Introduction For Shark Bite
The Shark Bite plumbing system is a type of plumbing system. It uses designed push-to-connect fittings and valves for joining pipes together. These fittings are made of brass with a stainless steel grip ring. The EPDM O-ring creates a watertight seal when pushed onto a line. The system is designed to be quick and easy to install without special tools, soldering, or glue.
The Shark Bite plumbing system can be used for a variety of applications. It includes residential and commercial plumbing, radiant heating, and hydronic heating. Moreover, it is used for both hot and cold water applications.
The Shark Bite system has gained popularity in recent years. It is due to its ease of use, flexibility, and ability to save time and money on installation costs. Yet, following the manufacturer’s instructions is vital with any plumbing system. You also focus on local plumbing codes when installing and using Shark Bite fittings.
How Does It Work?
Shark Bite fittings work by utilizing a push-to-connect mechanism. This can create a secure, leak-free connection between two pipes or a pipe and a fixture. Here are the general steps to use Shark Bite fittings:
- Cut the pipe to the desired length using a pipe cutter. Make sure the cut is clean and free of burrs.
- Ensure the pipe end is clean and free of debris.
- Mark the insertion depth on the pipe with the Shark Bite depth gauge tool. This ensures the fitting is pushed onto the line to the correct depth.
- Push it onto the pipe until it reaches the insertion depth.
- Use the Shark Bite disconnect clip tool to remove the teeth and pull the fitting off the pipe.
They do not need any special tools, soldering, or glue. This makes them a choice for DIY plumbing projects. They are using SharkBite fittings to ensure a safe and reliable plumbing system.
How Do You Install Shark Bite Fittings?
Installing shark Bite fittings is a simple process. It does not require only a few essential tools. Here are the general steps to follow:
- Cut the pipe:
Cut the pipe to the desired length using a pipe cutter or a saw. Make sure the cut is clean and straight.
- Deburr the pipe:
Using a deburring tool, remove any rough or burr edges from the cut end of the pipe. This will help ensure a proper seal.
- Mark the insertion depth:
Use the shark Bite depth gauge tool or mark the insertion depth on the pipe with a permanent marker. This will ensure the tube is inserted into the fitting to the correct depth.
- Insert the pipe:
Push the pipe into the shark Bite fitting until it reaches the insertion depth mark or until the pipe is seated in the fitting.
- Check the connection:
Use the Shark Bite disconnect tool to verify that the pipe is fully fixed into the fitting. The device will release the shark Bite fitting if the pipe is not fully seated.
When to use shark bite fittings?
SharkBite fittings are a reliable option for connecting pipes in many applications. Yet, there are some situations where SharkBite fittings may not be the best choice. Here are some guidelines to aid you in deciding when to use SharkBite fittings and when to consider other options:
SharkBite fittings are an excellent choice for emergency repairs. You can use it in situations where you need to make a quick fix.
If you’re a DIYer, SharkBite fittings are an excellent option since they don’t need special installation tools or skills.
If you need to connect pipes temporarily, SharkBite fittings are a good choice. They can be easily installed and removed without damaging the pipe.
Copper, PEX, or CPVC pipes:
SharkBite fittings work well with;
- PEX and CPVC pipes.
This makes them a versatile choice for a wide range of applications.
When not to use SharkBite fittings:
This is not recommended for high-pressure applications, such as gas lines.
In-wall or underground installations:
In some locations, SharkBite fittings are not recommended for use in installations. They suggest where they will be hidden inside walls or buried underground. They are not as durable as traditional soldered or threaded fittings. Moreover, it is susceptible to damage from moisture or other environmental factors.
Old or corroded pipes:
SharkBite fittings need a clean and smooth surface to create a tight seal. If your pipes are old or corroded, the SharkBite fitting may not grip the pipe, which could result in leaks.
Large diameter pipes:
It is not recommended for use with pipes more significant than 2 inches in diameter. In general, SharkBite fittings are an excellent choice for many applications. Yet, it’s vital to consider the specific requirements of your project. Always consult a professional if unsure whether it is the right choice.
Can you use SharkBite fittings underground?
While SharkBite fittings can be used underground, it is generally not recommended for several reasons. SharkBite fittings are not as durable as traditional fittings. They may be more susceptible to damage from;
- soil movement
- And other environmental factors.
Underground installations are vulnerable to these issues. This may result in leaks or other problems.
SharkBite fittings are not designed to be buried in soil or backfill. If you need to use this for an underground installation, you must encase them in a protective sleeve. You can also use conduit to prevent damage. Ensure that they remain accessible for future repairs. Local plumbing codes may restrict the use of SharkBite fittings in underground installations. So it’s vital to check with your local building before installing this.
It is best to use traditionally soldered when making an underground pipe connection. These are designed for underground installations. These fittings are made from materials that are more durable and corrosion-resistant. They are engineered to withstand the unique challenges of subsurface environments.
How long do SharkBite fittings last?
SharkBite fittings are designed to provide a long-lasting and reliable connection between pipes. Yet, the lifespan of a SharkBite fitting can vary depending on several factors. It includes;
- material of the pipe
- specific application
- Conditions of the installation.
SharkBite fittings are generally designed to last the pipe’s lifetime and are backed by a 25-year warranty. This means that if the fitting fails due to a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer will replace the fitting or provide a refund. Yet, it’s important to note that the warranty does not include damage caused by;
- improper installation
- Use in high-pressure applications,
- Exposure to corrosive chemicals.
Proper installation and maintenance can provide a durable, leak-free connection for many years. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always use SharkBite fittings only in applications for which they are recommended. Additionally, regular inspection of the fittings and the pipes they connect can help identify any issues before they become more serious problems.
- One of the key benefits of the SharkBite system is its ease of use. This makes it an excellent option for homeowners who want to tackle their plumbing projects.
- Another advantage of the SharkBite system is its versatility. The fittings are easy to disconnect and reconnect. This makes it easy to make changes or repairs to the plumbing system without cutting and soldering pipes.
Major Problems with SharkBite Fittings
It is considered to be a reliable and convenient option for connecting pipes. There are a few potential problems that can occur with their use:
It can develop leaks if they are not properly installed or the pipes they connect are not clean and dry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a tight and secure connection.
- Compatibility issues:
While SharkBite fittings are designed to work with various pipe materials, they may not be compatible with all types of pipes or fittings. It’s vital to check the compatibility chart before using this with your pipes.
It is not recommended for use in high-pressure applications such as gas lines. Using this in these types of applications result in leaks or other problems.
It is not suitable for use in installations where they are exposed to the extreme;
- Corrosive chemicals.
It’s essential to consider the environmental factors of your installation when selecting fittings.
While SharkBite fittings are designed to provide a long-lasting connection, they may not be as durable as traditional fittings. This can concern installations where the fittings may be subject to stress or vibration.