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Old 11-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #1
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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Pex: Crimp vs. Sharkbite?

I am interested in which connection provides a more secure connection. The other issues to me are secondary: Crimp is better for cost, Shark bite for convenience. If they both provide the same leakproofness, then I would probably choose sharkbite due to ease of install, reusability and no tool needed. I have heard some suppose that Sharkbite may rattle loose, but have not yet heard any actual anecdotes to support this.
Again, I will choose what has been proven through experience to be the best for providing a leakproof & secure (and lasting) water line.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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I use pex and shark bites throughout when I make repairs. I haven't had one leak yet. You gotta love something that installs without glue or fire and can be removed and reused as necessary. It also allows you to interconnect with existing copper or cpvc that it in the camper. I personally can't see using anything else.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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Shark Bite is something I don't consider permanant. Eventually, the O-rings will compress and leak. I have used similar connectors to Shark Bite and they work well but I am not sure I would want to see how they are doing in 20yrs. I am not sure for that matter how PEX would do in general over the long haul. Even copper has issues not associated with freezing. I would use crimp on copper rings with brass fittings not the plastic ones. Shark bite would be better than PEX with plastic crimp fittings.

Say what you want to, but the problem with the old PB tubing was not the tubing but the crappy plastic fittings.

20 yrs is considered permanant by manufactures these days maybe even 5 yrs is considered permanant. Expect problems on the hot water outlet to the water heater first. The higher the temperature the faster plastic and polymers age.

Perry

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I am interested in which connection provides a more secure connection. The other issues to me are secondary: Crimp is better for cost, Shark bite for convenience. If they both provide the same leakproofness, then I would probably choose sharkbite due to ease of install, reusability and no tool needed. I have heard some suppose that Sharkbite may rattle loose, but have not yet heard any actual anecdotes to support this.
Again, I will choose what has been proven through experience to be the best for providing a leakproof & secure (and lasting) water line.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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I crimp where I can, and sharkbite where there is no alternative.

I agree with Perry, O-rings take a set and loose their clamp with time and temp changes.

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Old 11-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Can you say more about the issues related to the plastic fittings?

And what about the solid ring compression fitting vs. the ratcheting crimp fitting?
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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If you want the ultimate in PEX connection systems, look at Wirsbo AquePex and other expansion based systems. No crimp ring. Rather, they use an expandable collar placed over the end of the PEX, both are placed in a mandrel and expanded to accommodate a brass fitting, The PEX and collar then string to their original diameter………seamless, secure and easy to apply in tight spaces.

I still use SharkBites and Sea-Tec fittings as needed. Have been for 8 years and have not had one call back for leaking.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:54 PM   #7
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If the sharkbites and any other plumbing in my trailer needs no repair for 20 years, I'll be thrilled.

Despite needing a tool to crimp them (and therefore the space to use it), the crimp on connectors have to be destroyed to remove them and in a tight space, you may not even be able to get to them to destroy and remove them.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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I agree with Perry that all plumbing systems have their issues (I trust I'm paraphrasing your statement correctly), and that copper rings with brass connectors should perform better over time than the compression style Sharkbite fittings. This is probably especially true in a trailer given the forces imposed on all systems by the trailers weight as it moves down the road. I replaced my previously frozen system with Pex and used the copper rings in all but 2 locations where I just couldn't get a good bite otherwise. After all I went through to get my trailer back to a useable condition, I'll be checking all my systems before I take it out for as long a I own it. I think it's the nature of the beast, and that commitment is probably part of ownership of a vintage AS.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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I too crimped where I could and used a few shark bites where I could not crimp. The difference is cost is considerable, crimp rings are much cheaper.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:24 PM   #10
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I haven't started on my plumbing as of yet. But, I plan to crimp everywhere possible and use other fittings as necessary. Thankfully, a residential job I did a couple of years ago paid for the crimping tool.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
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The copper rings are better than the Stainless steel with the little ears you crimp. The ones with the ears may allow you to crimp in locations you can't get room for the big copper ring crimper tool. There is no reason with some planning that you can't assemble manifolds and other components and then install the assembly so you are not trying to crimp in impossible places. There are plastic PEX fittings and brass ones. You want the brass ones. The plastic ones can break and shrink over time.

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Can you say more about the issues related to the plastic fittings?

And what about the solid ring compression fitting vs. the ratcheting crimp fitting?
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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There is a close quarters ratcheting tool for PEX crimp clamps. Of course it still requires some space but not nearly as much as the longer handled ones. You do need 2 hands to get it started though. That is unless you have Gorilla hands. They also make a tool for cutting the ratchet clamps off. Haven't seen this work yet. In the confined spaces of an AS I'm sure that even the close quarter tool just won't work sometimes but if you can get to it it will do as well as any of the tools.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #13
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pex connections

I have been using Watts fittings and crimp rings. The tool is relatively cheap and works in most tight spaces. Available at the big box stores all over the country.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The copper rings are better than the Stainless steel with the little ears you crimp.
Just curious, what makes the copper rings better?
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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Aaaw crap. Just looked at one of my sharkbite packages and it has a warning (this product causes cancer in the state of California...). Don't know if it's the plastic inside, possibly a little lead, ??? Off to Home Depot again. At least the brass fittings make a clean connection with the (potentially) cancer causing agent on the outside. Thanks for all the good comments. Lewster, I did look at that AquaPex. Seems good. Not big on sea tec, because plastic. I preferbrass for water fittings whenever possible.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #16
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...Thankfully, a residential job I did a couple of years ago paid for the crimping tool.
Ditto here. With the prices of copper pipe, tubing and fittings it didn't take long for me to justify spending $200 for a couple of good quality crimping tools.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:31 PM   #17
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Just looked at one of my sharkbite packages and it has a warning (this product causes cancer in the state of California...).
Everything causes cancer in the state of California.

Another reason for you to be thankful you live in Texas!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #18
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I've been using the copper crimp rings on household plumbing for many years. I always keep a few of the Sharkbite fittings on hand for emergency repairs. I just replumbed my Airstream a few months ago using the copper crimps and brass fittings except for the connections to the faucets. I used Sharkbites on those to make them more easily repairable. In my opinion the crimps make a much cleaner install. A lot of Sharkbites looks bulky to me. Also, the number of Sharkbites I would have needed would have cost hundreds of dollars.

If using crimps, you've got to plan the crimping process very carefully. Build the system without crimps, then crimp chunks of it away from the tight spots whenever you can. It can be very challenging to get all of them done.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:47 PM   #19
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I have used the brass Sharkbites in two trailers with no problems. I have also used the plastic Sharkbites at my pool chlorinator(pump runs 24/7) also with no problems.

Given the concern about the o rings in the Sharkbites starting to leak over time, I would submit that over time the crimp rings COULD also loosen.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:58 PM   #20
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I don't know why I am always the last person to leave Home Depot at closing. I decided to go PEX clamp. And for those who don't know-- there is crimp (coated copper) or clamp (stainless steel). Each requires a special connection tool. In my case, it was $50. I may still keep some sharkbites (push-on, not tool) on hand for quick repairs, too.

I have to say that what guided my decision was the carcinogen thing. I am really not so much concerned for myself, but I feel I need to do whatever I can to protect the health of my children. My guess the concern warning is from the plastic innerds of the sharkbite. I was really wanting to go with sharkbite push-ons all factors equal due to their ease of install (no tool) & reusability. I It would also be better for reconfigures down the road. I do wonder about the longetivity of the seal. I wonder if periodic removal and maintenance to these joints would prolong it.

But I would not be so quick to assume that they will fail quicker. There is more of the pex material here sandwiched between supporting material (plastic inside and brass outside). Also, it depends on the nature of pex. If it wants to expand over time, then maybe the Bite would be superior because it has more contact with the thick brass that would provide more resistance to this expansion. I wonder what would happen if the inside of the sandwich was brass instead of plastic.

I will also say that from viewing their website, Sharkbite does seem to be a quality company. I feel comfortable purchasing their brand. We'll see how happy I am after a few clamps... Thanks for all the responses.
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