How tightly should [Gator|Shark]bite fittings be screwed to threaded brass?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by miamicanes, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    Another newbie question that none of the plumbing books in my pile seem to really address...

    my shower valve/mixer is a Delta multichoice rough-in body. It has four male 1/2" brass fittings. To connect it to the PEX hot & cold water, and to the copper pipes for the tub spout and shower head, I bought GatorBITE 1/2" FNPT adapters (Lowe's #211923). I also bought Teflon tape.

    1) How many layers of teflon tape should be wrapped around the threads?

    2) How tightly should the GatorBITE fittings be screwed into the rough-in body's fittings?
  2. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    If it's white teflon I would probably go about 3 wraps around. That stuff is pretty thin. I would strongly recommend using some pipe dope as well as the teflon tape!

    You need to tighten enough so it doesn't leak :p But in all seriousness you just need to snug the fitting on and then go another 3/4 of a turn or so. Just don't crank it on so tight.

    You need to use the right size wrench too. If you use a 12" cresent you don't need to put as much force into it as a 8" wrench.
  3. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    I wouldn't use shark bite fittings in a wall. Use female to pex adapters on the valve.

    John
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    It should be tight enough that it won't leak...
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    26,833
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    delta

    The Delta valve is design so that the copper tubing slides into the openings and is soldered. THAT is the way a plumber would do it, and therefore, there would be no question about how tight to make it or if it was going to leak afterwards. IF you do use adapters, make them as tight as you can turn them. Do not depend on some formula, such as "hand tight and 3/4 turn additional".
  6. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    But not so tight that it breaks? :)
  7. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    > I would strongly recommend using some pipe dope as well as the teflon tape!

    tape over dope? dope over tape? dope on the threads closest to the mixer, tape on the threads furthest away from it? vice-versa?


    > I wouldn't use shark bite fittings in a wall. Use female to pex adapters on the valve.

    In all honesty, I feel more confident of my ability to get a long-term leak-free connection from GatorBite/SharkBite connectors than from crimping or soldering. I've done lots of research on PEX over the past 2 weeks, and learned something interesting about PB... apparently, the failure rate for PB pipes is off the scale in the US, but in Europe they're generally problem-free. It turns out, America seems to be the only place where crimping was a widespread practice. In Europe, Sharkbite-like compression fittings have always been the norm. Even thought PEX isn't PB, I have a hunch that its long-term crimped reliability won't be a whole lot better than PB's was.

    That said, I'm crimping the final connection between the new PEX and old PB, because I've also read some compelling arguments that [Shark/Gator]bites won't be as reliable in the long run with PB, because the pipe wall thickness with PB is thinner compared to PEX, and the insert stiffeners aren't quite thick enough to do the job as securely with PB as they can do it with PEX. There's no inherent reason the stiffeners couldn't be made thicker to accommodate PB as well as PEX, but they don't.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Do not run pex down to the tub spout. The increased restriction in the pipe and fittings will make the shower dribble when you are trying to fill the tub.
  9. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    I always dope up the threads then tape them.
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