Plastic Tubing Compression Fittings

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by deuce1974, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. deuce1974

    deuce1974 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    I'm trying to install a waterline to my new fridge for the icemaker, I'm using 1/4" OD plastic tubing, I am trying to use compression nuts but can't get a seal. I installed a valve into my pex pipe with no problems. I'm using a brass nut with brass sleeve, any help would be great
  2. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    You need a 1/4" nuts, ferrules, and inserts. Without inserts, you won't get a good seal.
  3. deuce1974

    deuce1974 New Member

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    8
    I have the nuts and inserts, the guy at the store said i did not need the ferrule
  4. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    The ferrule is the "sleeve" that forms the seal when the nut compresses it. The insert keeps the sleeve from deforming the tube. You must have all three to make a good seal!!!
  5. deuce1974

    deuce1974 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Thanks, I just checked the nuts I had and they have the ferule built in to the nut, but I still can;t get get a seal
  6. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Get all 3 separate pieces and you'll be fine.
  7. JohnD

    JohnD New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    New York
    Try using a plastic ferrule instead of the brass. Don't know why but sometimes it just won't seal with the brass.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I agree with johnd that the metal ferrules are less friendly with plastic. My real problem is that I have seen the ferrules actually cut into the tubing.

    Use the white delrin ferrule. You will need to get new nuts, since you cannot use the nut that has the pressed in brass ferrule.

    I don't know what length of run we are dealing with. I much prefer the premade braided stainless steel flex lines. In 1/4" icemaker size these are available in 12", 48", 72", 10' and 20' lengths.
  9. deuce1974

    deuce1974 New Member

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    8
    Yeah, its about 20 feet but I can't find the braided stainless, thats great stuff, used it on my dishwasher. I'm in Canada does anyone know where to get a 20' length of the stainless
  10. deuce1974

    deuce1974 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Help again

    When using the plastic ferrule, do I need a plastic nut and a plastic insert as well?
  11. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Have you thought about using 1/4" flexible copper? That would be my choice.
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I wondered how long it would take for someone to point out that soft copper is the best choice for this job. Forget the inserts, ferrules, braided line, plastic line, plastic nuts, etc..
  13. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Fremont, OH
    Copper tube is not always the best route to go. That is just my opinion. If the water quality is low, 1/4 od copper tubing will plug easily. Also, if you are running off a reverse osmosis system, copper tubing is a no-no.
  14. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I also find copper to be too inflexible. When you need to make a sharp bend like the final bend into the frig fitting, it puts a lot of pressure on that union and it's difficult to get a good seal.

    I prefer the braided stainless as well.
  15. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Please expand on this, I was planning on filling my solar tank with RO'd water, what's it going to do to my copper pipes and solar panels?

    Rancher
  16. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Fremont, OH
    After water runs through an R.O., it changes the ph level and makes it acidic. Therefore, over time it eats away at the copper tubing. I don't have any technical info. on what exactly takes place, this is just what I have been told by the manufacturer.
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,316
    Location:
    New England
    Not sure it actually changes the pH, but water is the universal solvent. Take all impurities out of it, and it tries to dissolve things. It becomes moderately aggressive. If you have water of this type, and it is constantly replenished, you need to be very careful with what materials you run it through. This is a guess, but if you were circulating it in a closed loop, it would quickly reach an equilibrium, and you probably wouldn't care much. Water can only dissolve just so much of a material, but it will try its hardest to reach that point until it is saturated.
  18. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Yeah closed loop, actually I was hoping it would disolve some of the calcium that's clogged up some of the tubes.

    Rancher
  19. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051

    Isn't it ironic, though, that a submerged car or shipwreck, etc.. will be protected from corrosion by this same water since there is no oxygen for oxidation reactions to take place.
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