Opinions and experience on Shark Bite type fittings.

macingraceDecember 1, 2008

I have read the thread on the Shark Bite fittings and it was very informative. I would like to know if anyone has used or has any experience with ProBite fittings. From what I can see they are almost identical to the SharkBite, but advertise a 75 year warranty and no flow loss. Similar in price, maybe a few pennies either way.

You can see the website at ProBite.com

Thanks for any and all input. I just am researching the possible use of these types of fittings for adding whole house filter and possibly a water softener system. Not very far along yet.

Les

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fixizin

It seems to be a very expensive way to add weak points to your potable water system, i.e. double whammy.

For instance, I note the Sharkbites are rated for only 200 PSI, whereas conventional fittings seem to all be rated for 600 PSI. True, the ambient pressure of your water supply should be I am also EXTREMELY DUBIOUS of ProBite's claim that their push fittings are rated and approved for UNDERGROUND use, since not even sweat solder fittings are approved for such! (Seems to me that a combo of compacted soil, settling foundation, or thermal expansion, or seismic activity, could press on the disconnect ring!)

And the PRICE! For the price of 2 plain elbows ("ells"), you could buy a basic BernzoMatic torch, propane included! For the (inflated) price of a simple coupler, you could buy a lifetime supply of solder, flux, and flux brushes! Holy smack, the valves are 60-100% pricier than conventional valves, and the simple fittings are 2,000+% more expensive!

Sweat soldering is not welding, and it's easier than you think. Obviously you'll want to practice on scrap pipe, not your new water softener, lol. You can do it, and you will then be on a higher plane of DIY-ness! Family and friends will be impressed! Angels will sing and a heroic aura will surround thee! You'll say "yeah, I did my own install" with a certain nonchalance, while checking your manicure... ;')

And even if torch-work is out of the question, good ol' wrench-tightened COMPRESSION fittings will seal you up tighter than any ____bite, for less cash. Just remember to use TWO wrenches--one for counter-torque--so pipe doesn't get twisted.

I wonder if the licensed plumbers have any tales to tell of service/emergency calls related to ___-bites??

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 3:31AM
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manhattan42

Shark Bites are wonderful and everything they claim to be.

For the added 'cost', SharkBites saves you money on labor, propane or mapp gas, flux, solder and the cost of fittings....and are therefore usually cheaper to use in the short and long run.

SharkBites can be used to connect pretty much any type piping material to any other.

SharkBites do not add 'weak points' to a plumbing system but plumbing codes do not generally allow them to be used in concealed locations. (But codes also do not allow other types of similar mechanical connections, like compression fittings, to be installed in concealed locations either.)

In short, professional plumbers often rely on SharkBites to make short work of repairs with long lasting results.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 6:07PM
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fixizin

Uh, you SELL SharkBites, doncha? ;')

SharkBites do not add 'weak points' to a plumbing system but plumbing codes do not generally allow them to be used in concealed locations. (But codes also do not allow other types of similar mechanical connections, like compression fittings, to be installed in concealed locations either.)

Sharkbites are prohibited in concealed locations because they are WEAK and UNRELIABLE, just like compression fittings!

More to the point (which you tried to DEFLECT), the RELEVANT comparison is to SWEAT-SOLDER connections, which are clearly stronger, more reliable, and PROVEN FOR DECADES as suitable for concealed locations.

Propane is cheap, and so is solder and flux. Do it right, sleep at night... wake up to a dry house! ;')

Let someone ELSE do the ____bite "field testing" on THEIR house!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 7:17PM
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djlandkpl

These fittings were just featured on a segment of Ask This Old House. Rich Trethewey used them to install a whole house water filter.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:16PM
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fixizin

These fittings were just featured on a segment of Ask This Old House.

I forget if that's the one on PBS or commercial stations, but you have to wonder if ____bite is one of the sponsors or advertisers, lol.

Rich Trethewey used them to install a whole house water filter.

Which is an EXPOSED location, so fine. It's probably fine for niche applications like this, and low-skilled DIYers who don't want to get "too involved"... but plumbing a whole house or major re-mods? NYET! NEIN! ;')

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 4:51PM
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shadow700

It's probably fine for niche applications like this, and low-skilled DIYers who don't want to get "too involved"... but plumbing a whole house or major re-mods? NYET! NEIN! ;')

Richard echoed this exact sentiment in the post-segment discussion.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 12:55PM
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manhattan42

I'm a long time licensed plumber and a certified plumbing code inspector.

SharkBites are fine and approved.

Use them with confidence.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:55PM
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davidbc

Probite fittings look very similar to SharkBite. The carry all of the North American plumbing testing and approvals. Probite is much less expensive than Sharkbite. ProBite fittings carry a 75 Year Warranty (Sharkbite is 25 years). Probite offers stop valves, push icemaker valves and controls Shakbite doesn't have and ProBite has a replaceable sealing ring in the event the seal is damaged upon installation.

Both install and operate the same way. You decide, lower price, better warranty, wider selection and repairable... what would you choose?

Here is a link that might be useful: Compare Probite and sharkbite fittings

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:43AM
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frodo_2009

not me !!!!! its a free world do as you wish
they blow loose...seen it, fixed it

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 11:42AM
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bstarz

Some things come and go but copper and solder are proven.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 3:45PM
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macingrace

Thanks for all the input. Still not sure, opinions, well you know the rest of it. I am not in any hurry or have the money now anyway, just need to know when I am ready. Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 6:23PM
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jake2007

I guess I don't get it... Why would I pay $7.00 for a 3/4" coupling or $9.25 for an elbow? Are you serious? Even if it was as strong as the proponents say... why would I do that?

I would have to be really, really lame with a torch for this to make economic sense. Joint preparation is almost the same amount of time, the only part that's cut out is the fluxing and soldering. I could possibly see using these where I couldn't use a torch because of proximity to combustibles or because I couldn't get positive shutoff... but other than that, I think not.

In addition, I can pick up a wide range of fittings from a plumbing supply, to the local corner hardware store. If I'm on a job and run short, I can grab what I need just about anywhere. That's a huge advantage for the weekend plumber who doesn't have a truck full of fittings on a job.

Let's see... fast, cheap, fittings available almost everywhere and super reliable joints - why wouldn't I use soldered joints?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 9:51AM
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donnagvia

Hello Les,

I have personally used ProBite I think it is a great product. I was able to plumb my bathroom myself and to me it just does not get better than that.
Jake asked " Why wouldn't I use soldered joints?" I ask why would you? All I had to do is, cut the pipe, de-burr the pipe, measure the length to push the fitting to and then push to connect. I think this way sounds alot faster!
ProBite fittings are just as reliable and I don't know about the rest of you but my time is worth something to me.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:24AM
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brickeyee

All that fancy web site graphics and not an actaul listing form to be found.

Just lots of claims about being listed.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 4:56PM
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kudzu9

Last winter my neighbor had a massive leak in his garage from a plumbing run that had a Shark Bite fitting in it that had been installed by a licensed plumber. What I think happened was that we got some uncharacteristic freezing temps and the hose spigot froze and the ice pushed the Shark Bite connection apart. Now it's true that a soldered fitting may have simply burst, but I was surprised to see how weak the Shark Bite fitting seemed when I cut it out and pulled it apart. Just an observation....

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:56PM
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johns08

I recently added toilet and sink in my basement and used CPVC pipe. Since I had to connect to copper, I decided to use Sharkbite fittings. It made the job much easier and so far no problems. I just hope they hold up okay.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 2:20PM
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brickeyee

" Since I had to connect to copper, I decided to use Sharkbite fittings. "

Threaded fittings are more solid and not a lot harder to install.

Just remember to never use a female plastic with male metal threaded combination.

The metal female threaded can split the plastic male in short order.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 7:37PM
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dopeonplastic

I just finished tying in a sprinkler and yard hydrant into the 3/4" copper lines in my crawlspace. I used a combination of solder and Sharkbite connections. I would have liked to use all solder connections, but the Sharkbite fittings offered a significant advantage in some locations. Being a crawlspace in a 60 year old house, there is limited space to work (about 32") and a bunch of pre-existing structure (gas/electric/low voltage lines, insulation, plastic water lines).

I soldered as much of the new piping as possible before bringing it into the crawlspace (ball valve, male fitting to connect to backflow preventer, some elbows/T's). I used the Sharkbites in areas where solder joints were impractical. This included a joint that had multiple network lines running in the joist bay directly above the joint, and in areas where the joints were in close proximity to insulation or joists. I could have made a heat shield from a piece of HVAC duct or something, but I've seen more than one house burn after a quick soldering job sparked a fire....

In summary, I think they're great for here and there use, but too expensive for widespread use. I'm not worried about them freezing, cause I plan to blow that section of piping out in the winter anyway.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:14AM
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gio17vani

I have used and trust sharkbite fittings for 4 years. Mostly for valves, repairs, and where a torch could do damage or set a blaze. I have repaired a few sharkbite connections but it was due to uneven cuts, burrs, or not sealing properly with pressure an turning of the fitting. I still enjoy and use solder for cost and proven reliability but have had zero issues with hundreds of sharkbite installs.

Having repaired galvanized pipe breaks the old way and using the bite fittings, the time and effort saved makes the price far less than its worth and makes switching to new copper fast and easy if the customer wants to replace in sections.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:44PM
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tmyslik

I am a DIY guy and have done my share of soldering. I am still a bit Leary of sharkbites and if course the expense. However, the few I've used seem to work fine and I love their ease if use.

If you use sharkbite for nothing else, you need one for this.

How many times have you sweated together a system and stood by fearfully as you turn on the water, only to find you have a pinhole leak somewhere? Now you must turn off water, cut and fix. This is a bummer in a house but how bout in a high rise where they have to shut off and drain the entire building? They're not going to do this for you everyday. Usually once a month.

Here's a great use of sharkbite. Get a sharkbite ball valve. Every so often on your project, put it on the line, turn on water and check for leaks. It's a hell of a lot easier to repair the leak before the line is all hooked up.

Here's another tip I learned. If you are doing a repair on a vertical line and can't figure out how to get the standing water out from below, but a length of small tubing, insert and suck it out. (Am I the last one on earth to discover this?)

Just trying to return some tips from the many I received from these forums.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 10:36AM
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