Will Sharkbites Work on Galvanized Pipe? No, and Here’s Why

Virtually everyone appreciates fittings that are user-friendly and straightforward in their functionality, and this is precisely where SharkBite fittings come into play. They offer unparalleled ease when connecting two pipes, making them a popular choice among users.

While SharkBite fittings are among the simplest tools to use for plumbing tasks, some plumbers express reservations about their compatibility with all types of pipes.

In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of SharkBite fittings and galvanized pipes. We will discuss why combining SharkBite fittings with galvanized pipes may not be the optimal choice for your plumbing projects, demonstrate the proper way to use SharkBite fittings, and offer additional valuable tips. Additionally, we have compiled a list of questions that you may find helpful at the conclusion of this article.

What are SharkBite Fittings?

Referring to a SharkBite fitting as a push-to-connect fitting is entirely accurate, as it is an alternative name for the product.

Introduced in the 2000s, SharkBite fittings have sustained their competitive edge in the plumbing market. Push-to-connect fittings have been available for some time and continue to be a preferred choice due to their convenience and time-saving benefits, especially when compared to the soldering method used in pipe connections. Typically, these fittings are fully compatible with pipes such as PEX and CPVC but may pose challenges when used with galvanized pipes.

Components of SharkBite Fittings

A SharkBite fitting consists of various components that work in unison to facilitate a seamless and convenient connection when joining pipes. Below, we’ve outlined the parts of a SharkBite fitting along with a brief description of each:

  1. Collet: The collet is a crucial component in ensuring a secure connection between pipes, helping to keep the connected pipes firmly in place.
  2. O-ring: Exposure to environmental factors can lead to rust and corrosion, potentially harming the material and compromising the transportation of liquids through the pipes. The O-ring serves as a waterproof element in the SharkBite fitting, helping to preserve its lifespan and maintain its functionality.
  3. Locking Mechanism: The locking mechanism works in conjunction with the collet and O-ring to ensure that all components are securely connected, safeguarding the joint between the pipes and preventing any potential damage.

Utilizing SharkBite Fittings

Using SharkBite fittings for joining pipes is a straightforward and hassle-free process that doesn’t require any additional tools.

To successfully join pipes, simply attach the SharkBite fittings to the ends of the pipes you wish to connect – it’s as easy as that!

Many experienced plumbers advocate for SharkBite fittings as a go-to solution for temporary pipe connections, serving as a quick fix until a more permanent solution can be implemented. Conversely, others view SharkBite fittings as an excellent permanent option, negating the need for any additional fittings to maintain stability.

Ultimately, whether you choose to use SharkBite fittings as a temporary or permanent solution is a decision that rests in your hands.

Galvanized Pipes

Since the 1960s, galvanized pipes have been prevalent in the market, serving as a safer alternative to the lead pipes commonly used at the time.

Comprising a combination of steel and zinc, galvanized pipes were introduced as a solution to the rusting issues that plagued standard steel pipes, causing them to deteriorate over time.

Zinc serves as a rust inhibitor in galvanized pipes, significantly extending their lifespan and making them a popular choice for plumbing. Some of the benefits of using galvanized pipes include:

  1. Affordability: Galvanized pipes offer a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality, making them a highly sought-after option among pipe users.
  2. Rust Resistance: The zinc component in galvanized pipes prevents the onset of corrosion, ensuring the longevity of the pipes.
  3. Versatility: Unlike some materials that are limited by environmental conditions, galvanized pipes can be used in a variety of settings regardless of the weather, offering great flexibility in their application.
  4. Durability: By solving the issue of rusting, galvanized pipes boast a prolonged lifespan, ensuring long-lasting performance.

Additional advantages of galvanized pipes include their excellent heat resistance, efficient heat transfer properties, and substantial impact resistance, further contributing to their appeal.

Why SharkBite Fittings May Not Be Suitable for Galvanized Pipe

SharkBite fittings are celebrated for their ease of use and durability when it comes to connecting pipes. However, for those looking for long-lasting plumbing solutions, especially involving galvanized pipes, we recommend considering other options.

If resource management and long-term stability are your priorities, SharkBite fittings may not be the best fit for galvanized pipes. SharkBite connections, while convenient, are generally not considered as enduring as other types of joints.

Similar to screws and other temporary fasteners, SharkBite fittings are best suited for short-term applications. For a long-term solution, we advise against using SharkBite fittings with galvanized pipes.

Permanent joints, such as those achieved through soldering, are a more reliable option for connecting galvanized pipes. While soldering can be more time-consuming and demanding, it offers a more durable and long-lasting connection, sparing you from frequent repairs and adjustments.

So, if SharkBite fittings aren’t the ideal choice for galvanized pipes, which types of pipes are they suitable for? SharkBite fittings are perfectly compatible with pipes like PEX, HDPE, and copper.


While SharkBite fittings offer a convenient solution for connecting pipes such as PEX, HDPE, and copper, they are not recommended for use with galvanized pipes.

Galvanized pipes demand a more permanent joint to ensure longevity and stability. Choosing soldering as your method of connection for galvanized pipes is a wise decision that can save you time, money, and energy in the long run.

We hope this article provides you with the insights needed to make informed decisions for your plumbing projects, ensuring durable and reliable connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are SharkBite fittings waterproof?

Yes, SharkBite fittings are designed to be waterproof. The components of a SharkBite fitting, including the O-ring, Collet, and Locking mechanism, work together to create a secure and watertight seal when used on pipes. The O-ring, in particular, plays a crucial role in ensuring the waterproof nature of the connection.

How long does a galvanized pipe typically last?

Galvanized pipes have a lifespan that typically ranges from 40 to 70 years, though this can vary based on factors such as water quality and environmental conditions. The zinc coating on galvanized pipes helps to prevent rust and corrosion, contributing to their longevity. However, over time, this coating can wear away, leading to potential issues.

Can I reuse a SharkBite fitting?

Yes, SharkBite fittings are designed to be reusable. Unlike permanent connection methods such as soldering, SharkBite fittings can be disconnected and reused without damaging the pipe or fitting. This feature adds to their convenience and cost-effectiveness for various plumbing applications.

Are SharkBite fittings effective on steel pipes?

SharkBite fittings are generally not recommended for use with galvanized steel pipes due to potential issues with the secureness of the connection. However, they are well-suited for other types of pipes, such as PEX, HDPE, and copper.

Can I install a shut-off valve on my galvanized pipe? How do I do it?

Yes, you can install a shut-off valve on a galvanized pipe. To do so, you will need to ensure that the pipe is properly prepared and that you have the necessary fittings and tools for the job. The installation process typically involves cutting the pipe, threading the ends (if necessary), and securing the shut-off valve in place. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take appropriate safety precautions during installation.