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pro press vs sharkbite

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  • pro press vs sharkbite

    I'm considering buying a propress but why should I buy a $2200 tool when I can use sharkbites that will fasten dissamilar pipe and require no special tools. I want to buy the propress(I really do) but my gut is telling me to stick with sharkbites. All I need is the right reply(Josh, Plumber Rick?) and I'm sold. Help me make up my mind. I do plan to be in this business for the next 25 years.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: pro press vs sharkbite

    I really don't have any experience with sharkbite fittings. I'll have to defer this one to someone who has used both. Plus I would be a bit partial

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: pro press vs sharkbite

      gear, you will need the propress sooner or later. later the price will be higher

      sharkbite is only avaliabe in 1/2''- 1''. with a limited amout of fittings.

      propress is avaliable in 1/2''- 4'' with all sorts of fittings.

      the more i use propress, the more inventory i aquire.
      just bought $1000. of specialty fittings. 1/2''- 2''.

      my local 3 supply houses all stock propress fittings now. only a handfull of smart contractors are buying it. the uninformed are the ones left behind

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: pro press vs sharkbite

        Good enough for me Rick. If you say I need it then I need it. Not that my wife will be happy with that reason but she'll live. Did you mean that it'll be more expensive later because of the rising cost of copper?
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: pro press vs sharkbite

          $2200. is a good price for a 320 e 1/2''-2'' new.

          the price of copper does affect the fittings, but inflation affects the cost of the machine.

          a good used one sells for approx. 1500 on ebay. i would buy new for the extra cost.

          now you need a good source for the fittings. 30% off list is an excellant price. there are other companies that are in the fitting business, the price wars should start soon

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: pro press vs sharkbite

            Plus propress fittings are less expensive. And the true cost of any pipe joining system is in the fittings, and only initially in the tools.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: pro press vs sharkbite

              where i live propress has never taken off. the cost is too high for most guys to swallow and the parts are not readilly avalible. i refuse to use sharkbite fittings for the simple fact that it makes all of us in the trades look like hacks. it takes no skill or knowledge to push things together. think if you paid a guy a couple hundred dollars to come into your home spend 15 minutes there and push fittings on? hell no.

              lets try once in a while to show people why they should not go to home depot and do it themselves but should call guys who can solder and show some skill. if any of my tecks used a sharkbite fitting anywhere they could safely use a torch they would be down the road working for a rooter company.
              how is it that so many answers are in the instructions

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                proplumb, since i don't get into pex out here yet. still not fully accepted.

                sharkbite is a universal fitting to transition from most all brands of pex, cpvc, copper. with all the different brands of pex, how would you transition with their propriety fittings?

                remember that most under sink water filters use a form of a shark bite fitting. only it's made by Jon guess and is plastic.


                propress is a great tool to have. but if you didn't want to spend the money on a tool, then a shark bite fitting will save the day on a system that won't drain. i have every form of tool to work with water in the line including freezing equipment, but there is nothing wrong with a shark bite fitting. and yes it still takes skill to install the fitting properly. you will not lose customers because you saved the day with a newer solder less fitting.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                  Just took a peek...hadn't realized this, but Propress is ridgid owned.
                  Comparison...
                  Sharkbite 3/4" coupling around $9, propress $1.80, copper 3/4" coupling $.70

                  At $2200 for a tool to use Propress, forget it.

                  Sorry, but I'll stay with the tried, tested and true copper and not throw out the torch just yet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                    "Sharkbite 3/4" coupling around $9, propress $1.80, copper 3/4" coupling $.70"

                    But you need to factor in the cost of your torch, solder and flux, flux brushes, rags, and whatever else you use when soldering. Don't forget to refill that tank with MAPP, LP, or whatever your favorite fuel gas is. Agreed the real cost of sweat fittings is still lower, but I don't think it's as big a difference as $1.80 vice $0.70 once you add in all the hidden costs plus the additional labor time to install.

                    Both have their advantages in certain situations. I prefer to solder whenever possible, but I agree with Rick that a ProPress is certainly a tool you should have in your box.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                      Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                      "Sharkbite 3/4" coupling around $9, propress $1.80, copper 3/4" coupling $.70"

                      But you need to factor in the cost of your torch, solder and flux, flux brushes, rags, and whatever else you use when soldering. Don't forget to refill that tank with MAPP, LP, or whatever your favorite fuel gas is. Agreed the real cost of sweat fittings is still lower, but I don't think it's as big a difference as $1.80 vice $0.70 once you add in all the hidden costs plus the additional labor time to install.

                      Both have their advantages in certain situations. I prefer to solder whenever possible, but I agree with Rick that a ProPress is certainly a tool you should have in your box.
                      I forgot to mention...Ive tried the sharkbite...and Elkhart's "tectite".
                      Not for me...they have a tendency to weep when they get lateral pressure.

                      Torch refill is about $20, lasts pessimistically 100 fittings lets say...takes about 60 seconds to solder...another 60 to prep/flux....solder is $12 a roll and if memory serves thats about 50' in a roll
                      (600" divided by .75" per 3/4" seam...divide by 2 again for each fitting @ 400 fittings = $ .3 per fitting for solder)
                      Tub of flux $8 ...lets say it lasts for 100 fittings @ .8 per fitting.
                      Rags...well I go through tee shirts like crazy...they wind up in the garbage with or without being torn up and used for soldering.
                      per fitting = $1.08, and we figure about a minutes more time per fitting @ roughly $75 p/hour divided by 60 = $1.25.
                      all totalled = $2.02 for each 3/4" copper coupling.
                      At a difference of .32 per fitting thats a grand total of 6,875 3/4" propress fittings I'd need to have used just to break even on price.
                      I'm a complete wimp, if I'm not confident in something I worry about it after I leave the job...no price on that.
                      I'm a wee bit hesitant on anything that uses crimping...just thinking back to the days of PB.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                        Duck, there's a fine line between obessive compulsive and throrough. I think you just crossed it.
                        Last edited by gear junkie; 07-28-2007, 08:41 AM. Reason: mispell
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                          Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                          Duck, there's a fine line between obessive compulsive and through. I think you just crossed it.
                          Imagine bidding a contract for hundreds of units in a complex for a repiping job.
                          Bid too high, the other company gets the job...make one small mistake and that simple $100 loss per unit becomes thousands out of your pocket.
                          Thats what goes through the mind of any large company's owner...every little thing adds up over large quantites.
                          Thats why masters have to learn so much about buz math.
                          And...well, yes I'm compulsive.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                            duck, you're breaking it down worse than an irs auditor

                            the fact is that labor is the big cost. when i can assemble a 1/2''- 4'' fitting in 7 seconds total time to crimp. no torch, cleaning, fluxing, with or without 100% water off or dripping.

                            in new work, it doesn't take long to see the savings in labor.

                            in repair work the difference is tremendous. i have no problem making a joint with water still dripping. i've done 4'' and the time savings is out of this world. sure you pay more for the fittings, but the overall cost with labor is a tremendous savings.

                            when t-drilling came out in the 80's the savings was tremendous then too.

                            i do charge a fee for for the tool. just like i charge for soldering supplies. the owner makes out by my labor savings.

                            only a few contractors at my local supply houses buy propress. i'm 1 of the few. and i have done jobs for other plumbers since i own the tool. in fact a local co that builds restaurants, has their own propress and camera now.

                            i won't give you my money back guarantee like i do on the k-60. i already own 4 propresses. a 5th. one is not in the future sorry

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: pro press vs sharkbite

                              You meant audit. (I don't think Uncle Sam wants me auditioning my act...though it does sound good in the shower.)
                              I do my own books, so breaking things down to specific details is habit...especially on itemizing my quarterlies.
                              As for the propress, it's not the price per fitting, it's the tool.
                              I'm seeing all kinds of "new and improved" ways to connect water now, there are several types of crimps for PEX, as well as the expansion method that I trust the most on baseboard heat (I won't use PEX on high pressure), each requiring a tool thats anywhere from $125-$300 each.
                              There's all kinds of stuff at HD thats intended to attract the home owner who'd tried soldering and wants something easier. (soldering is damn easy when you know what yer doing)
                              Rick, it's the same here as far as plumbers that use propress...suppliers are trying to promote it, but we aren't biting...in all honesty it's mainly the cost of that tool, but also the lingering notion that next year propress will be outdated and you'll need a newer $2000 tool.
                              I know the argument with it being Ridgid...and I'll agree..Ridgid DOESN'T do that...that stay true to something they manufacture so you can get parts for years to come.
                              I think the major thing plumbers (here at least) are annoyed with is the way major MFG's seem to push products...often appeasing to the plumbers sense of "pride" by intimating we should pay big bucks for quality. (I squandered every dime I had as a kid on Calvin Klein and Izod)
                              The last time I watched a supply field sales rep try to "sell" propress was a few years ago...my boss (the owner) turned to me after he left and said "He thinks I'm intersted in anything thats expensive, new or bright and shiney...what an insult".
                              I agreed, the guy was kinda condescending when he wasn't impressed.
                              I'll tackle this also from a mechanical perspective...look at what happens to a 20 year old gate valve...the rubber seal goes and you have to tighten the packing nut to compensate...after a few times the packing nut won't tighten any more so you have to replace it.
                              Propress's seal is rubber...I imagine an entire water main put together with rubber for the seals...an issue of mechanical integrity comes to mind.
                              Ridgid is the end-all, do-all for plumbers as far as integrity is concerned, I just hope they keep that business strategy a priority rather than race for the short-term buck, because without that...they are just another MFG competing for consumer appeal.

                              Comment

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