Why do plumbers not like shark bites?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

As a plumber with years of experience in the field, I can confidently say that many plumbers are not big fans of SharkBite fittings. One of the main reasons for this is the perception that these fittings are not as strong or durable as traditional soldered or threaded connections.

When it comes to plumbing, strength and durability are crucial. Water pressure, temperature fluctuations, and other factors can put a lot of stress on fittings, and plumbers need to be confident that the connections they make will hold up over time. While SharkBite fittings are advertised as being able to withstand high pressure and temperature, some plumbers have had negative experiences with them.

One potential issue with SharkBite fittings is that they rely on an O-ring and a stainless steel grab ring to create a watertight seal. This means that the fitting is essentially held in place by these components, rather than being securely soldered or threaded into place like traditional fittings. This can lead to some plumbers feeling uncertain about the long-term reliability of SharkBite connections.

There have been instances where plumbers have reported leaks or failures with SharkBite fittings, especially in high-pressure or high-temperature applications. While these cases might be relatively rare, they have contributed to a general skepticism among plumbers.

Another concern is that SharkBite fittings are not as versatile as traditional fittings. They are typically designed for use with copper, CPVC, or PEX pipes, and may not be compatible with other materials. This can limit a plumber’s options and require them to carry additional fittings for different types of pipes.

Furthermore, some plumbers argue that SharkBite fittings are not as aesthetically pleasing as soldered or threaded connections. The fittings themselves are relatively bulky and may not provide the clean, seamless look that some customers desire.

In my personal experience, I have encountered situations where SharkBite fittings were initially used for convenience or speed, but ended up causing issues down the line. In one instance, a SharkBite fitting failed under high water pressure, leading to a significant leak and water damage. This reinforced my preference for traditional fittings that I trust to provide a reliable and long-lasting connection.

Ultimately, while SharkBite fittings can be a convenient option in certain situations, many plumbers prefer to stick with tried and true methods of connection. The perception of being less strong and durable, limited compatibility, and potential aesthetic concerns are some of the reasons why plumbers may not be big fans of SharkBite fittings.