Hot Topics: Old PVC vs New Sharkbite

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When new technology shows up on the scene there’s often resistance to adoption, in favor of tried and true methods. But Sharkbite fittings have been around for a while now, and the notion joining up your pipes with no tools and no soldering is certainly attractive. Are they worth their extra price? The Forum weighs in.

Original Post: CPVC and Sharkbite

claassen Member

Back in 2006 I re-plumbed almost the entire house with CPVC, replacing the old copper that had become pin-hole city. I haven't done much plumbing since then, but am getting ready to re-do a bathroom that has the last remnants of the old plumbing in it.

I went to HD yesterday to pick up some CPVC fittings to tie into the mixing valve for the tub/shower, and all of their CPVC fittings were on the top two rows. I actually had to step onto a lower shelf to reach some of the fittings that I wanted to pick up. The entire 20+ rows below those were filled with Sharkbite fittings, and there were displays around touting how great they were.
Call me old-fashioned, but it always seemed to me that without a sweat or solvent-weld to seal a fitting, I just haven't been comfortable.

Are the Sharkbite fittings really as good as HD is saying they are, and have CPVC fittings fallen out of favor, so to speak? I did some searching on this site, and can see that a lot of people who post here have used Sharkbite fittings. They would certainly make hooking up to the mixing valve easier, and I will have an access panel behind the valve in a closet to get to them if needed.
I was planning to use copper for the extension from the mixing valve to the tub spout, mainly for stability - do sharkbite fittings work just as well with copper?


Highlights from the Thread

Furd Member

Sharkbites ARE good fittings. Most residential plumbing today is done with PEX tubing and brass fittings that are secured to the tubing with a couple of different methods that have proven to be highly successful.

I will not use CPVC because it gets brittle with age.

Handyman663 Member

I'll second everything you said Furd. I first tried Sharkbites in my own house before using in others. I have never had a problem other than if you need a lot of them, they are pretty expensive. However, considering labor savings, they pay for themselves in a lot of cases. Just last week I installed a ¾-inch SB coupling in my basement where I had a pinhole leak in a coupling. It was one of those spots that would drip water for hours after cutting the bad section out. That made soldering nearly impossible. 10 minutes and $7.50 later, leak gone.

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