Why Do Plumbers Hate SharkBite And Is It Reliable?

A lot of plumbers look for a way to connect pipes when they are working on a particular project. SharkBite fittings are a great way or medium to get that job done on your plumbing fittings. 

They make the whole thing much easy and quick for you.

But the real question is, why do plumbers hate SharkBite? 

I mean, if they are so convenient and beneficial, what makes the plumbers hate them? That’s what I will be discussing with you here today. So, if you are curious about the same thing, stick with me till the end of this.

Reasons For Plumbers To Hate Towards SharkBite

plumbers hate Sharkbite

While a lot of plumbers may recommend SharkBite fittings and use them, some of them also hate it. Usually, there are several reasons for that. 

Let’s get through them to get an idea of whether they are truly something to hate, or is it just personal preferences that lead them to hate SharkBite.

  • Training and Licensing

Professionally trained plumbers have invested years mastering proper techniques for measuring, cutting, deburring, cleaning, fluxing, soldering, and gluing pipe joints. Mastering these specialized skills is challenging, but critical for creating reliable water delivery systems.

SharkBite fittings circumvent most of this process. Their speed and simplicity can trivialize the efforts plumbers undertake to gain expertise. Some see the growth of push-to-connect fittings as devaluing the specialized plumbing skillset.

  • Code Compliance Concerns

While SharkBite fittings comply with codes for residential potable water systems, many experienced plumbers remain unconvinced of longevity compared to soldered copper joints. They raise valid concerns about potential for leaks over decades of use.

  • They Aren’t That Durable Or Long-Lasting

To be honest, SharkBite fitting life expectancy is known to be one of the major concerns with this thing.

They don’t last for a long time, and you face issues with them sooner than you would think. 

This is the core reason that a lot of plumbers hate using the SharkBite fitting in their plumbing work.

Now, when plumbers use such a tool, they immediately become an unreliable choice. As a result, not many want to take that risk, and they end up hating it.

  • They Are Okay For Temporary Fixes, Not Permanent Ones 

Well, if you are struggling with a plumbing issue and need a solution in urgency, SharkBite can be a good option. However, if you are dealing with something serious that can be a long-lasting issue, I would say this isn’t the perfect pick.

Because according to a lot of plumbers, the SharkBite fittings can’t provide the same level of strength as soldering. So, even if they can keep things together for a while, they can’t have that same impact in the long run.

That’s why a lot of the plumbers out there hate the solution when trying to fix a permanent issue with the plumbing.

  • Hidden Flaws and Failures

The inner o-ring seal makes it impossible to inspect SharkBite joints after assembly. A faulty insertion can seem secure initially but lead to leaks or joint failure over time.

With soldered or glued joints, faulty applications usually fail immediately. Their external leaks at least provide warning of an issue.

SharkBites also carry the risks of fitting separation or blowouts under pressure surges. Their joint strength relies entirely on the o-ring friction seal rather than fixed mechanical restraints.

Sudden temperature changes in water or accidental compressed air introduction during repairs could compromise many concealed joints.

  • Proprietary Dependence

SharkBites’ specialized fittings and tools create owner dependence and service issues. Many plumbers view them as a temporary workaround rather than permanent solution.

Their unique fittings don’t interface with common plumbing components should repairs become necessary. Specialized tools also add cost barriers for extensive use.

  • There Are Cheaper Options
SharkBite Fittings

I mean, when you have cheaper solutions, why would you go for something expensive, right?

This is one logic some plumbers provide as a reason for hating on SharkBite. 

These fittings are usually quite expensive compared to the other solutions that you can try out.

Because of this, plumbers try to avoid this one as a solution over other cheaper options.

Having cheaper options lets them work at lower prices, which is what a lot of clients love to have. This enables them to have more clients over the course. So, that’s why they hate using SharkBite.

  • These Fittings Leak 

One of the biggest reasons plumbers can’t rely on these SharkBite fittings is because they can leak at times. As a result, plumbers don’t want to use this for their plumbing solution and ruin their reputation.

I mean, as a plumber, you don’t want to end up with clients who will complain about leaks from the plumbing work after a while. It’s pretty much the last thing you want as a plumber.

So, to maintain their reputation and avoid any kind of leaking problems from the fittings, they hate using the SharkBite fittings for their repair or installation work.

Well, for the most part, these are some of the typical reasons plumbers hate the SharkBite fittings. However, these are issues that aren’t proven or certified. These are just experiences plumbers have shared regarding the SharkBite fittings.

  • Environmental Factors

Common environmental conditions inside walls can degrade SharkBite o-rings prematurely. Plasticizers from wire insulation, volatile organic compounds in some building materials, even humidity and temperature swings affect seal durability over decades. These factors are less impactful on traditional metal joints.

Are Shark Bites Reliable?

Sharkbite fittings

Now, let’s talk about the reliability of the SharkBite fittings. 

Are they reliable? 

To be honest, I have my doubts about that. Because most of the complaints about the SharkBites fittings relate to having poor durability or causing leaks, when you hear these concerns out there, you can’t truly rely on them.

Also, the fact that they don’t last for a long time makes it a pretty unreliable option as well. This also brings up a question then when do professional plumbers use SharkBite? That’s where the benefits or advantages of these fittings come into play.

The fittings are very easy to use. You can set them up for your plumbing work without too much trouble and taking up too much time. It’s great for urgent fixes and solving problems in an instant. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of time-solving the issues.

It’s an alternative to soldering. So, if you are unsure about soldering or don’t want to take that risk, this is always a great way to fix any plumbing issues with your lines.

Where should you use it? 

I would say, if you are dealing with a larger problem on the main plumbing line of your home, then avoid SharkBite. But if it’s a minor problem in your plumbing around a small space and you need a quick solution, then this is a good option.

If you are interested, you can watch this beginner’s guide.

Either way, there is no proven fact that this fitting has the problems that I have mentioned above. But still, some of the plumbers out there hate this SharkBite fitting because of the causes I discussed. 

Whether these are issues they faced or their clients had is also something to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do plumbers say not to use SharkBite?

It mainly comes down to long-term reliability concerns. SharkBites carry inherent risks of undetectable seal failures over time. Their joints also lack strength compared to soldered copper. Plumbers aim to create robust systems with service lifetimes of 50+ years. So most advise against SharkBites for permanent installs.

Do professional plumbers use SharkBite fittings?

Most avoid them for permanent plumbing. However, some plumbers may utilize SharkBite fittings selectively for repairs or temporary setups. Their convenience can resolve problems quickly when time is critical. But for core system piping, traditional soldered copper remains the preferred professional standard.

Are SharkBites up to code?

SharkBite fittings comply with code for permissible applications like residential water distribution. Codes require push-to-connect fittings demonstrate adequate strength, sealing, and durability through standardized lab testing. SharkBite fittings have passed these qualification tests. But passing code minimums doesn’t imply optimal or preferred methods.

How trustworthy are SharkBites?

When used appropriately, SharkBites can serve dependably in lower risk applications. But plumbing systems involve years of wear allowing risks to accumulate. SharkBites lack decades of proven field reliability compared to traditional techniques. So experience rightly makes plumbers conservative regarding their long-term trustworthiness in critical systems.


All in all, if you are wondering why plumbers hate SharkBite, hopefully, you got your answers. Should you worry about these factors? I mean, you can indeed consider them as a possibility. 

But since these aren’t proven problems, it won’t be justice to the fittings to judge them based on those.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

2 thoughts on “Why Do Plumbers Hate SharkBite And Is It Reliable?

  1. There is a seal and a spring and various other parts inside a shark bite joint that can dry out or weaken over time.

    Sharkbite is the only brand I would use for a quick connect fitting and then sparingly and never inside a wall.

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