The Cash Acme company developed the SharkBite pipe fitting system for connecting cross-linked polythene (PEX), copper tube size (CTS), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and copper tubing in any combination. This line of push-fit couplings enables plumbers and DIY homeowners to join tubing without solder, tubing clamps, pipe unions or glue. However, when joining PEX, CTS or SPVC, a specially designed plastic tube cutter is required. SharkBite fittings are certified to 200 psi and 93.3 degrees Celsius. The SharkBite range includes over 130 different fittings in sizes to suit a wide variety of tube diameters.
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Things you need
- Plastic and copper tubing
- PEX tube cutter
- Copper pipe cutter
- 120-grit emery paper
Connect PEX, CTS or CPCV by making a clean square cut with a PEX tube cutter. This tool resembles a pair of heavy duty pruning shears, and is designed to clamp the tube at right angles to the blade to ensure a 90-degree cut.
Use a ruler and a sharp pencil to mark a line exactly 1 inch from the cut end of the tube.
Grasp the SharkBite fitting in one hand and insert the plastic tubing into the fitting with the other. Press the tube firmly into the fitting until it encounters resistance. Check that the pencil mark is lined up with the end of the fitting. Repeat on the opposite side of the fitting to complete the connection.
Cut the copper tube to size with a standard copper pipe cutter. The frame of the tool is G shaped with a pair of adjustable rollers facing the inside on one side and a hardened cutting wheel mounted at a right angle to the rollers on the opposite side.
Clamp the copper tubing firmly between the rollers and the cutting wheel. Rotate the tool around the pipe twice. Tighten the knurled roller adjusting knob a quarter of a turn, and rotate the tool around the pipe three times. Keep on tightening the rollers and rotating the tool until the copper pipe is severed.
Clean up the burr left by the tool on the inside of the copper tube with a rolled up piece of 120-grit emery paper. Gently smooth the face of the cut with a piece of worn emery paper to remove any tiny protuberances left by the pipe cutter.
Repeat step 3 to complete the SharkBite to copper connection.
Tips and warnings
- Don't try to economise by buying a cheap plastic tube cutter; they don't last. If you need to cut large diameter pipe, a heavy duty hand-held ratcheted cutter is available from most PEX dealers.
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