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Compression Fittings

Compression fittings are a type of coupling used to connect two pipes or a pipe to a fixture or valve. It consists of three parts which include a cap-shaped compression nut, the compression ring, and the compression seat. The cap-shaped nut and the seat are screwed together. This causes the compression ring to squeeze tightly against the compression nut and seat, as well as the adjoining pipe. This causes a compression type watertight connection. Generally compression fittings are user-friendly, but if you aren’t exactly a cautious do-it-yourselfer then you could easily end up with a leaky connection.

Compression fittings are a wonderful alternative to the threaded fittings and soldering that were once used to connect pipes. Compression fittings are an easy solder-free pipe-wrench connection. Also, they allow for the instant and easy removal and replacement of most household plumbing connections. Unfortunately once compression fittings are connected, the pipes that are traveling into and out of them must not be disturbed because even the slightest movement can cause a joint to leak. Many people make the mistake of wiggled a newly connected pipe and that usually results in an instant leak. To avoid a sudden leak, always leave the fitting alone once the joint has been achieved.

In addition, it is highly recommended that you avoid the use of compression fittings for quarter and eighth-inch tubing, such as water-supply connections between the wall valve and the faucet or toilet. These are the last places you want a leak to spring from so to avoid this problem arising it is recommended that you use high-pressure plastic and metal water-supply lines. They have the same threads as compression fittings, but they don't leak no matter what!

Lastly, it isn’t a good idea to reuse compression fittings because once one has been used it makes a unique connection with its own concentric shape. Reusing that fitting may lead to a leak because it won’t fit as tight as it did the first time. In addition, when removing a compression fitting you need to remove the cap nut and then use a fine-tooth hacksaw to cut the compression ring off the pipe. Be careful not to slice up the underlying pipe.

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