I need to replace my main water shutoff. I plan to use a Sharkbite ball valve (3/4 inch) to pex. Any actual experience with these? One of the plumbers where I work suggested Sharkbite as a good and super easy option.
I have used many and have never had a problem with them on PVC, copper, PEX going in all combinations. They are a little pricey and I also have the band crimping tool and I use the regular PEX fittings whenever possible.
The only suggestion I have with the sharkbite fittings is get a very clean cut on the end. I suggest a PVC/PEX cutting tool and also when you install them try and not have the joint stressed with a bend close by. Another tip is make a mark on the tube the distance it is to be inserted in so you know you have it all the way in the fitting.
They are very simple to put together and a little tricky to get apart. To take apart you push the ring on the end in and that releases the grip. There is a little plastic tool that helps with that and it comes with the valve.
I would personally never use it on a main shutoff. They rely on a rubber (elastomer) o-ring to make a seal and teeth that grip the pipe. Too many possibilities for failure.
The company I work for has a policy that says we are not allowed to use them on pressurized systems because of expensive failures that we’ve had to clean up in the past. Management doesn’t want that risk of liability so they banned their use. We are a multinational company not a small ma and pa shop. The plumbers aren’t even allowed to stock them in their vans.
For personal use I keep some in my house for emergency use only and would replace them once stores open to get parts. They are quick and easy and work well for that. I just don’t trust them for long term use and since you want to put this on your main what options do you have if it fails one day? How much damage will be caused with 3/4” water pouring into that space unrestricted?
In my case the only option to shut the water off would be to get a key from the city or fire department and shut it off at the street. That’s not a quick solution in an emergency.
I would recommend staying away from Shark Bite. They are expensive, it’s really not much more work to crimp a proper PEX fitting into place and the PEX fitting doesn’t rely on an o-ring to make a seal or spring loaded teeth to secure a connection.
Most main water shutoffs are at the water meter in my area.
There are always at least two, one on each side of the meter.
So the city can isolate and change out the meter as needed.
These are in addition to the city shutoff out in the parkway.
If yours is like this, and you have verified that the other shutoff valve is working well, that would make adding a Sharkbite valve much less of a risk.