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Old 05-18-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


Just curious what opinion you guys may have of this... To make a long story short, we had one heckuva snowball project. You know, the type that starts with "well let's at least rip the carpet out of the bathroom" (which of course was a must), but that snowballs into taking out the toilet, realizing the flange is broken, cracking a wall tile on accident, therefore ripping the tile down, which of course rips chunks of plaster out, so let's rip the plaster out and put green board in, oh and let's get this tub out since it won't match the new toilet we're getting, etc etc etc etc...........

SO... we're down to 2x4's only in the bathroom. No tub, no toilet, no nothing. Bare everything. I have all of the electrical redone, new fan and lights installed, etc. So now we're down to plumbing. The catch is, the plumbing is in between two 2x8 joists, which kind of creates a little "nook" for working on it. I tried my best last night to run new copper, but I just can't get a secure enough solder run around the pipes since they are SO close to the bottom. I have to literally have the flame nicking the wood as I heat up the pipe. It's a matter of 1/2 inch clearance. Couple that with the inevitable few drops of solder that manage to spill and drop on my hand and I'm a little frustrated.

So anyway, I ran into these Shark Bites/Gator Bites, etc. They would be an absolute blessing to use in this scenario. But I also don't want to be naive and/or an idiot. I'm down to 2x4's. I want it done right. I'm just having a hard time accepting that copper is the answer here because I'm not sure how I can get it done with how it's arranged right now. It really looks like this plumbing was done before any walls were put in, then once walls were put in it closed up whatever work room opportunity that would have previously existed.

That said, I had CPVC in the back of my mind but I wasn't sure how it would handle hot temperatures. I hear it's accepted by code, but some people still indicate it can get brittle over time and that they prefer copper. Okay fine, but I still run into the previous snag.

I know they haven't been out for 100 years, but so far from what I've heard, they've been reliable for what time they've been on the market. Also keep in mind, the price of these fittings will make no difference in my decision on which one to go with. We're significantly under our bathroom budget, and plus we only need a handful of fittings, so I accept that they, by nature, are a little pricier.

Anyway, any thoughts to add before I get home this evening to get it done with?

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Old 05-18-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


sharkbites or crimp tool and pex tubining for the diyer who can not solder
talk to your box store and they will show you what you need then figure cost between sharkbites and crimper and fittings

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Old 05-18-2012, 09:49 AM   #3
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


I've heard references made of PEX before, but I just ignored it because I thought it was just another type of plastic pipe.

Could you elaborate a little bit on this? I'm curious if there's a better solution than quick-press fittings (gator/bear/shark bite) and safer for the limited working conditions I have than copper/solder.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


pex is superior to cpvc and easier to work with

as far as sharkbites they have all the correct certifications and i do use them sparingly due to cost vs a crimp fitting

but pex should not be used for diverter to tub spout due to back pressure if used it is likely to drip out of shower head when filling tub
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


In my area(buffalo) shark fittings are legal but cannot be covered in a wall or floor.Ive never had a problem with one but I don't know if I'd like one covered up in my house.Is it possible to presolder the 90 and put it together with couplings in a easier spot to get to?
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


I am no expert, but I would think pex would be perfect for this job since it is easier to run and the connections are made with a tool. However as a disclaimer I have done a LOT of soldering, but never worked with pex.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:02 AM   #7
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


I'm going to have to re-think my plan of action here. Today I got in my head, hey, it was copper before, it'll stay copper, I can do this. I've soldered before, but mostly on electronics. I've done some pipe soldering but it's been a few years. I don't know if I've lost my touch or what, but I completely fail at making a secure connection these days. I've watched dozens of youtube videos, and yep, as best as I can tell I'm doing exactly what they say, yet when the pipe cools and I press my thumb on one end and blow, I hear air coming out. Nice.

I really, really need to get off copper. I haven't had water for 2 days and the last thing I want is a road block. I can handle soldering one or two more connections for an adapter piece. I'm just not sure I can handle finishing the job in copper all together.

Basically I'm down to the cold and hot T. I have nothing coming up. If I look through the floor I can see the two T's, and that's it. I need two lines to come up to feed the faucet, as well as one long line going up to the shower head.

Now... for this application... would PEX work? Or would CPVC be a better option?

also, jaydevries, what are you referencing exactly? Are you saying the short section of pipe that the actual tub spout uses should not be pex? I apologize, but I'm not sure how it can be pex. After all, it would have to be a sturdy metal to hold it in place, no? I would think pex would fail at this since it is flexible. How about pex for everything else though?
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


Quote:
Originally Posted by plumberman134 View Post
In my area(buffalo) shark fittings are legal but cannot be covered in a wall or floor.Ive never had a problem with one but I don't know if I'd like one covered up in my house.Is it possible to presolder the 90 and put it together with couplings in a easier spot to get to?
Same here, see if anyone in your area rents a flame less soldering tool. We have one for limited and specific use. Works well. Look in to it. We donít use shark bites in fact we have pulled a few leaking back in to walls. Stay with copper
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:07 PM   #9
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Shark Bites for the long haul?


This morning I had my step dad come down to take a look at what I was doing. I was definitely overcomplicating the soldering process, but he (used to be a plumber) was a big CPVC fan. We put some copper to CPVC couplers in that he already had and went to the hardware store. I got two 10 foot runs of 1/2 inch CPVC and all of the attachments you can possibly imagine for less than a single 10 foot run of 1/2 inch copper. Yeah, I'm a fan. Hooked everything up and everything worked great on first try. That was 8 hours ago. I'd still be working on the copper if I had stuck with that, and likely still be failing at making it work too.

Please note, I'm not a plumber, so take my copper frustrations as a compliment of your skills if you're a fan of copper and can work with it with relative ease. Had I stuck with copper after seeing how my step dad worked with it, I'd likely be able to make it work. But I'm busily trying to get this bathroom done in time for some household entertainment events coming up and trying to save up for a wedding this fall. To say I'm busy and poor is an understatement. So the fact I was able to put in a decent solution by myself that didn't break the wallet, oh yeah, I'm a fan... CPVC was my answer.

As far as Shark Bites, I gave up on that idea too. After talking with my step dad about it he had the same opinion that most of Google had as well. They're super nice, super convenient, but damnit not behind a solid wall. The only Shark Bite I'm currently using is the one coming up from the hot water heater (which is in plain wide open site). Plus, it was there when I bought the house, so I figured, why not?


Last edited by roasted; 05-19-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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