Push-to-Connect Fittings: What They Are & The Pros & Cons!
Push-to-connect fittings are universal pipe fittings that can be installed without the use of special tools. A mechanism inside the fitting locks the pipe using pressure inside the plumbing system. There is no need for soldering, crimping, or gluing.
This type of fitting is also called a push-fit, push-in, or push-fit connector. Despite which name you use, I’m going to tell you everything you need to decide if a push-to-connect fitting is right for your DIY plumbing job.
What is the Leading Brand of Push-On-Fittings?
Sharkbite is the most popular brand of push-to-connect fittings on the market. If you’re a DIY plumber, you’ve run across these many times. Many plumbers have recently switched from welding copper pipe together with a soldering torch to placing a SharkBite fitting onto a pipe.
Why? Because SharkBite fittings are time-saving, simple to install, and dependable (at least for a short-to-intermediate amount of time.
While Sharkbite is the most popular option for push-fittings, all fittings are very similar and have an internal structure that provides a water-tight seal to the piping.
Pros & Cons: Push-To-Connect Fittings
Despite their popularity and even their use by many professional plumbers, there are risks to using universal push-on fittings. Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages.
- Easy to install
- Good solution for quick, temporary repairs
- Removable and reusable
- Used for CPVC and Copper
- Have a long lifespan – Sharkbite fittings are backed with a 25-year warranty
- Versatile – many different fittings in a variety of sizes
- More expensive than a compression fitting
- Not as strong as soldering
- Higher failure rate than a soldered fitting
Are Push-Fit Fittings Permanent?
Most push-fit fittings are now authorized for in-wall/underground applications as well as a permanent installation. However, many people are still skeptical of push-fit, particularly when it comes to concealed or permanent installation.
Most plumbers still prefer soldering over push-fit fittings as it provides a more secure and permanent connection. However push-fit may be a good option for your project and can be used as a permanent installation, especially in a pipe that poses less risk to future water damage.
How to Apply Push-to-Connect Fittings
- Identify pipe material. To begin, determine the pipe’s material. PEX, Copper, CPVC, PE-RT, and SDR-9 HDPE pipe are all compatible with most push-to-connect fittings.
- Cut pipe squarely. Check for scratches or debris on the pipe and cut it as cleanly and squarely as possible. Remove any sharp edges or burrs on copper pipe with a deburring tool (like a file or 80-grit sandpaper) if you’re working with it. Failure to correctly deburr the pipe can affect the fitting and produce leaks.
- Measure and Mark. Be sure to measure and mark on your pipe where you will insert the push-to-connect fitting. Marking the correct insertion depth is key to correctly applying the fitting.
- Connect the fitting. Insert the fitting into the pipe at the insertion point you just made. Ensure that the fitting is snug and secure. Turn on the water and double-check your connection.
How to Remove Push-to-Connect Fittings
- Turn off the water. First, you must switch off the water supply to your house in order to avoid any significant water damage while you remove the fitting. It’s preferable to switch off the water at the house’s water meter, which is normally found on the side of the house or near the sewer line.
- Identify the type of fitting. To get the task done right, you should figure out what kind of fitting you’re working with. Some of the common pipe fittings include speedfit fittings, brass fittings, copper fittings, and John Guest fittings.
- Remove the fitting. Remove the fitting with your preferred tool. Pinch the fitting in the proper location and allow it to slide away from the pipe. For removal, you can use a pipe cutter (for any length of metal or PVC pipe) or disconnect tongs (for pipes between 10-28 mm).
- Disconnect Clips. A horseshoe-shaped tool that fits over the pipe and engages the pipe’s disconnecting lugs, allowing the pipe to be removed.
Whether you choose to use a push-on fitting or a fused/soldered fitting is up to you. But knowing the pros and cons of push-to-connect fittings will go a long way in making the best decision for a leak-proof plumbing repair.
- What do you know about pipe fittings (here’s everything!)
- How to solder a pipe step by step
- 5 main types of plumbing pipes
- How to use compression fittings on copper pipes
- Here’s how to remove an old threaded pipe
- How to install a new threaded steel pipe
- Copper vs PEX pipe
- Here’s the quickest temporary fix for a pinhole leak
- How to cut galvanized steel pipe
- How to prevent burst pipes (and make your pipes last longer)
Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need help joining your plastic or metal pipes with soldered or push-to-connect fittings.
1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.