Experiences with, opinions on "Shark Bite" pipe fittings?

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I needed to replace an outside spigot, was hoping for find one that used a compression fitting, the guy at Home Depot was trying to sell me on these Shark Bite pipe fittings.
Seeing that the crucial interface pieces appeared to be some kind of PVC and an O-ring I was leery, wondering what the long term dependability of it would be compared to time-tested compression fittings or soldered joints. "Quick and easy" doesn't inspire trust. Okay, it works for now, but how's it going to hold up 5, 10, 15 years from now? You obviously don't want it degrading and springing a leak inside a wall, perhaps undetected for an extended period while it causes water damage.
Any experiences or opinions?
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I have the same doubts as you do, but as an electrician that does tons of work with plumbers, I can tell you that they all love the stuff, they swear by it, and assure me that it won't fall apart ten years from now. I'm still a skeptic, but for whatever reason, the stuff has made believers out of plumbers.
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Like you and RBM, I have my doubts too. I'd use one if it made a job a lot easier, but it wouldn't be my first choice. AFAIK, they are relatively new and I haven't seen anything showing a history of decades of reliability.
A little story here to amuse too. There's a local ACE hardware store that's a real pain in the ass. Everytime you walk in, one of the village idiot store employees walks up and asks if they can help you. That's fine, to a point. But they can't just point you to the isle and get lost. Instead, they like to start asking all kinds of questions, try to re-engineer what you're doing, when they are totally clueless. As an example, I went in and was looking for screws. The guy comes over and asks if I need help. I tell him I'm looking for round headed wood screws. He shows me flat headed ones, which I already saw. Then, he looks at me like he never heard of or saw a round headed one. Next, he's asking what it is I'm doing and starts recommending sheet metal screws.
On another trip, this same idiot was recommending those Shark Bite fittings, telling me how wonderful they are, how he uses them at the local school. On that trip I was looking for a pressure gauge for a residential water system and he had told me a couple minutes before that city water pressure is about 2 PSI......
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Like you and RBM, I have my doubts too. I'd use one if it made a job a lot easier, but it wouldn't be my first choice. AFAIK, they are relatively new and I haven't seen anything showing a history of decades of reliability.
A little story here to amuse too. There's a local ACE hardware store that's a real pain in the ass. Everytime you walk in, one of the village idiot store employees walks up and asks if they can help you. That's fine, to a point. But they can't just point you to the isle and get lost. Instead, they like to start asking all kinds of questions, try to re-engineer what you're doing, when they are totally clueless. As an example, I went in and was looking for screws. The guy comes over and asks if I need help. I tell him I'm looking for round headed wood screws. He shows me flat headed ones, which I already saw. Then, he looks at me like he never heard of or saw a round headed one. Next, he's asking what it is I'm doing and starts recommending sheet metal screws.
On another trip, this same idiot was recommending those Shark Bite fittings, telling me how wonderful they are, how he uses them at the local school. On that trip I was looking for a pressure gauge for a residential water system and he had told me a couple minutes before that city water pressure is about 2 PSI......
Bottom line, there is no history. I'm sure back in time someone, somewhere said: It's galvanized, can't rust, it'll last forever
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Yeah, that was back in the good old days before water supply and distribution became a chemistry experiment...
~~ Evan
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RBM wrote:

Don't even get me started on that! My (now) standard response for the inevitable "what are you doing" question is to reply with "I'm just trying to see what you have right now."
It usually gives them enough of a clue to go away. Until the next helpful little butterfly tries to land on me.
Jon
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On Nov 26, 12:18pm, "Jon Danniken"

Of course the flip side is when you luck upon a person who actually knows what he's talking about.
When I was browsing the Home Depot plumbing department and looking into the Shark Bites for the project I mentioned earlier, an employee asked me what I was planning on using them for. Not only did he know all about the Shark Bites, he saved me some money by pointing out the "hidden" stash of shorter lengths of PEX.
Prominently displayed were the 10' straight lengths and the 50' & 100' rolls. When I said that I would need three 10 footers and a couple of in-line Shark Bites to make up my 22' length, he pointed me towards the barely-labeled boxed rolls of 25' that were down on the bottom shelf. Between the cheaper PEX and the elimination of two $6 fittings, he probably saved me close to 50% on this small project.
When I playing with the Shark Bite tee and thought out loud about "aiming" it so I could attached the PEX, it was he that pointed out that they swivel so no "aiming" was required. Had I gotten home and found that the fitting was "loose" on the pipe, I probably would have panicked.
Sometimes you just never know who knows what.
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On 11/25/2010 7:37 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The city of ancient Rome? :-)
TDD
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wrote:

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water - if the guy's an idjit, that doesn't mean everything they mention is crap.
It wasn't clear from your post - have you ever tried a Sharkbite fitting?

Did you ever see the height of some of those aqueducts? I wonder if they were able to develop a pressurized water distribution system. 100' high aqueduct would provide over 40 psi. I wonder if the Romans had pressure washers...? ;)
R
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On 11/25/2010 1:13 PM, RicodJour wrote:

I could have sworn that I read or saw a documentary showing that there is an original Roman fountain that is still flowing without interruption in the same location it was built centuries ago but I couldn't find a reference with a quick search. I did find that some have been moved and or restored. I do think that their high tech lead pipes, dinnerware and lead containing food and drink may have caused their slow decline.
I have to wonder what the world would be like if The Roman Empire had endured? I suppose we would be speaking Latin? Remember the Star Trek episode "Bread and Circuses" from the original series showing Romans with machine guns and televised gladiatorial fights? 8-)
TDD
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:19:48 -0600, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Greek, more likely. Even at the dawn of the empire, the educated class (which means the governing class) spoke Greek as often as Latin. With the transfer of the capital to Constantinople, the language of government gradually shifted to Greek, though I believe Latin survived longer in the army.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
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On 11/25/2010 10:39 PM, Stan Brown wrote:

Well heck, the language of diplomacy was once French. The language of aviation is English except when French pilots refuse to speak it and wind up making a big smoking hole in the ground. :-)
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

It wasn't lead that did 'em in. It was iron.
In the hands of the Vandals.
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On 11/28/2010 5:59 PM, HeyBub wrote:

I was under the impression that lead poisoning had a lot to do with scrambling the brains of the leadership. If the leadership has gone full goose bozo, how could they lead the army? 8-)
TDD
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Well, the "failure mechnism" of an o-ring seal is wear of the o-ring with pressure fluxuations. But in a domestic water situation, the temperatures do change much and the pressures aren't extreme. That minimizes wear and fatigue.
IOW: it's a near static situation.
The "record" in static situation for O-rings it quite outstanding: WWII aircraft found in deserts after 50+ years still had charged accumulators (nitrogen over hydrollic oil).
Over the past decades plumbers have had to replace gross amounts of plactic plumbing from problems that showed up after 5+ years. Compared to that, I would expect the o-rings to outlast any plastic pipe.

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Scratching the O-ring during installation is probably the biggest concern - or scratching the pipe badly enough to compromise the O-ring seal. Cash Acme wants to sell you their nifty little deburring tool.
R
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seal. Cash Acme wants to sell you their nifty little deburring tool.
The really, really neat thing about O-rings is that small scratches just don't seem to make any difference. If there is an excessive gap under higher pressures the o-ring might be extruded into the gap.
But, yeah, a cut (not a scratch) in the o-ring may well make it leak.
R
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I wouldn't want one in my wall, difficult to access location, location where failure could cause a lot of damage, etc.
Plumbers love the stuff and they swear by it? Like they did with polybutylene pipes and fittings?
Sweating works. Proven for decades. Assume what you have now is Cu.
Sweat coupling/elbow .50-1.00 Sharkbite fittings http://www.plumbingsupply.com/shark-bite-fittings.html
Guess I'm just old and inflexible. I remember my grandfather telling us if you put that water paint (latex) on something outside it will wash off when it rains.
Here's some generally positive experiences. http://www.contractortalk.com/f9/shark-bite-fittings-15746 /
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wrote:

You're a modernist. I still prefer galvanized. It works too.
--Vic
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I had to crawl under my cabin to repair a water line that froze and burst. I went to buy the parts, compression fittings, and when I saw the sharkbites, was a little skeptical, but got them anyway. Talk about sweet. Not sure about longevity, but after three years, mine's still holding. It saved a ton of work from not having to pull a lot of line to get it to where I could sweat it safely.
Steve
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