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Guide to Using SharkBite Underground

Contractor installing a SharkBite fitting underground with PEX pipe.

Pros often ask: Can SharkBite fittings be used underground? The answer is yes— if installed properly. 

To help you understand how to use push fittings for underground use, we break down the important burial guidelines for SharkBite push-to-connect and EvoPEX fittings. You’ll also discover the common causes of underground repairs and how push-to-connect fittings could transform your burial process. 

Are SharkBite Brass Push-to-Connect Fittings Safe for Underground Use? 

Installing or repairing pipes underground involves digging, cutting, draining and making connections. Add traditional installation methods to the mix — solder, solvents, glues — and you add even more time and materials to the job. But SharkBite push-to-connect fittings simplify the process while providing quick, code-approved installations whether you’re repairing a leak or installing outdoor systems.

SharkBite push-to-connect fittings offer many advantages over traditional methods for underground plumbing installations. You can install them in wet lines, even under full flow, unlike glue and solder.  

They are tested and approved by IAPMO for underground use when wrapped, as certified by ASSE 1061. They are made of corrosion-resistant lead-free brass and feature an EPDM o-ring and a stainless steel 316 grab ring. These contribute to the strength and durability of the fittings.  

SharkBite Max fittings also have a new stainless-steel collar that adds reinforcement. Compatible with multiple pipe types — PEX, copper, CPVC, PE-RT and SDR-9 HDPE — they give you more flexibility for underground pipe connections and repairs.   

How to Properly Use SharkBite Fittings Underground 

The key to the perfect underground installation — one that will help the connection last — is wrapping the fitting with silicone wrap. Any SharkBite fitting containing brass must be wrapped when buried because of the different ground conditions that might affect the pipes and fittings.

Simply pull, stretch and wrap the silicone tape over the fitting. To ensure a proper seal, overlap the tape by 1 in. past the end of the fitting on each end and ¼ - ½ in. across the fitting. Completely cover the fitting by pulling the tape tight and removing the protective film. The tape will bond to itself within minutes and will cement itself within a few hours, creating a barrier from potential soil contaminants. 


Wrapping in silicone is required for two reasons:

  1. By doing so, it saves you from having to play detective for soil contaminants.
  2. It also gives you warranty protection. SharkBite brass push-to-connect fittings have a 25-year warranty, but that will not apply if the installation isn’t completed properly. So that means wrap it up!

Read More: How to Wrap SharkBite Fittings for Underground Installation

Watch SharkBite How To: Silicone Wrap on YouTube.

Can You Use SharkBite EvoPEX Fittings Underground? 

SharkBite EvoPEX fittings are designed for use with PEX tubing and create permanent connections that can be rotated after assembly. A green indicator on the fitting lets you know when you’ve inserted the tubing to the proper depth, reducing the risk of initial installation errors.

EvoPEX fittings are certified for use underground without wrapping and have a 10-year warranty when buried.  

However, any EvoPEX fittings containing brass components should be wrapped, such as: 

Always remember to take proper care of your EvoPEX fittings by keeping the fittings free from debris and by storing them in their sealed bags prior to use to avoid drying out the o-ring. 

EvoPEX underground wrap infographic

Common Causes of Underground Repairs 

Pipes are buried to protect them and keep them out of the way of everyday life. Still, in any given region, there are many threats to underground systems that may require your plumbing services to repair water leaks and broken pipes.

Some common causes for underground pipe repairs are:

Corrosion. Not wrapping metal pipes can have dire consequences. Variable soil and environmental conditions can corrode metal pipes or fittings. PEX piping provides a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative.  

Read more: The Sustainability of PEX vs. Copper

Intruding tree roots and pests. Just like in your home, plumbing systems can experience unwanted guests. Tree roots and pests can shift or tunnel into pipes, causing damage that requires system repairs.

Ground freezing or thawing. Burying pipe protects it from freezing, which can cause it to crack or burst. If you live in a location where freezing is common, PEX tubing may be the most appropriate pipe choice because it is more freeze-resistant than rigid pipe. Generally, pipes should be buried 12 in. below the frost line, but be sure to check your local code for the proper soil depth.

Natural disasters. Flooding, tornadoes and earthquakes can cause shifts in the ground that damage pipes.

Improper initial installation. Sometimes mistakes can happen during an initial plumbing installation. Small errors on the job site can require repairs for days or years down the road.

Wear and tear. Sometimes, pipes simply get old. All plumbing systems, no matter their materials, will expire at some point.

Regardless of the reason for repair, SharkBite can help you make fast, secure connections underground with push-to-connect fittings that take seconds to install.

Read More: Plumber uses SharkBite fitting to fix underground pipe leak 

Key Takeaways

  1. SharkBite push-to-connect fittings can be buried and offer a strong, durable connection if the fittings are wrapped with our silicone wrap.  
  2. SharkBite EvoPEX fittings are safe to bury underground without wrapping, but if they include brass components, they must be wrapped.  
  3. Be aware of common causes to underground pipe repairs and take the proper precautions. Use SharkBite fittings to quickly and easily secure broken pipes caused by corrosion, natural disasters, tree roots and more.  

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