Do I have to use SharkBite press fittings to assemble the flow meter

Hi guys. I have a question

I planning on installing the flow meter connected to 1" copper after a backflow preventer. I looked in the instructions for this type of setup and rachio recommended use of SharkBite press fittings. I looked up a lot of information about this particular type of fittings, and the use of SharkBite type fittings are very controversial. The possible corrosion of the rubber O-rings could lead to leakage. There are no “Rachio Pros” available in my area as searched by Zip Code (suburb outside of Chicago) - but the plumbers I spoke with all recommended not to use SharkBite type style of fittings. Is it absolutely critical to use this type of fitting to connect the flow meter?

My guess is they want Sharkbite because heat is an issue so you can’t solder near the sensor lest you damage it.

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You aren’t supposed to glue the flow meter since there is a chance that the solvent cements can damage the components, so there really isn’t any other options. I can assure you though that Sharkbite (or generic brands) are more than capable of permanent use.

No glue, ever! :smile:


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Hmm not exactly sure if my questions is being answered specifically. I just wondered if there were any other workable and viable options as compared to the sharkbite method.

@kevdog - if the Wireless Flow meter is made out of ABS (plastic) material and one is not supposed to glue it (several reasons here ABS vs PVC and messing with the laminar flow, etc.) and the installation you’re requesting is using copper how would you propose joining the ABS based flow meter to the copper pipe?

I used the Orbit PVC Lock fittings (similar to SharkBite) to connect my underground PVC pipe to the wireless flow meter and I haven’t seen any issues.

Is the proposed installation inside or outside?

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Thank for help

First I want to make it clear I’m not a plumber by any means so I’m just gathering thoughts. The reason I’m asking this question is because of the rubber gasket within the Sharkbite connectory. Some have speculated that long term exposure to chlorine – which is in the US water supply – will eventually corrode the gasket leading to possible leakage from the fitting. I’m not sure the prevalance of this concern, however there are many videos on youtube that tend to address these concerns - hence my reason for asking.

My current installation wound be made in a basement past the backflow preventer with 1" copper pipe. Clearly the recommended method of joining the flow meter to the copper pipe is to use the Sharkbite fittings. I’m just inquiring if there is another alternate method – specifically one that may not include a rubber gasket and one that would not damage the flow meter during installation. I saw another post on the forums about replacement of the flow meter where original fittings were sharkbites. In this method, yet another sharkbite fitting needed to be applied in a different portion of the pipe, to allow for sliding of the original fitting to allow for replacement. I’m not sure the lifespan of this particular flowmeter, however considerations about future replacement is definitely a concern as with any technology. I also wanted to avoid damage of the flow meter during installation and avoid leaks if possible. My current setup is open, however if the basement is finished, most likely the pipe will be put behind drywall. Most of the recommendations regarding SharkBite fittings suggest never put these behind drywall or a location you don’t have access to at least through a panel door.

Thanks for any suggestions. It would helpful if there a proinstaller in my area to bounce questions like these to, however unfortunately this isn’t an available option.

Sorry @franz that was supposed to be aren’t supposed to use glue…I’ll change!

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@kevdog - A couple of other things to consider for the installation:

  1. The batteries will need to be changed in the flow meter every couple of years, so there should be an open panel to access the flow meter. Just twist the meter around to get to the battery compartment, removal from the pipe isn’t required. Leave enough room from the flow meter to any solid wall to allow it to rotate. I’m assuming the Rachio controller is in the basement too - if not there may be an issue with the flow meter signal getting to the Rachio.

  2. If there isn’t flexibility in the water line, say a 90 degree elbow close by that can provide the insertion depth movement then one may need to use the slip fitting version. The other option, that I think I’ve seen someone use here on the community, is to place a union fitting on each side of the Sharkbite so that the whole unit can be removed by undoing the union fitting on each side. However, the union fittings would require soldering to get them on the copper pipe.

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