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Plumbing Goes Faster With Sharkbite Fittings


plumbing repairConnecting plumbing lines can be a slow process. If you are using copper piping you have to clean, flux, and use a torch to sweat on fittings. For CPVC you have to glue the fittings onto the piping, and for PEX you use crimp fittings that are squeezed around the plastic piping to mate each piece.

Sharkbite fittings are fast and make solid connections. They don't use glue or heat, but rather use o-rings, grip rings and a series of collars to line everything up. The grip ring is what holds the pipe to the fitting. It looks like a metal ring with angled teeth on it so that when the pipe is pushed into the fitting these teeth are angled in such a way that you can't pull the pipe out (without a special tool). This pins the pipe past the o-ring and into the tube stop for a tight seal. If you need to remove the pipe, you can buy a plastic release tool that pushes a sleeve into the grip ring which releases the teeth.

I generally use the shark bite fittings in certain situations. If I am concerned that a torch is too close to flammable material, or if space doesn't allow traditional joining methods, I'll reach for a sharbite. At nearly 3 times the cost of a copper fitting, they are expensive but worth it when the situation calls for them.

You can join a variety of piping using a sharkbite fitting including copper, CPVC, CTS, and PEX. Just pick the right diameter, cut the pipe squarely, push the pipe into the fitting with a slight twist, and it's done. A depth gauge, which is sold separately, tells you that the pipe has been pushed into the fitting correctly.


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