I am redoing the run from my shower valve to my shower head on the pool side
Originally it was all copper pipes in and out. However, the copper pipe
from the shower up the exterior wall, then a 90 degree elbow, then three
feet along the soffit is exposed piping. Now that I have the inside sheet
rock removed for other work, I am thinking of removing the exposed copper
pipe and run the pipe to the inside wall from the shower valve, and up and
over on the inside of the wall and above the soffit, so the entire pipe run
would be concealed.
Originally, the copper pipe was soldered to a coupling that has a stub on
one end and 1/2" male thread on the other end. I cut the copper pipe and
unscrewed the coupling. So now the top of the valve has a 1/2" female
I am thinking of using CPVC pipe instead for this concealed run. It's code
approved and a lot easier than copper with no need to solder. I will do all
the fittings using CPVC fittings except at the end of the run I will
probably use a sharkbite drop ear 90 to secure the CPVC to a piece of wood
for a ceiling mount shower arm. How would I connect the shower valve to
CPVC pipe? Do I need some coupling to go from a female threaded 1/2" to
CPVC? Is there a sharkbite coupling that does that or a special CPVC
coupling that does that?
I used CPVC when I plumbed our house. When connecting to valves and other
fixtures, I used a "transition fitting". Basically, it's a brass fitting
on one end, a CPVC fitting on the opposite end, and a gasket that gets
sandwiched between the two halves (held together with a threaded
coupling). The gasket is supposed to allow for the different expansion
rates of the two materials, but I don't know if there's any truth to
that. They're not cheap, about $5-10 each, but well worth it.
Here's a link to the type I used:
These days I've been seeing a molded transition fitting, where the CPVC
fitting on one end is molded around the back end of a brass fitting. I
used these at my in-laws house, but I don't know how they compare with
the gasketed type.
In my case, the shower valve was not threaded, so I had to solder in a
small stub out to use with the transition fittings. I did that out in the
garage before I installed the valve, so I didn't have to worry about the
torch in close quarters. So, you have an advantage with a threaded shower
There are also brass drop-ear transition fittings. It's a brass elbow
with ears you can secure to a wood block, with the same gasket and CPVC
stub on the bottom.
Here's the type I used:
I used the transition elbows for the shower head, tub spout, and for all
the shutoff valves in the house. I mounted the elbow and stubbed it out
through the drywall with a small brass nipple (usually around 2 to 3
inches long). Then I used threaded shutoff valves.
CPVC is great to work with, but it won't hold up to situations of
physical stress. So the brass transition elbows are much more secure than
a CPVC drop-ear.
I bought all my transition fittings at Lowes, but the last time I looked
they were only carrying the molded type like your photo showed.
I have no idea how these compare to the gasketed type for long term
reliability, but they are slightly less expensive. I've used both types and
they all work great for transitioning from CPVC to metal fixtures.
As others have said, you can buy an adapter that has a threaded copper end
and a CPVC-compatible other end to make the transition.
Also, you can probably find a place the secure the CPVC pipe itself to a
joist or stud using an ordinary metal bracket that is used to secure pipes
to walls and ceilings. You probably don't need a dog-eared fitting.
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