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[deleted] t1_j7312iz wrote

So how often should I be opening my walls to check the soldered connections on my copper pipes? Should I drywall over the holes after the inspection, or should I just leave them open since soldered copper piping isn't meant to be a permanent solution?


Great68 t1_j735s1a wrote

There are a lot of instances of copper joints within walls failing and causing damage.

I have yet to see any real studies or data to prove that sharkbite fittings fail more frequently than copper joints over time, other than anecdotal posts and comments like these online.

I'm not saying that it's impossible for sharkbites to fail more frequently, I'm just saying there has been no objective proof to this day that they actually do.


JonJackjon t1_j73g401 wrote

If you are referring to a scientific study of the failure rate of soldered copper vs sharkbite vs ________. I am not aware of any.

However there is at least one lawsuit against sharkbite's which suggests at least some folks have had issues with them. I know of no current or past lawsuits against copper. Remember to be problematic a device need not be scientifically compared to a "standard".


Great_Bodini t1_j73hd6v wrote

Copper isn’t a company you can sue. Manufacturers have QA areas that sample to make sure what they are putting out meets standard. Copper fails all the time, very likely due to the sheer amount of it in use, but unless you track it back to one manufacturing facility, you can’t sue anybody for it failing.


JonJackjon t1_j73vpq9 wrote

You could sue the tubing mfg, but only if you could prove the copper was not suitable for the advertised application.

I'm not aware of copper failing due to normal usage only. Yes freezing, certain types of water will erode copper. But I've yet seen a properly sweated copper pipe or joint fail. My dad's house was built in 1951, no leaks to date. None of my friends or coworkers have ever had issues.

So I disagree with your statement "copper fails all the time".


Sparkynplumb t1_j769n5h wrote

In my 5 years as a resi service plumber I've seen copper fail "all the time". I had a poorly soldered joint (under pressure) randomly come apart when I bumped It. I've replaced entire houses with PEX due to well water eating the copper. Yeah I've had SharkBites give trouble, but I wouldn't be afraid to use in my own house.


JonJackjon t1_j77s753 wrote

The next town over has water that tends to eat through copper. They get small pinholes start to leak then they realize this is the same throughout the house. This is a tough one to categorize as one could argue it was a misapplication or poor installation as the water should have been treated.

Things like poorly soldered joints or poorly assembled PEX termination or Sharkbites are a tough thing to quantify. Surely you've found how to make a good solder joint. However I would not characterize any failure resulting from a poor installation to be a failure of the product.

I will admit in my home I'm very conservative. I personally sleep better feeling the all copper plumbing is the best I can do.

BTW I also have water sensors in a number of places that can shut off the main water supply if water is sensed.


adisharr t1_j737ew1 wrote

So you're talking about the billions of soldered copper joints throughout history compared to SharkBite fittings? It's completely ridiculous to compare the two. In no way is a SharkBite fitting ever going to be as solid as a soldered fitting unless the person had absolutely no idea how to properly solder a joint.


Great68 t1_j738ole wrote

>In no way is a SharkBite fitting ever going to be as solid as a soldered

And what I'm saying is, prove this with objective data.

Show me a MTBF chart of sharkbites vs copper fittings.


Bmxingur t1_j76icfv wrote

I'm sure the guys wiring houses with aluminum wire, and plumbing stuff in polybutylene pipes said the same exact thing. There is no data, no one sits around and collects these numbers. I don't call sharkbite and tell them when I find their shit leaking like 3 times a week. So much knowledge in the plumbing industry is tacit and anecdotal, yet vital and true.


adisharr t1_j738uqz wrote

Okay I'll get back to you in 30 years. I'm not sure why you think a compression fitting with an O-ring can compete with a soldered connection.

edit: you SharkBite guys can downvote this comment to hell for all I care LOL I hope you use them all over your house.


Great68 t1_j739avo wrote

I'm not sure why you think you can state that it can't without data to prove it.


Mahou t1_j73aul4 wrote

I'm not sure why you need a report to tell you "yep, turns out this is worse than literally melting metal into the shape you want it". Who knew?

It's the nature of the beast, and everyone knows it, which is why here and elsewhere everyone says "don't put it behind drywall".


Great_Bodini t1_j73h0qg wrote

I’m with the dude, if “everyone knows it” there should be numbers to back it up. Everyone “knew” that asbestos was an amazing fire retardant material, and that lead worked fantastic in gasoline and paint.


DirtyPolecat t1_j73iq7i wrote

Do you not make any personal decisions in life without a team of scientists to hand you a study on it? Are you incapable of using your existing knowledge on materials science and physics to make an educated guess on something? Do you really need somebody to tell you that metal is stronger and lasts longer than rubber?


Great_Bodini t1_j73k1to wrote

For my plumbing for our long term house? Yeah I’d like to see data. My aluminum windows that went out in 10 years would like to have a word with my rubber sealed windows.


Mahou t1_j8b6579 wrote

What a weird argument. The data is there for soldered plumbing. That's exactly why the argument is the way it is. You're saying you trust sharkbite more because published data saying it's worse doesn't exist. But, more importantly, published data saying that it's better doesn't exist - and that's everyone else's problem with it. Rubber doesn't last as long as metal, so people are rightly skeptical.


adisharr t1_j746g0s wrote

There seems to be no common sense with the SharkBite fans, they just want magical nonexistent data.


BigSquatchee2 t1_j73avuy wrote

Ok, the data shows that we still get more complaints about sharkbite failures now than we do about soldered joints over the last 100 years and sharkbite is still relatively new.

You sound like you represent sharkbite but are posting from a burner account my guy.
Sharkbites fail at the joint, properly soldered joints don't fail much, usually the pipe will fail first.


Great68 t1_j73bwvf wrote

Ok, show this data then?

Pardon me for having an open mind until I actually see some data proving otherwise. I don't live life on the subjective opinions of others.

Fuck people seem to take such personal offense over their precious "soldered fittings" here.

And LOL at the "you represent sharkbite" comment, good one. What a stupid comment, would be like me saying you represent big copper.


Charlielx t1_j73qyzr wrote

Yeah if the rest of their arguments didn't seal it for you that they're an idiot, the "omg ur a shill" comment really locks it in huh


BigSquatchee2 t1_j73k3z9 wrote

I mean, the data is pretty clear when you search for joint failure in copper pipe and see what people complain about.
If sharkbite is such a great fitting, why don't they warranty it for more than 25 years? The expected lifespan of a solder joint is 50+.


ApizzaApizza t1_j73m330 wrote

That’s not data, that’s anecdotal evidence.

Copper isn’t warrantied at all…sooooooo…😂


BigSquatchee2 t1_j743ovo wrote

The copper in a sharkbite isn't either. But good plumbers will warranty their work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


HonoredMule t1_j73d5lo wrote

I await your data with bated breath.


BigSquatchee2 t1_j73ji9h wrote

I mean, all you have to do is google joint failure of copper pipe and see what type people are complaining about. And then extrapolate that most people STILL have soldered joints.


HonoredMule t1_j73n2ra wrote

Sorry, I thought you said data, not anecdotes.


BigSquatchee2 t1_j743mcv wrote

I'm sorry that no one has collected data on every single installation ever.
You can however extrapolate data from anecdotes.


HonoredMule t1_j748qzx wrote

Of course you can. Even better, you can extrapolate whatever result you like!

Most people will at least feign credibility and hide their incompetence, but you just said the stupid part out loud. 😆

Thanks, it's been a long week and I needed a laugh.


BigSquatchee2 t1_j77emz6 wrote

If there were massive regular failures in soldered fittings, you'd see this discussed on forums, you'd see videos about it, etc etc.
You don't. But you know what you DO see? Sharkbite failures.


williamwchuang t1_j73dud9 wrote

I'm not trying to be a twat but a lot of it lies in installation. I would believe that sweated joints are more reliable than a Sharkbite. But I've really seen a lot of shitty welds that leak. Sharkbites also need to be installed properly, and Sharkbite failures are all installation error and not mechanical failure. The pipe was deburred or pushed in far enough.

I've always been against PEX v. copper pipes but apparently PEX is better! The original fittings were crap but the new ones are apparently very reliable and the PEX is less likely to burst when frozen.


Charlielx t1_j73pzcp wrote

>How dare you want data to back something up, you must be a shill!


BigSquatchee2 t1_j743rso wrote

Well, the way the person was defending sharkbites like its their firstborn child is why I said they sound like a shill...


Charlielx t1_j74415f wrote

I think it was more about that you shouldn't take anecdotal evidence at face value than it was about defending sharkbites


Great68 t1_j747pcm wrote

Thank you!

It seems completely forgotten that I said this line in my first post of this entire chain:

>"I'm not saying that it's impossible for sharkbites to fail more frequently, I'm just saying there has been no objective proof to this day that they actually do."

Reddit sometimes.


FixBreakRepeat t1_j73wn5n wrote

Welder/mechanic here, o-ring seals are commonly used in 3000 psi hydraulic systems and can have service lives of decades in some cases under brutal conditions.

I've seen fully welded connections fail under the same loads and conditions.

O-rings fail, welds fail, solder fails. Mode of failure is different for each one and you want to pick the one that best fits your situation, but an O-ring fitting isn't inherently worse than solder or weld for a residential application and requires a lot less skill to do correctly.

The main modes of failure that I see for o-rings are being cut on install, dry rot, or a connection not properly cleaned. If you leave a sharp edge on your pipe and it cuts your o-ring even a little bit, it very well might leak. But that's poor install, not o-rings being garbage in general.


Chrgrfan55 t1_j73s77q wrote

Fun fact: it takes very little water for drywall to show signs of a leak. It bulges almost immediately. I've never had a callback of sharkbite connectors. The key is to install EXACTLY ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURER INSTRUCTIONS


Kyanche t1_j734awy wrote

Eh some builder probably hangs out here and swears by sharkbites - they use it in every connection in every house they build. Just not the one they live in. :D


ChesswiththeDevil t1_j73d4vd wrote

Drywall is easy to repair and replace. When you notice a leak, you immediately cut out a hole and fix the issue. Then you patch, texture and paint. Don't be obtuse. There is no such thing as forever with anything.