Myth vs. Fact: A Closer Look at SharkBite Behind the Wall & Underground

SharkBite fittings are certified for use in concealed spaces and are a trusted solution for a variety of plumbing applications.

Plumber installing SharkBite fittings behind the wall

When you’re in the field, you don’t have time to worry about whether or not your equipment will stand up to the job -- especially if you’re plumbing behind a wall or underground. With hundreds of products and solutions to choose from, and just as many opinions from your industry peers about the right way to plumb, it can be challenging to figure out which method will work best for you.

As innovations are developed constantly in the plumbing industry, more and more contractors rely on the efficiency, versatility and durability of SharkBite fittings. With more than 1.5 million connections made each week, SharkBite has quickly become a trusted solution for a variety of applications. Every now and then, we get questions about proper installation and performance of SharkBite fittings in concealed spaces. In this article, we’ll address common concerns regarding SharkBite in these applications, and dispel some of the myths you may hear in the field.

 

Myth: “SharkBite fittings are only good for short term repairs and need to be replaced by permanent connections.”

Fact: SharkBite fittings are approved by the Uniform Plumbing Code and International Plumbing Code for permanent installation. Properly installed SharkBite fittings provide permanent connections, backed by a 25-year warranty against any manufacturer’s defect as long as the item has been installed according to  installation instructions and compliant with local code. SharkBite Universal fittings are specifically designed to ensure permanent connection, and aren’t intended to be disconnected and reconnected repeatedly. In fact, the only way to properly remove SharkBite Universal fittings is to use the SharkBite disconnect tongs and disconnect clips.


Myth: “Don’t trust an o-ring seal in concealed space.”

Fact: Contractors who use SharkBite find it to be a dependable and safe solution in concealed spaces, including behind the wall and underground. For example, Clint McCannon, owner of Cannon Plumbing, used SharkBite PEX and EvoPEX to repipe an entire home, with no concern about failed fittings or leaks. “I can put SharkBite fittings behind drywall, tile or beneath the floor and not have to worry about it,” he said about the installation. “I can sleep at night and I know my customers can, too.” Here’s the full case study on McCannon’s project.

Another example of SharkBite’s behind-the-wall dependability comes from Larry Jones, Owner and President of Universal Plumbing. When his crew renovated the plumbing in a 1950’s home, they chose SharkBite Universal and PEX to do the job. Not only did the no-tools solution make the team’s job easier, but they finished their project ahead of schedule and didn’t have to look back. Contractor, Tim Redd said, “In the years I have used SharkBite, we’ve yet to have one fail. They’ve always served us well in what we’ve done.” Read the complete case study to learn more about his team’s success using SharkBite in a variety of applications.



Myth: “SharkBite isn’t approved for underground and behind-the-wall applications.”

Fact: SharkBite fittings are IAPMO tested and approved for behind-the-wall and underground applications. Current IAPMO R&T Listing (File No. 4630), states:

“Push fit fittings can be utilized in underground applications and as manufactured joints without access panels. To be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the latest edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code and the National Plumbing Code of Canada.”

Read the full IAPMO R&T Product Listing here.

Other SharkBite certifications include: ASSE 1061, NSF/ANSI 61, NSF/ANSI 14 and NSF/ANSI 372. Additionally, SharkBite fittings comply with the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), National Plumbing Code of Canada and the International Plumbing Code (IPC). See your local plumbing codes for specific applications.

For more information on SharkBite products, check out our FAQs.

 

By Morgan Evans, RWC Brand Journalist

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