Hot Topics: What Made This PEX Connection Pop?

A broken SharkBite PEX connection.

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When you’re a new homeowner, sometimes it takes a change of seasons before you discover some of the secrets in your house. So when Winter turns to Spring and you find a leak in your PEX where there wasn’t one before, how do you know why it happened and what to do about it? The Forum bites into the evidence. (Unanswered question: when did the old homeowners make the wrong choice in the first place?)

Original Post: Sharkbite Pex Tubing For Outdoor Garden Hose Set Up NEED HELP!

brchcar1445 Member

Hello! This is my first post. I'm trying to become more handy. I found this forum and decided to take the step at getting some DIY help.

My wife and I are new home owners and have found ourselves a little overwhelmed at times. This seems like it should be easier than it is. Anyway, here is the problem.

Last summer we were able to use our hoses outside just fine, with no leaking. This spring I went out to turn the water back on and noticed that where the PEX sharkbite tubing connected to both of our garden hose spouts had broken off? I'm not sure why, maybe you can help with that too.

Hot Topics: What Made This PEX Connection Pop?

I have ZERO experience with the PEX tubing and sharkbite stuff. The only reason I know what it is, is because it says sharkbite on it and I was able to do some searching. I tried to find a situation like this where they used it for outdoor garden hoses, but can only find more indoor plumbing stuff with PEX.

Hot Topics: What Made This PEX Connection Pop?

I have uploaded some photos for you to see. Two of the photos are showing you where and how they connect to my spouts. The other photo shows how it's connected to my main water line. That part works fine and is not leaking. But where it connects to both of my hoses has completely broken off and I have no idea how to re-attach it? I'm hoping that you can help me?

Hot Topics: What Made This PEX Connection Pop?

Thank you so much in advance.

Highlights from the Thread

joecaption Member

It froze, that's why it's broken. Never should have been above grade like that, (needed to be buried below the frost line) or been an outside wall, should have a way to drain it and a shut off some place under the house.

mikerf Member

I agree with JoeCaption. The good news is that SharkBites are easy to replace. Inspect your PEX before you connect it to ensure you don't have additional problems.

brchcar1445 Member

Thank your for the input, I really appreciate it! Mike, I know this is a dumb question, but how do I go about fixing it? What pieces would I need to buy? Looks like this shark bite is pretty easy to use, I'm just not sure where to start?

PaulSC Member

I am surprised nobody commented that PEX should never be exposed to sunlight... and it seems to me there is a bit of it on the outside.

brchcar1445 Member

The majority of the PEX is under deck, not exposed to the sun. Can anyone shed some light on how I can fix this?

guy48065 Member

Think of PEX as being made of vampire skin. ANY exposure to sunlight (even beams between the deck boards) will cause it to degrade & crack. It's intended only for indoors or fully buried.

Zorfdt Forum Topic Moderator

It looks like the PEX fittings cracked when the water in them froze. Unless you have some way to shut off and drain the pipes next winter, the same thing will likely happen.

So, step 1 is to figure out how to add a shutoff and drain. If it were my house, I'd probably consider reevaluating the whole setup. As others have said, PEX shouldn't be used outside above ground, so it may be a good chance to re-run the piping or switch to another material.

Next, each Sharkbite fitting that broke needs to be taken off and replaced with a similar fitting. The one in your second picture is a ½-inch female threaded adapter to what looks like galvanized pipe through the wall. Your last picture is the same fitting, but with a right-angle. They each need to be unscrewed and replaced, using new teflon (white) tape as before. They’ll need to be screwed in and tightened with a crescent wrench on the fitting and a pipe wrench on the pipe pretty tightly. Then the PEX inserts into the fitting almost 1-inch deep.

Hope this helps points you in the right direction!

brchcar1445 Member

Zor, thank you. That's extremely helpful! Since it doesn't seem like the best set up, what would you suggest? Should I be running piping from the main water to the hoses? Or is there a better PEX type of material that works for this kind of set up?

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