hard water and the build up of minerals/general health of the plumbing over time.

Hope this helps,
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:20 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,137,944 times
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With Vtvette I too have followed this for a while.

Standard problem. There is a significant set of plumbers who absolutely believe that the only rational system is copper. If it ain't sweated it ain't safe.

So as soon as you get into something with plastic pipe and easy install the answer is no way.

They actually are way too expensive for wide use. But they appear ideal for a DIY.

As to the valve I would simply make sure it is a ball valve.

I have copper about as old as Vtvettes but I also have no internal build up. I have lost a couple of gate valves and the rubber valve on the water conditioner but there was no real build up in them.

Note though this house is on a well and has always had a water softener. The water is so hard it cracks when dropped.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 30,975,916 times
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I don't get it. The line to the toilet is not PEX is it? I have PEX too. I don't know plumbing terms but it all seems to terminate at copper fittings before going to fixtures.

Do you ever worry about the PEX bursting? We had a rat problem. I think I got them all, but I have been worried they would get in the walls and eat through the PEX. Any concerns like that?

Sorry. Don't mean to highjack your thread.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 30,975,916 times
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Shudda Googled Shark Bite connectors first. I see what they are, and think we have those too.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Henderson
1,107 posts, read 1,339,382 times
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Default PEX -Shark Bite

Thanks everyone for the feedback. So far no leaks with the Shark Bite fitting. I was not able to dig up any real "dirt" regarding the fitting I installed but as you indicated, not all plumbers are convinced of its reliability. The valve I installed is a ball type. I will keep my fingers crossed. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Down the road I will have to revisit the past posts on water softeners, a future project.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: In the Silver State of Nevada in Las Vegas NV
1,062 posts, read 1,450,631 times
Reputation: 902
Folks you should google the properties of copper tubing (pipe) and see why there is no build up. Copper is used in marine paint for the outer hull of ships and boats because the barnacles can not stick to it. I believe the same for copper tubing. One thing to keep in mind any type of pipe that has standing water or liquid in it will have a build up point of anything that runs in the line. That is why elbows rust out first or leak first. The hard water problem is also very hard on hot water tanks because the minerals build up in the bottom and eat out the tank from the inside out. Any threaded pipe will rot first where it is threaded into a union or elbow and if the line is not plumbed correct it will happen in the low point of the line. One of the reasons sharks tooth was invented was because many places had soft copper lines which are almost impossible to repair. The other reason was it allowed the home owner to start installing PVC pipe in additions and replacing old tubing when upgrades were made. PVC pipe is used in new construction because it is cheap and easy to install and repair with similar properties to copper tubing. Any plumbing job is a ***** anyway you look at it and not something to look forward to doing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: location, location...
848 posts, read 1,002,586 times
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Default Shark Bite

Sweating copper is an art, besides, what guy doesn't like dealing with fire while working in tight quarters? Seriously though, I started wondering what Shark Bite was all about a few years ago and decided to try it out...on the neighbors outdoor spigot. I had another opportunity to use a bunch on my son's pool re-plumbing project and all went well with both projects so...I replaced both of my outdoor spigots with quarter turn valves. One great feature is the tool that releases the "bite" so's the connector can slip off, very handy for fitting all the pieces on a big project. Like any project, surface preparation is key. Square cuts, de-burred tubing, etc, and you won't have any problems. Good stuff!
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