April 29, 2021 – Investigation Closed, Lawsuit in Progress
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to close their investigation into this matter. At the time of this update, however, at least one class action lawsuit has been filed over the SharkBite push-to-connect connector hoses and continues to make its way through the court system. Any future significant updates will be posted to this page. You can always sign up for our newsletter for the latest or check out our open list of investigations here.
The information below was posted when this investigation began and exists for reference only.
At A Glance
This Alert Affects:
Anyone who had problems with their SharkBite “Push-to-Connect” water heater hoses.
What’s Going On?
Class action lawsuits have been filed alleging that the rubber inside the hoses can deteriorate and cause a host of problems, including the appearance of black flakes in the hot water supply and low water pressure. Now, attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking to speak with property owners who had issues with the hoses in the hopes of getting their own case on file.
How a Class Action Lawsuit Can Help
A class action lawsuit could help property owners get back the money they spent replacing their water heater hoses and repairing damaged property. A successful case could also force a recall.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak to anyone who had issues with their SharkBite Push-to-Connect water heater hoses.
Allegations have surfaced that the rubber used inside the hoses is defective and causing a host of problems, including the appearance of black flakes or sludge in the hot water supply.
What’s the Issue with the Water Heater Hoses?
It has been alleged that the source of the problem is the rubber lining used in the connector hoses.
Although the manufacturer, Reliance Worldwide Corporation, represents that it uses the highest quality rubber in its “reliable” and “rigorously tested” SharkBite connector product, lawsuits are claiming that the internal rubber lining is inferior and can disintegrate shortly after the hoses are installed.
What Problems Have People Reported?
Consumers have reported a host of problems in connection with their SharkBite connector hoses.
The most prominent issue, however, appears to be the presence of black “flakes,” “specks,” “chunks” or “slime” in the hot water supply.
SharkBite customers have reported black residue coming out of their kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs and showerheads. Complaints regarding low water pressure, leaking, clogged faucets and damage to home appliances and fixtures have also been reported.
Below is a sample of complaints that have been posted online from those who had issues with the SharkBite “Push-to-Connect” hoses and fittings [sic throughout]:
In 2011 I installed these braided flex connectors from sharkbite; it was an easy install no leaks I was very happy, but after 2 years my faucets strainers were being clogged with small fragments of black rubber. I finally found the water heater was loaded with the rubber and found the rubber liner in the sharkbite flex line was deteriorating. I called Sharkbite and they said they changed the liners and if I bought new lines manufactured after 2011 that they would have the new liners. That was late 2013 or early 2014 and now here it is 2016 and the lines have deteriorated again. I don't recommend these and will not be suckered into them again.” — Regal, Sharkbite.com Review
I installed two of these water lines from my hot water tank to the water supply and hot water out lines in 2010. After several months I noticed a black greasy/rubber debris coming from the hot water from the faucets. This got so bad in the master tub that we stopped using it. The tub would fill with black residue. If you touch it, it will smear and become difficult to remove. The black residue could also be found in the screens of every faucet. This has been driving me and my wife crazy for almost 4 years. After some recent google searches, I found the source to potentially be the Shark Bite hot water line. Sure enough, after replacing the Shark Bite water lines, the black debris is GONE” — Mike, HomeDepot.com Review
Installed by contractor. Six months later black gunk comes out into the tub only when the hot water is on. The rubber lining in the hose broke down. The black gunk looks powdery and floats on water. It sticks to the side of the tub forming a ring around the water level smears on the side of the tub when you wipe it.” — JohnFrink, Lowes.com Review
I'm a contractor who installed these with new water heater in 2008 in our home. Over the last year there started to be black chunks and residue in the tub water. They would smear and coated the tub at water level. We've been showering, bathing in and cooking with whatever residue and contaminates are included in this. This is a health concern.” — MtnLover, SharkBite.com Review
Has the Manufacturer Done Anything About the Problem?
Reliance Worldwide has allegedly received complaints as far back as 2016 regarding these SharkBite connectors yet has failed to take the appropriate steps to remedy the issue. In fact, the company reportedly claims hard water or high chlorine levels are responsible for the deterioration of the rubber lining and suggests the user try another SharkBite product.
The following is an example response from the company:
We apologize for the difficulty you have had with your SharkBite Water Heater Connectors, we have found that in certain areas of the country where the water is harder or contains a high chlorine content there have been instances that caused the rubber liner to disintegrate. In these cases, we can send you new flex hoses or we can send you our Corrugated Stainless Steel Connectors (these have no liner and are Stainless Steel). Please contact our Customer Service department and we'd be happy to send you some new Connectors 1-877-700-4242.”
Which Product Numbers Are Affected?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are specifically looking into SharkBite “Push-to-Connect” stainless steel braided flexible water heater connectors that utilize rubber lining and are sold under the following product numbers:
How a Class Action Lawsuit Could Help
A class action lawsuit could help property owners recover money for any damage caused to their appliances or water fixtures. It could also provide money back for the cost of the water hoses and force the company to issue a recall or provide warnings with its product.