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I'm conceptually lost on how to get a sharkbite connector put on the right side of the picture below. This pex stuff is not bendable to the extent of being able to put the connector on and then get the inch of tube inserted into the connector. So what is the way to get this done?

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4 Answers 4

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Sharkbite makes "slip couplings":

Sharkbite slip coupling

Home Depot source

These are designed to slip deep over one end of a pipe, to allow a fix pipe like your PEX segment to get in place, then slip back for the final connection. The "About this product" section on the Hope Depot link claims that this device can handle a 2" missing segment of pipe. If you cut clean that damaged copper pipe end and properly size the length of replacement PEX, you can slide a slip coupling on the copper pipe and slip it back over the PEX end, and the repair is complete.

(The product is shown for example purposes only, I'm not affiliated with this product or Home Depot.)

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  • I'm going to try this out - (actually the 3/4 x 3/4 product) Commented May 17 at 16:22
  • This actually does not work [and not actually even close ..] pex is surprisingly resistant to bending and the shark bite slip connector requires significant force to pull out on the slip end and then insert into the coupling on the other pipe. Commented May 25 at 3:37
  • That's a bummer. Are you sure you're following the instructions? I have never had need to use one of these, but it says it does what it does.... It appears that the slip end also has one of those collars that you're supposed to push back with the slip-on release tool to move the connector around, just like the usual end of the standard Sharkbites, when one wants to remove a Sharkbite from a pipe. Are you doing that? Commented May 25 at 11:13
  • Also, you should not have to bend the Pex. If you cut it to the correct length (apparently 2 inches or a little less from the end of the other pipe) the Slip device should bridge the gap. Commented May 25 at 11:14
  • I tested it out on a free piece of pipe before considering to use it on the real deal. I was able to make it behave according to the directions: slip a couple of inches. But it took force to pull it back to the original non-extended position. There is no way to apply that kind of force on the pipe when it is already connected on the other end and has little play or room on the pulling end. Commented May 25 at 14:48
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Replace more (throughly unbendable) copper with (slightly bendable) PEX. If you can replace the copper to a point where it turns 90 anyway, one 90 and one straight will get the job done easily while (as @keshlam has already noted) the stock solution to a short splice in a stiff line is four 90's. In a longer straight line situation you can loop or wiggle the PEX (respecting minimum bend radius) or you could use 2 90's and a U-Bend (respecting minimum bend radius) of PEX between them. That might be better done to the next joist bay or the one after that to keep the bends large.

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    The picture does not show it, but there is a stud only a couple of inches to the right of the copper segment. In any case I will keep this in mind as one approach. Commented May 17 at 15:09
  • I've spent some time on this. pex is surprisingly unbendable. I'd have to cut out probably 2 full joists worth of copper and then redrill holes in the joists- thus weakening them since there are already 7/8 to one-inch diameter holes to accommodate the existing copper line. I am very frustrated at this point. Commented May 25 at 3:40
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Copper line isn't flexible either, and the solution I've seen with copper is four right-angle connections, so the final connection can be made from the side rather than end-to-end. Not pretty but the "bridge" does solve the problem.

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  • thx: I'll keep this in mind in case other approaches do not work Commented May 17 at 15:08
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I would not fix a copper pipe problem using SharkBite connectors and PEX. Instead do what I have done to fix problems where I have had to splice in replacement sections of copper pipe is to use a union type fitting like this one:

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Picture Source

These are soldered to the copper pipe just like other copper pipe fittings. If you have to extend the copper pipe to replace a section a normal straight inline coupler is used so that only one union is needed. When assembling the union do not forget to slide the nut part of the union up on the correct side of the copper piping before soldering the union joints in place.

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  • Union fittings on both sides is arguably more elegant.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 17 at 19:40
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    @keshlam - maybe but at ~12USD for one union and ~0.75USD for one straight coupler the choice for one union fitting is easy to make.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented May 17 at 22:51
  • A combination of copper couplers [possibly including the union] is probably the best approach [after experiencing one problem after another with the shark bites..]. But I haven't enjoyed the process of trying to solder the joints. There seems to be residual water in the lines and I'm not sure how to get rid of it. this job has taken 25x the amount of time .. and counting .. Commented May 25 at 3:43

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