Sharkbites are for quick, but permanent, repairs or small projects.
You'd go broke using sharkbites to plumb a whole house.
So, it depends on what you want to do. If you are plumbing a whole
house, use the ring clamps. If you can borrow the tool, use the ring
clamps. If you just have a small project like replacing a water
heater, use the sharkbites.
It is a matter of cost vs. convenience. My whole house is plumbed using
ring clamps. Only used sharkbite when I had to install water softener
just for quick convenience. Pair of them ocst ~25.00 which will buy many
I agree with Oren......... expansion tool.
Especially good for re-pipes where access is difficult.
Tube can be expanded "remotely" and then shoved onto fitting that is
hard to access.
Crimping must be done in place.
I use Uponor system of PEX with "doubler rings", brass ProPex
fittings and a hand expansion tool.
The hand expansion tool is easy to use for 1/2" or 3/4" PEX but it is
rather difficult to use on 1".
My experience on 1".... takes two guys and a "plan" to get the joint
made without screwing up.
When I was looking to do my re-pipe, battery powered tools were
They have come down since Milwaukee started to make one.
I bought my hand expander on Ebay and kept it for "repairs" /
"changes" but never needed it.
My buddy & I re-repiped another house house with it so we definitely
got our money's worth.
You might be able to rent one but for a drawn out DIY job it might
make more sense to buy one on ebay and flip it back when you're done.
A used hand expander with three heads (1/2", 3/4" and 1") will run you
about $175 on ebay.
check craiglist too..... there is one about 30 miles from me in LA
for $110 with three heads.
http://www.pexsupply.com has a great web site & good prices.
I highly recommend using the homerun system and copper manifolds with
built in valves.
They're pretty spendy but imo, they're worth it.
On 2/20/2012 8:44 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Because the compression ring crimp tool is designed for 1 size and is
expensive and because I don't personally like the pinch-type compression
ring where 1 tool fits several sizes, I use the pocket crimp tool.
It's actually cheaper at places like Lowe's. But if you have a lot of
crimps to do, it's not that easy. For onesies and twosies it works ok
and it does the 3 most common sizes.
Right now Lowe's Kobalt tool for cinch rings is one of the best and
lowest cost for those who must use brass fittings. Works on all sizes
and has a fail safe LED indicator when proper size is achieved. For
copper stub-outs that must use the full collar type crimp ring, Sioux
Chief makes a simple tool that works by tightening 2 screws, and it
works just as well as the $$$ ones.
In a high production environment, the elaborate $$$ tools are best.
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