When you’re working with plumbing, there are two common ways to connect your pex pipes: sharkbite or crimp. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so how do you decide which is right for your job? In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each connection method to help you make an informed decision. Let’s get started.
What is sharkbite in plumbing?
A sharkbite fitting is a type of two-piece fitting that allows joining plastic water lines without using any tools or solder. When the pieces are pressed together, they form an extremely tight seal which is much stronger than you would typically get with a regular compression fitting. This makes it suitable for pressurized applications, such as plumbing in some appliances. Sharkbite fittings are mostly found on water inlets. These are the hoses that bring cold water into your refrigerator or freezer.
Pros and cons of a sharkbite fitting
Here are some of the advantages that you get with a sharkbite fitting:
- It does not require any soldering.
- It is reusable.
- There is no pressure loss due to multiple joins in the line.
Here are some disadvantages associated with sharkbite fittings:
- Potential issues with long-term reliability
- The fittings require plumbers to apply a lot of force. This can result in personal injury and also damage to the fitting itself.
What is a crimp in plumbing?
Crimp joints are a type of plumbing joint that requires the use of a crimping tool to secure. They typically have a greater resistance to heat and corrosion than other types of joints, but they take longer to install. Crimp joints are usually made from copper or steel, and can be used with either rigid or flexible piping.
Pros and cons of crimping
Here are some of the advantages that you get with crimping:
- There is no risk of leakage due to the separation of the parts.
- Long-term reliability
Here are some of the disadvantages that you get with a crimp:
- They require a crimping tool which is expensive. You also have to purchase dies for each type of terminal that you want to use.
- The crimp cannot bend, which means that you will need to get the right type of connector for your particular installation. This might mean that you have to get the larger size even if your pipes are smaller than standard measurements.
- You cannot reuse crimps once they have been installed.
Crimping vs Sharkbite: Which one is better?
Sharkbite and crimps have their own unique benefits, which makes them a great choice in certain situations. For situations where you are looking to implement a temporary fix, Sharkbite is the better choice. Sharkbite is also great in situations where crimping is not possible due to tight spaces. For situations where you are looking for a permanent solution, a crimp is a better choice due to their long-term reliability.