I was unable to slide a piece of 1/2" PEX onto an elbow. I've found the
reason. Virtually all fittings that seal against the inside of PEX are
designed for SDR-9, the industry standard. The walls of my SharkBite
pipe are .02" too thick. The ID is .04" too small. It's SDR-7.
A purchaser should know if he is being sold pipe that is not standard.
The SharkBite site doesn't mention any SDR standard for their pipe. The
only dimensions are nominal. How would the purchaser know it wasn't
A Home Depot search for 1/2 PEX pipe brings up 47 items. The first three
are SharkBite pipe for potable water. The store lists the nominal
dimensions to three decimal places as if they were actual. Even if they
were, they would be outside the industry standard. The only other choice
for potable water comes at the end. That manufacturer provides
dimensions proving it's SDR-9.
SharkBite may have set their wholesale price to take most of the market
at Home Depot. The unsuspecting consumer discovers that only
premium-priced SharkBite fittings will work. Lowes, where professionals
shop, doesn't sell SharkBite pipe. If plumbers find that they must
resort to heating to get SharkBite pipe onto fittings, they'll complain.
I've lurked and posted here for 18 years. It has been a gold mine of
information. In the days of Deja, I could often find what I needed
without bothering anybody. In time, I tend to get enthused and post
more. Several times when I thought I was posting too much, I've broken
the habit by taking a break and returning under a new name as a newbie.
In the last year or so, my name kept turning up among the top posters.
That's embarrassing, so I've taken a lot of breaks. When I wanted advice
about the fitting that didn't fit, I was on a break. I came back as a
newbie so I wouldn't be tempted to post in other threads.
I asked about using heat. I also asked if another brand of fitting
would work better. Within minutes, Big O jumped in, telling me to learn
to install PEX. Why would he presume I hadn't researched it on the web
and followed the specific instructions of the manufacturer? When other
newbies have posted questions about home repair, I've seen Big O respond
equally quickly to stonewall them, too.
I guess everybody took their cue from Big O. Nobody responded to me
about their experience with PEX. Philo responded to Big O, saying the
clerk was an idiot and the fitting was defective. They congratulated
each other on having each installed two PEX fittings in their lives. I'd
asked if other brands worked better, but neither responded to me.
I compared their behavior to that of drunks, but that was unfair to
drunks. They behaved like Sodomites, who wanted to lynch a couple of
men because they were newbies. In response, Ed was kind enough to say he
didn't know the answer to my questions.
Big O had told Philo I needed to do research. I posted what I found in
response to Ed's post.
Philo responded to me for the first time, saying, "Basically you can
here to ask a question and are simply waiting for the answer you are
looking but not the right one."
The only answer I'd been given had come from Big O, amounting to "Shut
up and go away." That answer wouldn't solve the problem, and I wasn't
When I responded to Philo, Big O responded, calling me a troll. Really?
1. A troll lies in wait for visitors to a group. That's Big O.
2. A troll loads a group with off-topic threads. Perhaps Big O insults
visitors because he doesn't want home repair to take attention from his
3. A troll butts in to argue. I had not responded to Big O's initial
post. When I responded to Ed with a link explaining Flair-It fittings,
Big O butted in to denigrate the company and call them polybutylene
Philo had said he'd killfiled me, so my response was not arguing with
him. Big O butted in to continue to argue.
4. A troll persists in disproved allegations. When Big O had said they
were polybutylene fittings, I reminded him that the link had repeatedly
called them PEX fittings. I pointed out that they had not come out
until polybutylene had been off the market ten years. Now he'd come
back, butting in to say the hardware store owner and I were dense for
calling them PEX fittings.
5. A troll vastly exaggerates his qualifications. Big O says that
besides installing two fittings in his bathroom, he has been a sidewalk
superintendent, and this gives him more authority than a man who has
been selling hardware and maintaining rental housing for fifty years.
6. A troll slings epithets like idiot, moron and fool. With one
exception, this group is pretty good about avoiding that. Now he has a
There have always been meaningful posts here, but these days I've had to
look harder. When I find a nugget, trying to find it a few days later
can be frustrating because of the huge volume of banality these days.
Questions from visitors have always been the lifeblood of this group,
eliciting interesting and informative responses from regulars who might
otherwise descend into banality. Now, when a baffled newbie asks about
the experiences of others with his brand or other brands of fittings,
nobody has anything to tell him.
There was a time when I believe someone in this group would have told me
that a brand of PEX commonly sold for DIY won't fit because it doesn't
comply with the industry standard. It looks as if readers with that
level of knowledge have been driven out of Sodom. Me too.