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Can You Use Sharkbite Behind Walls? [And How To]

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Let's say you need to tackle a few plumbing issues in your house, or you've recently remodeled your bathroom and still have to finish the plumbing. What is the best way to do this? Can you use a Sharkbite behind the wall in your bathroom? Well, wonder no more because we have the answers for you!

SharkBite push fittings are certified for use on hidden walls but specific applications. You may want to check with your local plumbing codes before starting.

When you're ready to install a Sharkbite, you will need a PEX, copper, CPVC, deburr and gauge tool. From there:

  1. Cut your pipe as evenly as possible.
  2. Use the deburr and gauge tool to measure the insertion depth.
  3. Mark your pipe's depth accordingly.
  4. Push your piping according to its mark from step three.
  5. Perform a pressure test on the new Sharkbite system before sealing the wall.

Now that you have the basics down, we can discuss Sharkbite in greater detail. Whether you're a professional or a first-time DIY'er, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive into this post!

A collaged photo a man working on a pipe and sharkbite pipe fittings, Can You Use Sharkbite Behind Walls? [And How To]

How Do I Install A Sharkbite With Push-To-Connect Fittings?

SharkBite brass push-to-connect fittings make the progression between different types of pipe materials simple and flawless. The fittings can be placed in wet line areas without any special tools.

Because the fitting can be turned around after installation, making it a lot easier to position and install.

The SharkBite fittings are flexible and easy to work with pipes such as PEX, SDR-9 HDPE, CPVC, Copper, and PE-RT.

Here's are the steps to how to install SharkBite push-to-connect fittings:

  1. Grab all of the required materials.
  2. Cut the pipe smoothly/evenly using a tubing cutter (clean the pipe if needed).
  3. Measure your pipe using the Sharkbite gauge tool and mark the depth.
  4. Firmly push the fitting according to the depth markings you made.
  5. Test your new pipe by running water through it.
  6. If there is a leak, you will need to remove the pipe and start over.

For a visual of the above steps, watch this quick video below on YouTube:

Why Do Plumbers Say Not To Use SharkBite?

Criticisms are circulating among plumbing professionals about using SharkBite and other push-fitting methods. Nonetheless, some DIYers would refute and still prefer to use SharkBite push to connect fittings because it's convenient.

With that said, there are plenty of reasons plumbers disapprove of Sharkbite, which we'll dive into below:

SharkBite Drawbacks

  • It isn't durable and reliable enough.
  • It serves as a temporary solution and not as a long-term one.
  • It's costly and not ideal if you're on a tight budget.

Most experts recommend using the soldering method, not unless you're in a rush and for emergencies. However, many people still trust and use push-fit fittings that are just durable as soldering and can even be used in most plumbing system areas.

When choosing SharkBite, you have to be wise about it.

Can SharkBite Fittings Freeze?

No matter how much Sharkbite develops its products, it's still possible for them to freeze. Generally, you don't have to worry about Sharkbite products freezing, but that's not to say it won't ever happen.

Although Sharkbite promises their fittings are made to withstand freezing, customers occasionally report this. So to conclude, Sharkbite fittings aren't entirely freeze-proof.

How Can I Prevent My Sharkbite Pipes From Freezing?

If your Sharkbite pipes become non-responsive, chances are they are frozen. Luckily, you can take a few steps to fix/prevent this.

Let's check them out below:

  1. Allow the water to drain out of your Sharkbite pipe by opening the faucet/shut-off valve.
  2. If it's cold, don't leave your hose full of water, as this can cause freezing.
  3. Disconnect the hose and place it somewhere warm.
  4. You can also install a frost-free sillcock to keep your hose from freezing.
  5. Set your thermostat to a somewhat warm temperature through the winter.

View this frost-free sillcock on Amazon.

Can You Use Sharkbite On A Galvanized Pipe?

SharkBite fittings are designed to connect Copper, PEX, Polybutylene, and Carbon Steel piping in a fast, secure, and reliable manner. All fittings are demountable and can be used again if necessary.

However, the SharkBite push-to-connect fittings aren't meant to be used with galvanized pipes.

SharkBite makes a threaded to press-fit PEX to galvanized transition adaptor. You'll need to square-cut your galvanized pipe if you wish to rethread it.

Is SharkBite Better Than Soldering?

A SharkBite pipe on a white background

Soldering copper pipe has the upper hand, a more dependable alternative, especially for a professional. In contrast, SharkBite has a place and a solid reputation as long as they are installed correctly.

With all information on the internet, it can be challenging to choose and understand which is better.

We've accounted for some factors below that might help you figure out which is the best for your needs.

Level Of Experience

When deciding between SharkBite fittings and soldering your pipe, your level of experience is vital as soldering has a learning curve and is a job that is easy to execute poorly.

Whereas to SharkBite, a designed to install your plumbing system easily, is suitable for beginners.

Installation And Repair Location

SharkBite fittings have a higher failure rate than the pipe being soldered. Many plumbers are wary of using these in inaccessible locations, such as behind walls or underground.

In narrow and difficult-to-reach areas, however, push-to-connect fittings may be preferable.

It's unlikely that you'll be able to accomplish a decent solder if there isn't enough room around the fitting to get a good solder.

Your Budget

Another factor to consider when determining whether to solder your pipe or use a SharkBite fitting is the amount of money you're willing to spend. SharkBite fittings are notorious for their hefty cost; convenience is never free after all.

This would be the most cost-effective option if you already have the equipment and material needed to solder your fitting.

Otherwise, you'll need to purchase various materials to finish the work, which will far exceed the cost of the SharkBite fitting, especially if you only have one problem.

Are Compression Fittings Better Than SharkBite?

A copper sharkbite pipe fitting on a white background

To begin with, SharkBite is only a temporary solution. SharkBite fittings are simple to install on your own. However, they are rather costly.

On the other hand, compression fittings are incredibly inexpensive but require a long time to install. In addition, compression fitting is the way to go if you want something for longevity.

What Are Compression Fittings?

A compression fitting connects two pipes or a pipe to a fixture or valve. It is divided into the compression ring, compression nut, and compression seat.

The nut is tightened once the pipe is put into the fitting. When the nut is tightened, the compression ring is pushed into the seat and pressed against the tube and compression nut, creating a watertight connection.

To determine which is better, it always depends on your preferred fittings application suited to your need.

Why Do SharkBite Fittings Fail?

A SharkBite pipe on a white background

The Push fittings are swift, convenient, and simple to use applications, but they have some limitations.

SharkBite fittings might fail or leak because of these possible reasons:

  • The pipe is improperly installed.
  • You incorrectly inserted the pipe.
  • Not ensuring to cut your pipe squarely and neatly.
  • The pipe hasn't been cleaned or has openings/damage.

To Wrap It Up

Heating and assembling copper pipes

Installing a SharkBite behind your wall can be possible and easily done on your own. The most important thing to remember is to follow the SharkBite installation recommendation to ensure high quality and effective results.

Now that you have learned how to install SharkBite behind your wall and also insights into how properly install your SharkBite fittings application. We hope that the information we gathered is beneficial to you.

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