SharkBite Connectors: Do They Work?
LESLIE: Doug in Rhode Island is on the line with a question about a plumbing product called the SharkBite. Tell us what you’re working on, Doug.
DOUG: Yeah, I’m in the processes where I’m planning to change my two outside faucets to the type that – where the actual shutoff is a foot within the house, inside the house, to avoid having to shut down everything in the winter, because it’ll drain from a foot inside the house. I’m not sure what they call that mechanism but I’m thinking rather than have to deal with soldering any pipes in tight quarters, I’m thinking of using the SharkBite plumbing product that eliminates any soldering. And so I basically want your opinion on that.
TOM: Yeah, that’s a push-to-connect fastener and basically, you press it onto one end of the pipe and you press the pipe into the other end and it makes a permanent, watertight seal. It’s a very popular product for that reason because you don’t have to solder. And if you think about it, a lot of times when you do install hose-bib valves – that’s basically what you’re talking about here: you want a hose disconnect inside, say, the floor structure of your basement, for example, or a crawlspace – that’s a tough spot to have to crawl into or reach up into and solder. You’re right near the wood floor joists. It’s potentially unsafe. So I think the SharkBite is a perfect tool for that – a perfect product for that.
And by the way, if you mess up, you can take them apart. There’s a special tool that you need. It’s called a “tong” and it’s shaped so that it slips into the SharkBite connection and releases the mechanism that holds the pipe. And then you can take it apart. And it’s only a few dollars. And I’m sure that if you did enough of this, you’d want to pick one up because nobody’s perfect every day.
DOUG: Does it just work forever or does it wear out somehow?
TOM: Not that I’ve heard of. It’s kind of like the Chinese finger puzzle but it’s stronger.
DOUG: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
TOM: Once you press the pipes together, you can’t really get them apart.
DOUG: Yeah, yeah. I just think it’s a – I know they were maybe a little more pricey than using solder and fittings but it seems like a more practical application. And as you mentioned, being in a tight spot.
TOM: Yeah. And a lot less expensive than a house fire.
DOUG: Yeah. Right. OK. I appreciate your time.