Twenty Years of SharkBite Innovation

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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.

SharkBite’s Legacy

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.


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