How to Seal Leaks Around Compression Fittings for Copper Water Pipes
Dec 15, 2016
A compression fitting consists of three parts - a compression nut, a compression ring and a compression seat. Compression fittings used on copper pipe are easy to fit together and remove. They are often used to connect fixtures and appliances that will eventually need to be replaced. While compression fittings are convenient, they may leak if not installed correctly. If a leak does develop, there are steps you can take to fix it.
Turn off the water supply to the fitting. Hold the base of the compression fitting with a wrench. With the other wrench, turn the compression nut counter clockwise 1/4 turn. Loosening the nut first will break up any corrosion and allow greater tightening ease. Place a little pipe thread compound around the compression ring, also known as a ferrule, and tighten the nut clockwise a little past the original position. Turn water back on and check for leaks. If the fitting continues to leak, replace the ferrule.
Turn the water supply off. Loosen the compression nut with a wrench and slide it up the pipe. Remove the pipe from the compression fitting. Cut the pipe with a copper pipe cutter to remove the ferrule. Slide a new ferrule onto the pipe. Check to make sure there are no dents or bends in the pipe, or the ring will not compress correctly.
Insert the pipe into the fitting, making sure the pipe is all the way into the fitting. Slide the ring down to the compression seat and apply pipe thread compound. Slide the nut to the fitting and hand tighten clockwise. Hold the fitting with one wrench and with another wrench tighten the nut until resistance is felt, then tighten it another 1/4 turn. Turn the water back on and check for leaks. If there is a leak, turn the water back off and tighten the nut 1/4 turn at a time until all leakage stops.
Things You Will Need
2 adjustable wrenches
Copper pipe cutter
Pipe thread compound
Using pipe dope, or pipe thread compound, is an old plumber's trick to stop compression fitting leaks.
Be sure that the copper tubing is inserted all the way into the fitting before tightening.
Overtightening a compression fitting can cause it to compress too far and leak.
Copper pipe or tubing must be free of kinks and bends for the ring to properly compress.