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Quickly Transition from Copper to PEX with SharkBite


Twenty years ago, plumbers upgraded from galvanized pipe to copper pipe for their projects. Today, plumbers are upgrading their pipe yet again, but now, it's to PEX pipe.  

Copper has been the most popular pipe type among plumbers for decades, but PEX’s flexibility, affordability and durability makes it an attractive pipe material too. If you’re working on a new construction, remodel or repair project that requires connecting copper to PEX, SharkBite can make the job easier. 

Why Transition to SharkBite PEX?

SharkBite cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe has been around for more than 35 years with over 850 million feet in North America. You can find options like PEX-a, PEX-b, reclaimed and more. Here are a few reasons to consider PEX for your next job. 

 1. Faster Installation 

PEX pipe's flexibility helps it bend around corners easily, reducing the number of connection points needed. This lowers project costs, minimizes potential failure points, and reduces time on the job. PEX-a tubing has superior flexibility that enables faster installations and longer pipe runs.  

 2. Cost Effective 

PEX pipe costs significantly less than copper pipe. For example, 1/2 in. SharkBite PEX tubing costs about one-quarter the price of copper. And since SharkBite PEX comes at a fixed cost, plumbers don’t have to worry about fluctuating daily prices like they do with copper. 

 3. Durable 

SharkBite PEX’s durability makes it more reliable for homeowners. PEX is immune to corrosion and mineral build-up, and is not affected by electrolysis, which can cause small pinhole leaks in copper piping. Both SharkBite PEX-a and PEX-b have a materials designation code of PEX 5306, which is the highest-rated chlorine resistance and six-month UV resistance. 

 4. Freeze Resistant

Transitioning to SharkBite PEX pipe during repipes, repairs and remodels can safeguard your customers’ plumbing system from burst pipes. Because it isn’t a rigid pipe, PEX will expand in freezing conditions instead of cracking, which reduces the risk of leaks and water damage.  

 5. More Sustainable

The long-term impact building materials, including pipes, have on the planet is considered by most contractors today. SharkBite PEX pipe can prove better for our society, economy and the environment because of its energy efficiency, lifespan, and safe connection methods.  

Read More: The Sustainability of PEX vs. Copper 

The Best Way to Transition Pipe Types 


Traditional pipe transition techniques are complicated and time consuming, especially when working in tight spaces. You can simplify the process by installing a SharkBite fitting, which only takes about 3 seconds. When installed properly, the connection won’t fail, and you won’t have to use glue, special tools or open flames.

SharkBite brass push-to-connect products are perfect for transitioning pipe types. They are designed to help connect two pieces of PEX, copper, CPVC, PE-RT and/or SDR-9 HDPE pipe in any combination. Look for the tan collar to easily connect copper pipe to PEX pipe.  

Our fittings will not corrode copper, and an internal o-ring seal makes each connection watertight. This fitting is code-approved for installation in wet lines, behind-the-wall and underground and is protected by a 25-year warranty.

Read More: See What’s Inside a SharkBite Max™ Fitting 

SB Fitting Cutaway Callouts

SharkBite Max is the next generation of SharkBite push-to-connect technology. Reengineered for enhanced performance, SharkBite Max makes connections smoother than SharkBite (1st Generation) with a higher-pressure threshold and more reinforcement. They also don’t require a PEX tube liner. These added benefits make connecting copper to PEX even easier, faster and more reliable than ever.  

How to Transition Pipe Types

Simply cut your copper pipe, deburr it, mark the proper insertion depth, and push the coupling completely onto the pipe. Repeat this process for the PEX end and your connection is complete. Check the proper insertion depth for both SharkBite (1st Generation) and SharkBite Max fittings here. Note that the insertion depths for the two fitting types are not the same. 

Key Takeaways

 1. Switch to PEX for new construction 

Save on time and materials with SharkBite PEX pipe. The flexibility of PEX makes it easy to work in tight spaces and reduces the number of fittings you need to complete the job.   

 2. Upgrade your transition method with SharkBite Max  

You need something strong, fast and easy when you transition between pipe types. SharkBite Max fittings are perfect for these applications with double the burst pressure and half the insertion effort compared to SharkBite (1st Generation).  

Here’s how to install SharkBite Max:  

  1. Shut off your water source.  
  2. Cut the pipe squarely and evenly using SharkBite PRO PEX cutter for PEX pipe.  
  3. Deburr the pipe with SharkBite deburr and gauge tool, ensuring that there are no shavings or debris on the pipe.  
  4. Measure the correct insertion depth for Max fittings using the insertion depth chart, measure accordingly, then mark the pipe.
  5. Push the fitting to the mark and check your connection.

Read More: How to Properly Install SharkBite Brass Push Fittings 

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