Things You'll Need
SharkBite removal tool
Installing or repairing water lines in your home usually requires the use of adhesives, crimpers or solder. Adhesives can be messy and smell terrible, crimpers are expensive and hard to use in small areas and solder involves using an open flame to heat pipes, sometimes in small spaces. If you don't have the tools, expertise or patience for the more traditional plumbing methods, consider using SharkBite fittings. It's easy to install SharkBite fittings with nothing more than a few basic tools. In a matter of minutes, you can install SharkBite fittings throughout an entire room, or just keep one handy for emergency repairs.
Cut the pipe that you are installing in the SharkBite fitting with a pipe cutter. Make sure the end of the pipe is flush and square, without cracks or deformations. Use the deburring tool on the back of the pipe cutter to remove any burrs from the end of the pipe.
Inspect the SharkBite fitting for damage or obstructions. Make sure that the SharkBite fitting, and the pipe going into it, is clean and undamaged. Replace any SharkBite fittings that appear damaged or that have obstructions.
Remove the PEX support collar from the SharkBite fitting if you are using copper or CPVC water lines and local codes prohibit the use of the support collar. Depress the SharkBite release ring with the release tool and pull the collar out of the fitting with needle-nose pliers.
Measure one inch up the pipe from the cut end and mark the pipe with a pencil or scribe. Make sure the mark is easily visible as it will help you install the SharkBite fitting correctly.
Hold the SharkBite fitting and push the pipe into the fitting with a twisting motion. Push the pipe into the fitting until you hear a "click" sound coming from the fitting. Look for the pencil mark that you made on the pipe. Make sure the mark is flush, or nearly flush, with the edge of the release ring on the SharkBite fitting. Push the pipe farther into the fitting if the mark is more than .05 inches from the release ring.
Continue connecting other water lines with SharkBite fittings in the same manner. Turn on the water supply and check the lines and fittings for leaks. Turn off the water if leaks are found and remove the leaking fitting.
Slide the SharkBite release tool up the pipe to the release ring on the leaking fitting. Push the tool toward the SharkBite fitting to depress the release ring. Pull the pipe out of the fitting with a twisting motion. Inspect and clean the end of the pipe and the fitting. Install the pipe again, making sure to fully seat the pipe into the SharkBite fitting.
Turn on the water supply and check for leaks. Remove and replace the SharkBite fitting if it continues leaking.
Consider keeping SharkBite fittings in your tool box for emergency repairs. A SharkBite fitting will be quicker and easier to install if you ever have a water line break in the middle of the night.
Check your local plumbing codes before you install SharkBite fittings in your home. Wear eye protection when cutting and deburring pipes.
David Young has written for the website for the Save Darfur Coalition and is currently writing articles for various other websites. Young holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Western Carolina University.