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Innovative Pipe Fittings Let You Be Your Own Plumber
No soldering, clamps, or glue? Read on to learn about DIY-friendly pipe fittings that make quick work of the improvements and repairs you used to hire a pro to handle.
Quick-connect, push-fit plumbing has been taking a bite out of local plumbing trades, as homeowners discover the ease, versatility, and quality of SharkBite fittings. Their innovative design “allows anyone to connect copper, PVC, and PEX tubing—in any combination—in seconds,” says Daniel O’Brian, technical expert from online retailer SupplyHouse.com. For that reason, “SharkBite fittings are a homeowner’s best friend and the bane of plumbers everywhere.”
When you insert pipe into one of the corrosion-resistant, solid forged brass fittings offered by SharkBite, its stainless steel teeth bite down and grip tightly, while the specially engineered O-ring compresses to form a perfect seal. That means the homeowner can join pipe without soldering and without using clamps, unions, or glue. All you need to do is make sure the end of the pipe is cut square and stripped of rough edges. As O’Brian says, it’s “cut, push, done!”
Made a mistake? With SharkBite fittings, it’s easy to undo a measuring or installation error—something that cannot be said for soldered connections. Simply use the disassembly tool to press the release collar on the fitting. Doing so retracts the teeth within the grab ring, allowing the pipe to be removed. From there, you can reuse the fitting wherever you please. Another convenience: You can even rotate assembled SharkBite fittings for easier installation in tight places.
In the average home, for the average do-it-yourselfer, there are any number of ways to capitalize on the convenience and dependability of SharkBite fittings. For instance, if a pipe freezes over the winter, small cracks may develop once it thaws. After turning off the water supply and flushing the system, you can remove the damaged section of pipe and re-establish the connection, quickly and easily, with a SharkBite coupling—and save yourself the cost of a plumber’s visit.
For all their benefits, SharkBite fittings do come at a premium price. They are “significantly more expensive than some other options,” says O’Brian of SupplyHouse.com. But, he points out, working with SharkBite means you don’t have to purchase any special materials or tools—soldering paste, for instance, or a propane torch. So, if you are doing small repairs and improvements on a one-off or occasional basis, SharkBite fittings may be the wisest choice.
The SharkBite system includes couplings, elbows, tee fittings, ball valves, stop valves, male and female adapters, conversion couplings, fitting reducers, and an assortment of faucet, toilet, and water heater connectors, all geared toward simplifying additions to, or modifications of, potable water plumbing and hydronic heating systems. All SharkBite fittings are rated to accommodate pressures up to 200 pounds per square inch and temperatures up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
SupplyHouse.com not only carries a large selection of SharkBite products, but has also put the fittings to the test—watch!
This post has been brought to you by SupplyHouse.com. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.