Pro Picks/ SharkBite EvoPEX

Push-to-connect for new construction

There was many a leery plumber when SharkBite first hit the market. But push-to-connect fittings are here to stay, and that has everything to do with their incredible usefulness in the remodeling world. The ability to connect dissimilar pipes is huge, and there’s no way to connect a pipe faster because there’s no soldering, no clamps and no glue or tool required. The biggest shortcoming of push-to-connect fittings has been the cost, which has prevented them from storming the new construction scene.

SharkBite has addressed the cost issue with its new EvoPEX product, which was designed with new construction in mind. EvoPEX is similar to the original SharkBite push-to-connect fitting with a few differences: It only works with PEX (not CPVC and copper like the original SharkBites), and it can’t be disconnected like the originals. Fortunately, neither of these features matter much in new construction. What does matter is speed and price. EvoPEX has an indicator ring which eliminates the need to mark the pipe to ensure it’s been seated properly, making it even faster to install. And EvoPEX fittings cost about 35% less than the originals; again, new construction friendly. They won’t be stocked in home centers and are just hitting the plumbing supply houses now.