5 Benefits of Using Plumbing Compression Fittings

Plumbing compression fittings are widely used in the home. They’re quick to fit, generally reliable and much easier than sweating copper pipes together. They can be used on many different types of fittings. There are a number of advantages to using compression fittings although you should be aware that they’re not appropriate for all situations.

Ease of Assembly

Putting plumbing compression fittings together is very simple. There are just a few parts necessary. You slide a nut onto the pipe and then add the compression ring. After that, all you need to do is slide the pipe into the fitting and tighten the nut. As you do this, you are actually pressing the compression ring into its seat so that it compresses against both the compression nut and the pipe to provide a connection that’s watertight.

The other side to plumbing compression fittings is that they're also easy to take apart. All you need to do is loosen the nut and pull out the pipe. If you’re remodeling and changing your pipes or fixtures, this can be a great help which can also save you both time and effort.

Sweating Pipes

Plumbing compression fittings are a better alternative to sweating pipes together. Sweating is a technique that demands skill and time to carrry out and complete without leaks. This means you have to master it before you can do your own plumbing work. Plumbing compression fittings can be used by anyone, thus opening up plumbing to homeowners who have no training beyond basic skills.


Although many people use plumbing compression fittings for connecting copper pipe, that’s not the only use for them. You can use plumbing compression fittings on plastic pipe as well. However, if you’re going to do this, it’s vital that you use a plastic compression ring and not a metal one. These are easy to find at most hardware stores.

You can use plumbing compression fittings in many settings although they’re really designed for pipes which have stationary connections. This means that the pipe itself isn’t likely to move. This makes them ideal for an attachment to the toilet or for bathroom vanities.


Over time, it’s possible that your plumbing compression fitting could develop a small leak. With a sweated fitting, you have to take everything apart and start over. With plumbing compression fittings, you can fix the problem very easily in most instances. All you have to do is loosen the nut a little then secure it again just beyond the original level of tightness.

When you’re working with plumbing compression fittings, you should lubricate the threads first. Once this is done, tighten until you feel resistance. Once resistance is felt, go no more than half a turn further. This is especially important with plastic pipe as over-tightening can cause fittings to crack or splinter.


You can re-use plumbing compression fittings many times over and this makes them an economical choice. However, you should be aware that each fitting seats itself differently so you should always re-use the same parts of previously used plumbing compression fittings together. The exception to this is the compression ring. You should always use a new one for a fresh installation.