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  1. #1

    Default Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    I find myself having to replace my water heater. hooray. so when the old water heater was put in, I guess the plumber ran copper pipe straight down to the water heater and soldered it directly to the tank. Now that I am having to replace the heater I thought I would save a little money and try a relatively simple DIY home repair task. The heater is electric and is in the garage in a raised little "closet". When I reinstall it, I would like to try to use some sort of flexible tubing, that way when the next water heater breaks it hopefully won't be such a pain in the ass.

    So my question is whether to solder (which I don't know how to do) or use a compression fitting (which I've heard can break) or this new sharkbite stuff which seems to actually work pretty well for pipes that aren't in the wall. I would assume that soldering is the most permanent and reliable but I have been seeing a lot of really good reviews about this sharkbite stuff. Just not really sure which way to go here.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Soldering is not hard to do, especially in that situation where you have plenty of room to work. The sharkbite that you're referring to is Pex pipe, I assuming that's what you're talking about? Takes a copper ring or a crimp ring over a brass barbed fitting. It will require a crimp tool, and is super simple. I've never been a fan of compression fittings for anything if I could help it.
    "A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody". Thomas Paine

  3. #3

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    thanks. is there anything about sharkbite that I should know, like not scratching the outside of the pipe, deburring, and all the rest?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Solder it. It's easy.
    *disclaimer Just because bettingpython says it's probably okay doesn't mean it is so. His opinons and statements are not a defense against prosecution.

    Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
    H. L. Mencken
    My Feedback Thread

  5. #5

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    thanks. is there anything about sharkbite that I should know, like not scratching the outside of the pipe, deburring, and all the rest?
    Nothing special, it's pretty much fool proof. Every man should solder some pipe in his life though............now's your chance!!
    "A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody". Thomas Paine

  6. #6

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4570 View Post
    Nothing special, it's pretty much fool proof. Every man should solder some pipe in his life though............now's your chance!!
    This...plus you have an excuse to buy a torch and play with fire! That's the main reason I'm going to be replacing mine this summer.

    "Hey honey, I need to buy this $300 Oxy Acetylene torch kit to install a new water heater kthx"
    Feedback

    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Quote Originally Posted by n8thegr8 View Post
    This...plus you have an excuse to buy a torch and play with fire! That's the main reason I'm going to be replacing mine this summer.

    "Hey honey, I need to buy this $300 Oxy Acetylene torch kit to install a new water heater kthx"
    Or a $20 MAPP gas torch will work too
    "A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody". Thomas Paine

  8. #8

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4570 View Post
    Or a $20 MAPP gas torch will work too
    You hush. You're ruining his chance to buy perfectly good expensive equipment!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrtwuck View Post
    What are they going to do, cut off the supply of Russian mail order brides?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4570 View Post
    Or a $20 MAPP gas torch will work too
    She doesn't need to know that
    Feedback

    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Shark bite are by far the easiest they just push on copper. I took out a shower, toilet and sink from our laundry room to make arger during remodel. I used the shark bites on the copper cut the lines under the floor caped with shark bites been two years ago not one leak or other issue. No special tools needed. Highly recommend

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Dont forget the dielectric couplings on the electric heater, and shutoffs on both if you plan on staying.
    Soldering is best nothing wrong with the comp fittings(just make sure they are pushed all the way in, and turn your crimpers 90* and crimp again,.
    Make sure the sharkbites are straight with the pipe before pushing all the way in.
    .Good Luck



    .dont forget to have it inspected, may be an insurance prob

    Natural selection, don't intervene. Kennedy

  12. #12

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Solder.

    Sharkbite fitting SUCK. They are easy to use, but they are crap. I have broken 3 of them now (on pex and on copper)- I have none in this house now. A friend of mine (against my advice) used sharkbite as a temporary fix for his waterline and it leaks. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    I tried soldering copper. I tried and tried and tried. I finally got it to work - but it was a pain.
    It's not as easy as most people say it is. * There's tricks to it, and practice makes perfect.

    I've done Pex and I love it. Economical, flexible, easy connections, no scaling buildup issues, doesn't care about acidic/hard water, freeze resistant (the pipe swells instead of bursting, then returns to normal when thawed).
    It's a no brainer for me - I used Pex. (Note: do not leave Pex in direct sunlight for more than 2 days. The piping doesn't like UV light.)

    Best of luck.



    * Within 3 posts, someone will say soldering is easy-breazy.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    It is easy breezy.

    Stop by Habitat or similar place with take off or used copper fittings, buy a few and practice a bit. Remember that mating surfaces have to be cleaned with Scotchbrite or emory cloth (I then wipe with acetone/paper towel). Takes a bit of practice but really isn't hard. A can of MAPP gas is handy- hotter than regular propane. Leave the O/A torch alone. Way too hot for inexperienced hands (Guess how I know..) and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

    If you're wanting flexible lines, solder an end on your current lines and use flexible hose with threaded compression fittings. If you go that route, get the best quality hose you can and consider buying a second set to hang up next to the water heater. Flex hoses tend to leak when all the stores are closed.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Soldering vs. Compression fittings vs. sharkbite

    Solder...

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