SharkBite fittings are a patented product used by homeowners all over. If you don’t know what SharkBite fittings are, these remarkable devices join copper, CPVC, or PEX pipes together without the use of solder, glue, or even clamps. In fact, these fittings have little stainless steel teeth that clam down onto the inserted pipe. Once they clamp down, these fittings create a tight, waterproof seal. However, if your SharkBite fittings are leaking, then you know that there’s a problem, and they should be fixed as soon as possible.

A bad seal may be why your SharkBite fitting is leaking

SharkBite fittings are designed to create a leak-proof seal. When a SharkBite fitting does leak, the first thing you’ll want to do is see if the pipe is connected to the fitting correctly. By disconnecting and reconnecting the pipe, you may fix the problem. Because SharkBite fittings have little stainless steel teeth on the inside, you’ll have to remove them with a specialty tool that can be purchased at most home improvement stores. If you don’t have this tool, and you don’t want to spend the money on it, there’s another way.

Equip yourself with an adjustable wrench. Slip it over the pipe you’re trying to remove and place your wrench so it’s resting against the cufflink of the fitting. Now, you’ll want to place two fingers in the middle of the fitting while still holding your wrench in place. Pinch your fingers and the wrench together. The idea here is to push in the cufflink. By pressing in the cufflink, the steel teeth on the inside will release, and you’ll be able to pull your pipe out. Here is a video on how to remove a SharkBite fitting.

Once you have removed the pipe, inspect both the end and the inside of it for damage. You’ll also want to inspect the fitting as well. If you don’t see anything wrong, reinsert the pipe into the fitting. Although you don’t need a tool to do this, the SharkBite Deburr and Gauge Tool will help you deburr and measure the depth of the pipe. The recommended length you should insert your pipe into the fitting is a 15/16-inch insertion depth for a ½-inch pipe. It works best if you mark the length with a permanent marker for accuracy.

If you didn’t already know, before you can insert your pipe, the end of it must have already been deburred, curt perfectly square, and be free of debris. Any of these issues could potentially cause your fitting to have a weak seal, and if you have a weak seal, your fitting will eventually leak water.

Another thing that can cause a bad seal is painting your pipes. The dried paint can press up against the cufflink part of the fitting and cause the seal to weaken and leak water. To fix this issue, you’ll want to turn off your home’s water and then disconnect the pipe from the fitting.

Once the pipe has been disconnected, remove all the paint near the end of the pipe with a quality paint stripper. Most home improvement stores have a wide array of options. Sand paper also works well, but it requires a little elbow grease. Once you have removed the paint, you can then insert your pipe back into the fitting and turn your home’s water source back on.

Other issues than can cause your SharkBite fittings to leak

If your SharkBite fitting is still leaking, then there may be something wrong with the fitting itself. Remove both the pipes inserted into the fitting and inspect it. Look inside the fitting to see if the O-ring is damaged or missing all together. If it is, you’ll need to replace the fitting with a new one. However, the good news is that each SharkBite fitting comes with a 25-year limited warranty. If you have questions or need further assistance, you can contact SharkBite at 1-(888)-700-4242 for U.S. residents and 1-(888)-820-0120 for Canada residents.

Another issue that could be causing your fitting to leak is a deformed pipe. Overtime, your pipes can become deformed due to your basic wear and tear in addition to extreme temperatures and overuse. If you do notice that your pipes are deformed, then you’ll want to replace them right away. A deformed pipe inserted into a fitting will more than likely result in a weak seal and eventually the leaking of water.

Kevin L. Sharp

Kevin L. Sharp

He began his career in plumbing at the age of 14 while still in high school. Kevin Sharp has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Illinois State University.
Kevin L. Sharp
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