It might be very difficult for those in the plumbing industry to select the best fittings brand that meets their needs. But luckily for every plumber, there are reliable options on the market. 

For your information, Propress and Sharkbite are two of the most reputable fittings you’ll ever come across. But what are the differences between these two? And what should you consider before buying these two fitting options?

Here, we compare Propress and Sharkbite and explore what you must consider before purchasing them.

Propress Vs Sharkbite

There are major differences between prepress and sharkbite fittings. It’s, therefore, necessary to consider certain factors while buying them. But before we focus on the factors, let’s consider what each involves.

Generally, Propress fittings offer a better and stronger pressing against pipes than Sharkbite. 

Propress is a common system used to connect copper pipes. It’s a trading name employed by Viega, a company reputable for developing plumbing and flushing systems. The fittings are designed with O-ring inserts at their ends. When you press the fittings using a Propress tool, they’ll be tightened to the pipe. 

Sharkbite fittings are employed for grabbing all pipe types, including PEX, CPVC, and copper. You’ll find metal teeth in the fitting to lock it to the pipes. There is also an O-ring in the fitting to create a watertight seal. 

When you connect a sharkbite fitting to your pipe, expect it to last for at least 25-years. The fittings are also reusable. 

Advantages of Sharkbite and Propress Fittings

Before we look at the factors to consider while purchasing sharkbite and propress fittings, let’s discuss the benefits of each option:

Propress 

  • Propress fittings don’t present any dangers of starting a fire.
  • Pressing fitting is easy to install and requires a short period. You just rough the pipe surface, slide the fitting into your pipe and pull the trigger. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. 
  • Propress fitting is corrosion-resistant and won’t require protective paint. 
  • It’s highly durable and doesn’t become fragile.
  • The fitting is fully eco-friendly. 

Sharkbite

  • It’s easy to install and remove. You don’t need additional tools to complete the project.
  • The fitting is perfect for all material types, including PEX, CPVC, and copper. 
  • It’s reusable.

Safety

When safety is among your top priorities, you should go with Propress fittings. For your information, Propress fittings are designed with Smart Connect technology that offers room for safe installation

The feature ensures that you press all connections by managing a low-pressure water test. If you happen to miss any joints, it’s easier to press the fittings without draining the whole system. 

Propress products are also designed with cylindrical pipe guides to protect sealing elements and for the pipes to maintain their straightness. Fittings that don’t have cylindrical pipe guides cause unsecured connections. 

Additionally, they’re developed using hexagonal pressing patterns to secure the fitting and pipe. This provides a strong mechanical connection. 

Finally, Propress fitting is an environment-friendly solution. You won’t emit any toxic fires or fumes during installation. 

On the other hand, installing sharkbite fittings presents a lot of risks. Since they are mainly installed behind walls and underground, the fittings are always out of sight. This means that you won’t know when leaks happen. 

Where To Install The Fittings?

Another important consideration is where you wish to install the fitting. For your information, sharkbite fittings are highly recommended for use in hot water heaters, thanks to their ability to withstand high temperatures. 

Sharkbite fittings also have a high-pressure tolerance. They are the best option if you seek to replace or fix the copper plumbing system in your home. 

Additionally, sharkbite is approved for use behind walls and underground. However, be careful since installing them presents some risks at times. 

On the other hand, Propress is ideal for almost any application. This includes fitting corrosive chemical pipes in industrial projects and portable water pipes for commercial projects. 

Propress creates a permanent leak-proof connection that is flameless, reliable, and fast. 

The Type of Piping Material

As we have seen above, Sharkbite fittings are employed for grabbing all pipe types, including PEX, CPVC, and copper. There are metal teeth in the fitting to lock it to the pipes. However, the fitting has proven to work better with copper

And you’ll also come across certain push-to-connect fittings that work well with plastic connections. When working with PEX, you should employ a tube stiffener to prevent the fitting from giving away. 

On the contrary, Propress is only perfect for use in copper tubes. We don’t recommend employing them on PEX and CPVC. 

Cost

When it comes to cost, both Propress and Sharkbite fittings are expensive. However, you’ll save more when you go with the Sharkbite option. 

Sharkbite fittings usually cost about $8-$10 per fitting for the standard ½-inch pipe. The cost rises with the number of fittings you wish to replace. 

A set of Propress fittings goes for between $138.99 to $3000. The expensive nature of this option is the reason why they aren’t as popular as sharkbite or soldering options.  For instance, soldering equipment can go for as low as $38. 

Additionally, with Propress, you’ll need a unique tool and equipment for a successful installation. Such a tool isn’t commonly available. 

Durability

Every plumber is looking for durable fittings that can stand the test of time. And this is why they prefer using Propress fittings. 

First, Propress creates a clean, reliable, and uniform joint. And according to reviews, it could last for 25-50 years. Even with installation mistakes, you’re guaranteed durability. 

However, with Sharkbite, many plumbers and reviewers feel that the fittings aren’t strong enough to create a durable and tough connection. Even though there is no strong evidence to substantiate the belief, it’s still reason enough to disregard sharkbite if you have durability in mind.

Final Remarks 

There is no argument that the application of Propress and sharkbite fitting has become very popular in plumbing applications. Many plumbers prefer using these two options as opposed to the soldering option. 

However, each of the fittings comes with advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Propress fitting offers better strength than the sharkbite option. 

And to have a better understanding of the fitting that meets your needs and expectations, follow the factors we have highlighted above. We hope that your plumbing project becomes a success. 

Sources

viega.us

propress pipe design

many applications of propress