Updated On

April 4, 2023

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    Are you having problems with plumbing? If you are, SharkBite fittings are generally reliable for repairs. However, these fittings also have common problems that plumbers come across from time to time.

    In this article, you will be reading about how SharkBite fittings work, what they’re compatible with, and also a few tips to help you with their installation. 

    • SharkBite fittings are push-to-connect fittings used in plumbing that are time-saving, simple to install, and dependable.
    • SharkBite fittings are dependable and are capable of producing strong connections.
    • Most professionals prefer to solder unless they need a quick remedy, however some people think that push-to-fit fittings are equally as durable as soldering and that they may be used in any portion of the plumbing system.

    What Are SharkBite Fittings And How Do They Work?

    SharkBite fittings are push-to-connect fittings used in plumbing. Many plumbers have recently switched from welding a copper pipe with a soldering torch to SharkBite fittings. This is because they are time-saving, simple to install, and dependable.

    Additionally, SharkBite fittings are straightforward to use. You insert a tube far enough into the fitting to get hold of the pipe. The watertight seal is created by the O-ring seal within.

    They also are reusable. Remember that it may scratch the pipe each time you use one on a plastic one. The pipe will circumvent the seal inside the fitting if the scratches are deep enough, causing a leak. Yes, they can be reused, but do so with caution.

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    Its installation process is rather simple. A tube stiffener or an insert is found within a SharkBite fitting. When you push in the tubing with PEX, ensure it fits. 

    SharkBite provides a tool that deburrs the pipe’s end, ensuring that your pipe is cut evenly. If the pipe’s end has a sharp tip, it could lacerate the O-ring seal or take a chunk out of it.

    Are SharkBite Fittings Reliable?

    SharkBite fittings are dependable and fantastic for emergency repairs. Despite being approved behind walls and underground, soldering pipes may be better if these fittings leak. It’s critical to maintain their visibility and accessibility. 

    On the other hand, Leaks are almost often the result of poor installation, in our experience. SharkBite fittings are dependable and are capable of producing strong connections.

    What are SharkBite Fittings Compatible With?

    Fittings made of PEX, copper, CPVC, PE-RT, or HDPE work well with SharkBite fittings. It is simple to install and remove on hot and cold water lines and does not require special tools.

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    They’re even suitable for installation in small places. SharkBite fittings can also endure temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures of up to 200 PSI.

    Additionally, they’re corrosion-resistant thanks to their brass body, and they’re approved for underground and behind-the-wall applications with no access panels (wrapping necessary when burying underground).

    When Should You Use SharkBite?

    Most skilled plumbers agree that SharkBite fittings and other types of push-to-fit fittings should only be used as a last-resort, emergency fix and not as part of a permanent or enclosed plumbing system.

    However, an increasing number of do-it-yourselfers believe that this is not the case. These homeowners claim that SharkBite fittings are as durable as soldering.

    Most plumbers say SharkBite fittings aren’t strong enough to produce durable, reliable, long-lasting connections. Despite the absence of evidence, they continue to rely on soldering for their long-term plumbing projects. Thus, finding a firm that uses push-to-fit fittings can be difficult.

    So, when should you use SharkBite or a similar push-to-fit fitting? Most professionals prefer to solder unless they need a quick remedy. Some people, however, think that push-to-fit fittings are equally as durable as soldering and that they may be used in any portion of the plumbing system. It’s all a matter of personal taste.

    Tips On Properly Installing SharkBite

    If you have trouble installing sharkBite, here are a few tips to help you with the installation process.

    Don’t Rush The Process

    Take your time when installing SharkBite and other fittings into the end of the pipes. If you cram them in too abruptly, the O-ring may be damaged, resulting in a leaking pipe.

    Use a Deburring tool and Gauge Tool

    If you see some burrs on the end of the pipe, the O-ring may be damaged. A gauge and deburring are handy in this situation.

    The deburring tool performs a fantastic job of polishing the pipe’s end. Meanwhile, the gauge determines the depth at which the pipeline should be inserted.

    Avoid Using A Hacksaw To Cut Your Pipes

    Cutting your pipes with a Hacksaw is never a good idea. A tubing cutter is what you’ll need. When using any type of push-to-fit fitting, a clean, smooth cut is required to keep the pipeline leak-free.

    It’s FIne If Your Pipes Are Not Fully Dry

    Your pipes don’t need to be completely dry before you can use push-to-fit fittings. If you’re in a rush, switch the water off, drain as much as possible, and then you can connect your pipes.

    Double-Check Your Fittings

    Check to see if your SharkBite or other types of fittings are completely inserted. To understand more about how far you should insert your fittings into the pipe, read the manufacturer’s instructions.

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    Be wary of the nuts at the ends of your SharkBites, whether they are “twist and lock” fittings. These nuts should be tightened to ensure that it is completely secure.

    The Bottomline

    As stated earlier, it all comes down to what you prefer to do with your plumbing project. Though it’s good to remember these tips to help guide you.

    If you are still uncertain of what to do, you can always contact a professional to help you. You can either ask for some advice or hire them to do the work for you.

    Editorial Contributors
    Matt Greenfield

    Matt Greenfield

    Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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    Roxanne Downer


    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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