Some brands become so popular people begin to refer to all products in the category by that name, such as Kleenex or Band-Aid. Similarly, push-to-connect fittings weren’t quite as popular as they are today until Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) introduced them to the U.S. market nearly 20 years ago. It revolutionized the category and made Read more
Some brands become so popular people begin to refer to all products in the category by that name, such as Kleenex or Band-Aid.
Similarly, push-to-connect fittings weren’t quite as popular as they are today until Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) introduced them to the U.S. market nearly 20 years ago. It revolutionized the category and made the work of contractors and plumbers quicker, more efficient and more reliable. Now, SharkBite brass push fittings are the industry standard for push-to-connect plumbing— so much so that some people refer to fittings from other brands as SharkBite.
SharkBite’s Journey to the U.S.
After seeing the success of its push-to-connect fittings in Australia, water control and plumbing solutions manufacturer RWC introduced the fittings in the U.S. market as the SharkBite push-to-connect plumbing system in 2004. Today, SharkBite has become so popular that it is estimated a fitting connection is made every 2.5 seconds, according to the manufacturer’s data.
Fittings That Pushed the Boundaries of Plumbing Tech
Before push-to-connect technology, plumbers could only rely on soldering, gluing or using a specialized tool to connect pipes. These methods are sufficient in some cases but can be challenging when transitioning between different pipe types or installing in tight spaces.
To address these issues, SharkBite designed its push-to-connect fittings to connect different pipe types such as PEX, copper, CPVC, PE-RT and HDPE in tight spaces without special tools, crimps, glue or soldering.
Further Advancing Push-to-connect Technology
With SharkBite’s success, especially as a solution for emergency repairs and pipe transitions, RWC continued to build upon its innovations in push-to-connect technology:
- SharkBite introduced its own brand of durable yet flexible PEX pipe into North America. The pipe enables quicker leak repairs compared to rigid copper pipe and is often quicker to install in tight spaces.
- The company launched 1-1/4 in., 1-1/2 in. and 2 in. SharkBite fittings, which gives contractors who work on commercial projects the ability to work quicker using push-to-connect technology.
- SharkBite launched EvoPEX fittings. The groundbreaking PEX-only fitting system for meter-to-fixture installation allows for faster and more reliable installations on new construction jobsites.
A Connection You Can Trust
Plumbers can trust the secure fit of a push-to-connect fitting thanks to its tight-sealing o-ring, pipe-locking stainless steel grab ring and corrosion-resistant brass body. All of its parts work together to make a 3-second connection long-lasting, and the fittings require no tools, can be connected in wet lines and are compatible with multiple types of pipe.
Every new product SharkBite introduces is created to empower contractors to work smarter, not harder. By reducing installation times, SharkBite gives contractors time back that they can spend on parts of their job that require more resources, like growing their business and investing in their workforce.
Michael Kornegay is the SharkBite product manager at RWC — a market leader and manufacturer of water control systems and plumbing solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications.
As a Mechanical Hub ProStaff member and CEO and of Thompson Family Plumbing & Rooter Inc., I am always searching for the best people to add to my crew and cutting-edge products to add to my inventory to save time, money and make our customers happy. We are a family owned and operated business in Read more
As a Mechanical Hub ProStaff member and CEO and of Thompson Family Plumbing & Rooter Inc., I am always searching for the best people to add to my crew and cutting-edge products to add to my inventory to save time, money and make our customers happy.
We are a family owned and operated business in California that specializes in new construction and residential service work such as drain cleaning, backflow certification, video sewer inspection services, and many more plumbing services. Since 2006, our plumbers have been delivering trusted plumbing residential and commercial services with dedication and the highest quality workmanship.
We were recently hired to do a complete re-pipe installation on a beautiful 100-year old home in Lake Arrowhead, California, and knowing that I was going to need a cost-effective, flexible and dependable piping solution, I looked at several options and chose SharkBite EvoPEX pipe and fittings.
During the process of re-piping this house, we found that the SharkBite EvoPEX system provided many benefits. As a two-man job, it was quick and easy to use, which allowed me to save labor costs. Additionally, you don’t need extra tools or glue to secure the fittings to the pipe. Because the EvoPEX system has a fool-proof green indicator ring, you know exactly when you have proper insertion depth to create a watertight and permanently engaged connection to the pipe. It is a godsend and you don’t have any guesswork. As one of the guys on the job said, “green is in for the win.”
During the installation, we only encountered one issue and that was mainly due to the location of the space which we were installing pipe. The space was tight and pushing the fitting together overhead, well, took a little extra time and some body contorting. In the end, I liked knowing that there was no way the fittings were coming apart, and at one point, I grabbed the pipe to keep me from falling off a ladder. Not that I recommend that as a test to see if the fittings stay connected, but they did.
As far as using SharkBite on the future, I have another project on the books next month that will be using the EvoPEX System. This project is a new installation and I cannot wait to use the product in a more open area as I’m sure the time savings will be extensive for the team.
As with any product I use for the first time, I have suggestions for things that can make EvoPEX even better and maybe should the product have an upgrade, these will be addressed. I wish this project would have had an opportunity to incorporate one of their manifold systems, as I can see the advantages of this product in multiple option sizes and angle variations. Each product has their pros and cons to each application or use, and I feel that this product is good and I will be doing more with it to get a better feel with further testing and installations in the field.
John Thompson is owner, Thompson Family Plumbing and Rooter, INC. of a leading service and repair plumbing company in Hesperia, CA. John and his wife, Devynn’s, focus is to provide superior customer service and maintain top notch plumbing skill. He is continuously pushing the boundaries in his trade and is passionate to encourage his peers to succeed with him. His company has received many worthy acknowledgements and awards from State Senators and Assemblymen for their strong presence and community involvement. Thompson Family Plumbing is constantly working to advance and support their staff and valued customers to maintain their mantra of “Always go the extra mile.”