I have a copper pipe connected to a pex pipe by a leaking sharkbite fitting. I'd like to replace the sharkbite fitting with something more permanent. However I'm not sure if it's safe to use a soldered fitting since the copper pipe only extends two or three inches from the piece of wood it runs through.

Is there a way to safely solder this or are there any other permanent copper fittings which don't require heat to attach?

pipe in need of coupling

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    – HoneyDo
    May 14, 2020 at 3:37
  • 1
    The sharkbite is a permanent connection if installed correctly. I haven't known one to fail. Before we put a torch in your hand why don't you turn off the water disconnect the sharkbite and then reconnect it per directions that you will find on-line. Go to the sharkbite website. If it still leaks come back to our site.
    – HoneyDo
    May 14, 2020 at 4:33
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    Are you removing the red pipe also? I have seen shark bites leak but it is usually because the pipe was not debured and the fitting was damaged. If you are not replacing the “plastic pipe” a shark bite is about the best method and I prefer copper over plastic but in this case removing and replacing that 90 may be your best bet.
    – Ed Beal
    May 14, 2020 at 6:35
  • Agreed with HondyDo and Ed beal, you just need to replace the Sharbite connection after cleaning and deburring the copper pipe. Vertical soldering could lead to other issues in the future if excess soldering is used. Even if soldering the upper section, you would still have a push on connections with the PEX pipe. May 14, 2020 at 19:35
  • Thanks for your replies, I properly de burred the pipes and got new sharkbite fittings and the leaks stopped.
    – David
    May 16, 2020 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


Use a soldering mat and that will protect the wood.

If you don’t have a soldering mat, then anything that will stop direct flame contact with the wood will work - I have used non-flamnable fibre board very effectively. Good because you can cut a slot with a hole to fit around the pipe.

More of an issue will be getting that copper pipe clean and using a decent flux - I use Powerflux in those situations as it is very strong but you do need to wash it after.

  • Mike if you need to wash is it safe for potable water? But I agree with the mat , I use a mapp gas torch and point it horizontal there won’t be Mitch scorching with a fire mat.
    – Ed Beal
    May 14, 2020 at 6:32
  • @EdBeal yes it is safe but if left on the outside of the pipe it will corrode it over time. Professional plumbers flush potable pipe installations before use, at least the ones I worked with anyway.
    – Solar Mike
    May 14, 2020 at 6:39
  • Mike I do flush if nothing else to get the air out but if it is caustic enough to need washing it usually is not legal for potable water the old acid based solder is a good example it was an early lead free but getting all the acid out took weeks.
    – Ed Beal
    May 14, 2020 at 6:48
  • @EdBeal says on the container, and I quote: "A Water Council Approved flux"
    – Solar Mike
    May 14, 2020 at 7:17
  • To tell the truth that sounds like a china listing what water council? I agreed with everything but that and we will get a warning soon. If it met astm- b 813 maybe ? The epa or other approval ?
    – Ed Beal
    May 14, 2020 at 7:26

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