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I felt like a contortionist mole working under the house in the crawlspace. It is not a very hospitable place to work. Rats and squirrels seemed to like the place though. One or both had stripped the insulation of the duct work and created several nests. I removed several rat carcasses and squirrel tails and other debris from the crawlspace and got to work. The work list included, fix 4 leaks in water pipes , insulate the floor, add vapor barrier, remove antiquated heat and air (HVAC), install and connect new HVAC.

Once the debris was removed I laid down a heavy sheet of plastic for a vapor barrier and added craft faced R13 fiberglass batts between the floor joists. Ideally I would have added another 6 inches of insulation and added foam board to the knee wall to fully insulate the crawlspace,but all of this can be added any time.

Next I started on the plumbing. While at Home Depot picking up plumbing supplies, a knowledgeable clerk suggested I try repairing the leaks with Pex tubing and Shark Bite connectors. The advantage of these product is that you don’t need glue or solder to install. You simply cut out the leaking areas and snap in the Shark Bite fix. This first fix replaced a cracked galvanized elbow. I had to replace this repair with a copper line due to a small leak. The short run of PEX between the 2 Shark Bite connectors was in s slight bind and would not allow the O-rings to seal properly. I used the Shark Bite to run a water supply to the refrigerator but that was the only place I ended up keeping this product. The rest of the leaks i repia4red by sweating in new copper tubing. Once the leaks were repaired I insulated the entire water line to try and keep the pipes from freezing in the future.

I think I’ll wait a few years to see how the Shark Bite water line to the refrigerator performs before I use the product again. In the short run water line repairs are a snap with this product. If the repairs are permanent it would be worth the added expense of this product. If the repairs don’t last it is a waste of time and money. I’ll hold judgment for the time being.

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