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How to Use SharkBite Fittings

Installing and repairing plumbing in your home can be a tiresome, messy, and even expensive job. Traditional methods use tools such as adhesives, crimpers, and solders to repair, replace, or install your plumbing system. While these methods and tools may be more time tested and traditional, they can also be smelly, expensive, painstaking, and even hazardous to do yourself if you’re not a plumber. Luckily, modernity has invented the SharkBite fitting, which is the answer to your painstaking plumbing problems. If you’re a DIY homeowner and don’t have the skill set or patience to do your plumbing the old-fashioned way, read on to learn more about SharkBite fittings and how best to use them. With only a few basic tools, you can install SharkBite fittings in a manner of minutes with little to no expertise or mess. SharkBite fittings are also easy to keep around the house for future repairs without taking up too much space. Add a spare SharkBite to your box of spare parts for your home; you won’t regret it.

What Are SharkBite Fittings?

So, with all this talk of SharkBites, what’s a SharkBite fitting anyway? SharkBite fittings are an easy-to-use push-to-connect part for plumbing fittings. These simple fittings provide an easy and dependable way to connect PEX, copper, CPVC, HDPE, or PE-RT pipes in any combination. The good news is you won’t need solders, clamps, unions, or glue. Even professional plumbers have put down their solders and opted for SharkBite fittings to make their jobs easier. This being said, you don’t need any professional skills to use one of these fittings. This push-to-connect technology is specifically designed to make plumping easier, and with a few simple maneuvers, the fitting is clicked into place and secured to make an ideal plumbing part.

When to Use SharkBite Fittings

SharkBite fittings are commonly used for household plumbing systems. They are suitable for using in potable water plumbing fittings and radiant heat installations. While they technically could work, SharkBite fittings are not certified or recommended for use with oil, gas, or any other substance, so we recommend using them only as intended. Lasting for typically 25 years with regular use, SharkBite fittings are also easy to swap out when the time comes to replace them with a new one. SharkBites are designed for use within walls, but with proper preparation, they can also be used for underground plumbing systems by wrapping them to keep out moisture and dirt. For in-wall fittings, be sure to have a panel nearby to access them easily if something goes awry.

How to Use SharkBite Fittings

Now that you’re convinced that SharkBite fittings are the answer to some of your home plumbing problems, how do you use them? Luckily, you don’t need any special tools to use or install SharkBite fittings. However, it is always helpful to have a deburring and gauge tool to help deburr and measure the length of the pipe. For the SharkBite fitting to work well, you want to be sure that the pipe is cut square, deburred, and free from any other debris before installing.

First, you’ll want to cut the pipe you’re installing in the SharkBite fitter with a pipe cutter. Use the deburring tool to remove any burrs from the end of the pipe. Be sure the pipe is flush and cut with no debris, cracks, or deformations. It’s important to check the pipe for any deformations that could cause big problems or leakages later. Similarly, inspect your SharkBite fitting carefully for any obstructions, damages, or debris to prevent any problems later.
If you’re working with copper or CPVC water lines and your local code prohibits the use of support collars, remove the PVX support collar from the SharkBite fitting. To do this, use needle-nose pliers to pull out the support collar while depressing the SharkBite release ring.

Next, measure 1 inch up from the cut side of the pipe and mark that line with a pencil to help you more easily install the fitting. Hold the SharkBite fitting and push the pipe into the fitting with a twisting motion with your other hand until you hear a “click.” This “click” signifies that the SharkBite is properly attached. Just check that your pencil mark is lined up or flush with the edge of the release ring on the SharkBite fitting. If you need to, push the pipe further into the fitting.

That’s all! Just as with any other water work, connect your water supply in the same way and check along the piping to be sure there are no leaks. If you do find leaking, use the SharkBite release tool to depress the release ring and pull out the pipe with a twisting motion. Inspect the pipe for any debris or damage, clean the fitting, and replace in the same way.
And just like that, you’re all done! SharkBite fittings are easy to use for any DIY homeowner, even if you’re not the plumbing expert.

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.