SharkBite fittings vs Soldering: which one is stronger?
When it comes to plumbing, there are several methods for connecting pipes, and two of the most popular ones are Sharkbite fittings and soldering.
Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but the main question is: which one is stronger?
This article will discuss the pros and cons of each connecting method, as well as compare their strength. It will also explore other factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding which method to use.
Related reading: What is Soldering?
What is SharkBite Fittings?
SharkBite fittings are a relatively new invention, and they have quickly become a popular option for DIYers and professionals alike.
Sharkbite fittings are a revolutionary plumbing tool that is changing the way people connect pipes.
This unique fitting allows for fast and easy connections of copper, PEX, and CPVC pipes without the need for soldering or using glue.
Sharkbite fittings provide a quick and secure connection that doesn’t require any special tools, making it an ideal solution for both DIYers and professional plumbers alike. The fittings come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different pipe diameters.
Sharkbite fittings work by using a series of O-rings to create a watertight seal between the fitting and the pipe.
Advantages of SharkBite Fittings
- Quick and easy installation: Sharkbite fittings can be installed quickly and easily, even by people without plumbing experience. All you need to do is cut the pipe to length, clean the end, and push the fitting onto the pipe.
- No special tools required: Unlike soldering, you don’t need any special tools to install Sharkbite fittings. All you need is a pipe cutter, a deburring tool, and a wrench to tighten the fitting.
- Can be used on various types of pipes: Sharkbite fittings can be used on copper, PEX, CPVC, and even galvanized steel pipes.
Disadvantages of Sharkbite Fittings:
- Cost: Sharkbite fittings are more expensive than traditional fittings.
- Durability: While Sharkbite fittings are durable, they may not last as long as traditional fittings. Over time, the O-rings may wear out, causing leaks.
Soldering is a traditional method for connecting pipes that has been used for centuries.
Soldering is a process in which two metal surfaces are joined together using a filler material, known as solder. It is the most commonly used technique for joining electrical components to create electronic equipment.
Soldering involves heating a metal alloy to its melting point and then using it to join two pieces of metal together. The alloy flows into the joint, creating a strong bond between the two pieces of metal.
Related Reading: Soldering vs Brazing vs Welding.
The optimum working temperature of soldering depends on the type of alloy being used. Generally, it ranges from 350-380°C for lead-based alloys or 260-280°C for lead free alloys.
The temperature should not be too high as this can cause oxidation or burning of the parts being joined which can result in poor connections and eventual failure of the finished product.
Related reading: Types of Soldering Flux
Additionally, if too low a temperature is used then there may not be enough heat available to join the components correctly.
Advantages of Soldering:
- Durability: Soldered joints are very strong and durable. They can withstand high water pressure and temperature fluctuations without leaking.
- Cost: Soldering is a relatively inexpensive method for connecting pipes, and the materials required are widely available.
- Longevity: A well-soldered joint can last for decades without needing to be replaced.
Disadvantages of Soldering:
- Skill level required: Soldering requires a certain level of skill and experience. It’s not a technique that can be mastered quickly or easily.
- Special tools required: Soldering requires special tools, including a torch, flux, and solder.
- Safety: Soldering involves working with an open flame, which can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken.
So, which one is stronger?
When it comes to strength, both Sharkbite fittings and soldering can create strong, watertight connections.
However, soldering is generally considered to be the stronger option. Soldered joints are permanent, and they create a seamless connection between the two pipes.
Sharkbite fittings, on the other hand, rely on O-rings to create a watertight seal, and these O-rings can wear out over time, leading to leaks.
In conclusion, while Sharkbite fittings are a quick and easy option for connecting pipes, soldering is generally considered to be the stronger and more durable option.
However, if you’re not comfortable with soldering or don’t have the necessary tools, Sharkbite fittings can be a reliable alternative.
Ultimately, the decision between Sharkbite fittings and soldering will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Are sharkbite fittings good for long term?
Sharkbite fittings are designed to be a reliable option for long-term plumbing connections. These fittings are made of high-quality brass and are designed to withstand high water pressure and temperature fluctuations, which are common in plumbing systems.
The Sharkbite design uses O-rings to create a watertight seal between the fitting and the pipe, which allows for some movement between the two, accommodating the expansion and contraction of the pipes over time.
That being said, like any plumbing system, the long-term durability of Sharkbite fittings will depend on various factors, such as the quality of the pipes, the conditions of the environment, and the quality of the installation.
If the fittings are installed correctly and in the appropriate conditions, they can last for many years without needing to be replaced.
It’s also worth noting that while Sharkbite fittings are a reliable option for long-term plumbing connections, they are not meant to be a permanent solution. Over time, the O-rings in the fittings may wear out, which can cause leaks. However, the O-rings can be replaced without having to replace the entire fitting, which can help extend the life of the plumbing system.
In summary, Sharkbite fittings are a reliable option for long-term plumbing connections, but the durability will depend on various factors. Proper installation and maintenance, along with the quality of the fittings and pipes, can help ensure that the plumbing system will last for many years.
Sharkbite fittings life expectancy
The life expectancy of Sharkbite fittings can vary depending on various factors, including the quality of the fittings and pipes, the conditions of the environment, and the quality of the installation.
Sharkbite fittings are made of high-quality brass and are designed to withstand high water pressure and temperature fluctuations, which are common in plumbing systems. The fittings are also designed to be corrosion-resistant, which can help prolong their lifespan.
The O-rings used in Sharkbite fittings are also designed to be durable, but they can wear out over time due to exposure to harsh conditions or chemicals. However, the O-rings can be replaced without having to replace the entire fitting, which can help extend the life of the plumbing system.
Generally, Sharkbite fittings are expected to have a lifespan of at least 25 years, which is similar to the lifespan of traditional soldered fittings.
However, the actual lifespan will depend on various factors, including the quality of the fittings and pipes, the conditions of the environment, and the quality of the installation.
To maximize the lifespan of Sharkbite fittings, it’s important to use high-quality pipes and fittings, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and regularly inspect the plumbing system for signs of wear or damage.
Regular maintenance and repairs can help extend the life of the plumbing system and ensure that it continues to function properly for many years.
Do professional plumbers use sharkbite fittings?
Yes, professional plumbers do use Sharkbite fittings in their plumbing projects. Sharkbite fittings are becoming increasingly popular among plumbers due to their ease of use and versatility.
Sharkbite fittings do not require any special tools or skills to install, unlike traditional soldering methods, which require specialized tools and training.
This means that plumbers can save time and money by using Sharkbite fittings, as they can complete the installation process more quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, Sharkbite fittings are often used in situations where traditional soldering methods are not feasible, such as in tight spaces or where there are flammable materials nearby.
The fittings are also ideal for emergency repairs, as they can be easily installed without shutting off the water supply.
While some plumbers may prefer traditional soldering methods, many professionals are recognizing the benefits of Sharkbite fittings and are incorporating them into their plumbing projects.
It’s important to note that while Sharkbite fittings are a reliable option for many plumbing applications, they may not be suitable for all situations.
Plumbers should assess each project individually to determine the best method for installation.
Sharkbite fittings vs solder
Here is a table comparing Sharkbite fittings and soldering:
|Ease of Installation||Easy, requires no special tools or training||Requires specialized tools and training|
|Time Required for Installation||Quick, can be installed in a matter of minutes||Longer, requires time for solder to cool and harden|
|Reliability of Connection||Reliable, creates a strong and watertight seal||Reliable, creates a strong and durable connection|
|Flexibility||Flexible and can accommodate some movement in the pipes||Rigid and can be susceptible to cracking over time due to expansion and contraction|
|Compatibility with Different Pipe Materials||Compatible with various pipe materials, including copper, PEX, and CPVC||Limited compatibility with specific pipe materials|
|Cost||More expensive than traditional soldering materials||Less expensive than Sharkbite fittings and does not require special fittings|
|Durability||Durable and can last for many years with proper installation and maintenance||Durable and can last for many years with proper installation and maintenance|
In summary, Sharkbite fittings are easier to install, more flexible, and compatible with various pipe materials.
They create a strong and watertight seal, but they are more expensive than traditional soldering materials. Soldering requires specialized tools and training, but it is a reliable and durable method for creating strong and long-lasting connections.
Does plumbers hates sharkbites?
No, plumbers do not hate Sharkbite fittings. In fact, many plumbers use Sharkbite fittings in their plumbing projects and appreciate their ease of use and versatility.
While some plumbers may prefer traditional soldering methods, most professionals recognize the benefits of Sharkbite fittings and use them as an alternative when appropriate.
Sharkbite fittings are particularly useful in situations where traditional soldering methods are not feasible, such as in tight spaces or where there are flammable materials nearby.
It’s important to note that like any plumbing product, Sharkbite fittings have their limitations and may not be suitable for all situations. Plumbers should assess each project individually to determine the best method for installation.