How to Replace Compression Fittings How to Replace Compression Fittings
Compression fittings make up an important part of the plumbing process, allowing components to be fixed together with the use of pressure. To ensure that a plumbing system remains in good condition, it is important to be aware of the process necessary to replace the fittings. This will ensure that the project is completed properly, which will keep the plumbing system running smoothly.
Step 1 – Prepare
Start by turning off the water at the mains, so that accidents and damage can be avoided. You will then be in a position to inspect the entire plumbing system, to get an idea of the number of replacement fittings that will be required for the project, which will allow you to gather all of the necessary tools and materials.
Step 2 – Disassemble
The existing compression fittings need to be removed, which can be undertaken with a wrench. This often begins with the removal of a sleeve that covers the fitting, which can be slid to one side. You will then gain access to the fastener known as the compression nut, which can be loosened by twisting it with a wrench. Once it is loose, you will be able to slide the nut along the pipe. The sleeve and the nut can then be removed alongside any pipes, if necessary.
Step 3 – Re-assemble
Reassemble the new compression fittings. Sliding the sleeve onto the end of the pipe, making sure that there is a gap of approximately ¼ inch between the pipe and the lower edge of the compression sleeve. Use a paintbrush to apply plumber’s grease to the male thread of the pipe end, ensuring that there is a generous layer without being excessive. Have a rag handy to wipe away any excess grease. Fit the pipe within the compression seat of the recess, making sure it is securely fitted and properly aligned. By hand, slide the compression nut back down into place to enable you to use a wrench to tighten it back into place. You must ensure that the compression nut is securely fastened without being over-tightened. Keep a close eye on the fitting as you tighten, to ensure that you do not inadvertently cause damage to the pipe.
Step 5 – Test and Finish
After completing the installation of the compression fittings, you can proceed to test the system to ensure that it works as it should and does not leak. Turn the mains water back on and run it while examining the fitting to make sure that no water is escaping. If water is detected, it may be that the nut is not tight enough or the pipe has been split from the nut being over-tightened. Where this is the place, complete the necessary rectification work before sliding the compression sleeve back into place.