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• Manufactured by Cash Acme • 877-700-4242; www.sharkbite.com • Cost of 1/2-in. straight connector: about $5.50 Not just for repairs. SharkBite fittings slide onto the end of a pipe and make a watertight seal, but they aren’t limited to emergency use. They are approved for below-ground use and for permanent plumbing connections without the need for access panels. I wasn’t too worried when I accidentally pierced a water pipe during a recent basement-remodel project. After all, it was only a slow trickle of water, and my skills with solder and a torch are at least passable. I pulled back the fiberglass insulation to assess the damage and was dismayed to find PEX tubing. I had never installed this stuff before, so I didn’t have the fittings and crimpers I needed to make connections or repairs. To make matters worse, the only way to stop the flow of water through the pipe was to shut off the valve near the well pump. As the slow trickle gained speed, I had to admit defeat and call a plumber. To my surprise, the plumber didn’t show up with a bag of barbed brass fittings, steel collars, or…
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