compression fitting keeps dripping

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by tbbarch, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. tbbarch

    tbbarch Member

    Sep 24, 2008
    I replaced a outside hose bib by cutting it off inside the wall and building a new hose bid with pipe to fit back to the cut. I connected the pipe ends with a compression fitting since it a difficult place to solder (over head surrounded by wood).

    No matter how hard I crank down on one end of the compression fitting it is has a slow drip. The other end is holding.

    I have done this twice already (cutting off the compressed ends, replacing the hose bib pipe) and it has leaked on the same end each time.

    I did polish the copper on both ends that insert into the compression fitting.

    I did note that the pipe is not in good alignment from the outside to the inside. Would that offset be pulling the compression fitting off axis enough to leak?

    If I soldered the pipe, how would I hold it straight while soldering it?
    One hand holds torch, one hand holds solder - two hands holding the pipe is two too many.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    I'm not too familiar with compression fittings, but it does seem to me that things should line up pretty closely without relying on the fitting to pull things together. As far as soldering is concerned, I don't quite follow your description of the problem. Are you thinking of just holding the 2 pipe ends together and soldering? I really doubt that you are considering that, but??? When you have 2 pipe ends to join, you have to use a coupling. The coupling holds the pipes together while soldering. I don't mean to offend, but either I'm missing something or you do not know how to sweat copper. If the latter is the case, this is probably not a place to try your first attempt. Soldering around wood requires the use of shielding as well as having a spray bottle of water within easy reach. For an occasional job, a #10 can cut and flattened makes a pretty good shield
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If you did anything other than maybe some steel wool on the compression fitting mating surfaces, (or left crud on it), that could mess things up. They do need to be in pretty good alignment to seal properly. If you crank down a lot, you can actually emboss a ridge in the male part, and then, unless it mates exactly in that ring the next time, it will never seal.

    You might consider using something like a Sharkbite fitting. You'd have to ensure you screwed the faucet (hose bib) down well, since that fitting would allow it to rotate some. The biggest hassle with them is to ensure you get a clean, burr-free end on each pipe prior to installing it, or you may compromise the O-rings, and get a leak. They sell a special tool for cleaning the end that costs around $10-12. If you didn't want to have to deal with measuring exactly, they also make a slip coupling that can accommodate maybe a couple of inches in 'mis-calculation' on the needed length. One end can slide a ways, the other needs to bottom out in the fitting. HD, Ace Hardware, and others carry sharkbite fittings.
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