Sometimes it is as easy as tightening the fitting up with a spanner and a pair of grips BUT sometimes you will need to strip the fitting down and use sealant or even replace the olive. Sometimes you will ahve to replace the whole fitting or even a small part of the pipe. Which made me think that we need to do a video on how to fix compression fittings. Now, as you know, we’ve done a video a long, long time ago about how compression fittings work. That’s great. But what about if they leak. So we’re going to have a look very quickly if you’ve got a weeping compression fitting, how you can fix them and what you can do to solve the problem.
As we all know, compression fittings work in a really simple way. We’ve got an olive, a tapered insert, and a nut with a taper on the inside. When they tighten up those 2 tapers work on that olive and compress it on to the pipe to create a watertight seal. So, what do we do if this is leaking? First thing’s first, if you think that you’ve got a leaking compression fitting like that. The first thing I would try and do is see if you can actually nip it up a little bit. Get yourself a pair of grips to grip the inside part here, the actual main body of the fitting. And then use a pair of adjustables to tighten it up. When you’re using grips always grip in the opposite direction to where you are tightening up So, this would be wrong. To tighten this fitting up, the grips are the wrong way round. So you want the grips to be this way round like so. Then you can get your adjustable on the fitting like that and tighten it up. Give it an extra nip. Often that will stop a leak on a compression fitting. Sometimes though it doesn’t. After you’ve done that, get yourself some tissue, wipe it down, fill the system up or whatever you’re working on with water again and test for leaks. If you still find it’s leaking, there’s 3 or 4 other things we can do to stop this fitting from leaking altogether.
So the next thing we could do is actually strip the fitting down you will see then that you’ve got a nut with your bitten on olive nut with your bitten on olive,if you don’t want to change the fitting and if you can’t change the olive, you can’t get a hacksaw or something like that, there’s a couple of things you can do that might seal it
if you don’t want to change this olive the first thing i would do is use some jointing compound
this is pretty old jointing compound but it’s going to do for demonstration purposes today, so get yourself some lovely jointing compound all this is is linseed oil and chaulk and you get your compound and you splodge it onto your fitting and then push your fitting back together again and tighten it up as you would normally. If you haven’t got any jointing compound you can also use PTFE tape. Right so we’ve got our olive here and remember this is only if you can’t change the olive or the fitting. A little bit of PTFE tape, now,PTFE tape is pretty cool stuff! There’s a knack to useing it try and have your tape coming out at this angle like this, lay it across the olive, with your thumb, Just wrap it round, front and back of the olive, just like so, Make sure when you put the PTFE on the olive that the PTFE winds in the direction that the nut tightens up. If it goes the other way you’ll find that the PTFE splurges out and you won’t be able to seal the leak. So now you’ve got a nicely covered up olive there. Push the fitting back together, and then tighten up. I have never in all my years of plumbing had one of these leak after doing PTFE around the olive.
Lets have a look at how you change the olive. The Way to get an olive off if you don’t have an olive splitter you might as well use a junior hacksaw and a very steady hand. Because you do not want to score the pipe. The good thing is you can get a junior hacksaw cut diagonally like this across the olive but before you actually cut fully through the olive, you can get a nice little thin slotted screwdriver and twist the olive apart, and be easily removed from the pipe. Try as best you cannot to score the pipe. Now you should be able to pop your screwdriver in there and remove the olive. Now looking at the condition of the pipe, it’s not too bad. At this point you can have problems that may mean replacing the pipe
If there is a slight ripple in the pipe its going to be very difficult to re-seal that bit of pipe. So new olive, old fitting on. Re-tighten up. Sometimes you’ll be able to slacken off the fitting and just grab a pair of grips pop that round the olive and just wangle it off.



plumberparts says:

Links to the tools I use everyday here:

Plus, follow my Vlog “TimesWithJames”:


Brilliant thanks

Sam Oxley says:

Question; when fitting a new compression fitting do you use jointing compound or PTFE tape as a precautionary measure or rely on the new olive to seal as it should on its own?

Trevor Phillips says:

That was a waste of peanut butter.

Anyo Nes Mirked says:

Awesome tips.

Thanks for sharing 👍

Tony Conrad says:

Thank you for explaining everything.

Tony Conrad says:

Up the Imperial measurements.

Tundzhay Bayryamov says:

Hello mate, what do you think of applying Plumber's Gold on tip of copper pipes before compression fixing?

kenneth sherlock says:

What a pity you wound the PTFE tape on the wrong way.

Simon Martin says:

Plumbers: experts at telling between clockwise and anti-clockwise.

tanveer khan says:

Can u teach lead to copper soldering no fancy fittings just the proper old skool way

henry twigger says:

How dose an olive removing tool work ? Dose it even work ?

MrJukeJules says:

Quote "I've never had one leak after fitting PTFE tape". Just tried and calloo callay, it worked 🙂 Now I'm looking for advice on how you apply tape without it twisting into a thread like thin cotton 🙁
btw love how you you've got orange paint on your junior hacksaw so you've a chance of finding it again when it's crept away under the floorboards

Mike Goldstein says:

Your PTFE tape trick worked like a charm! Thanks for the info!

Andrew Matthew aka acameraman says:

I wish I had seen this video 4 hrs ago. My bathroom sink tap had a leak at the point the flexible tap connector met the main pipe. The pedestal for the sink prevented disassembly of the fitting. I put PTFE tape on the thread but not the olive. Result, only a small improvement. Next time I will know.

SteveR says:

All good fixes, as suggested by you and your viewers.  You didn't mention the use of a compression sleeve (olive) puller, which is fairly simple to use, but can be expensive to buy (from as little as $20.00 to $55.00, or more).  If the olive is compressed so tightly (or has even bitten into the copper pipe), the sleeve puller may be the only way to remove it.  However, I like the idea of using PTFE (Teflon) tape as an over-wrap, then cinch the connection up tight.  There are also olive cutters that "bite" through the brass olive.  Using a hacksaw is best left to experts, as it doesn't take much effort to cut into the copper pipe before you realize it.  You may be further limited in your choices if working space is minimal.

python says:

Simply, it solved my problem. It saved my day. Thank you!

Nancy Balerud says:

Sending you plumber Love from Denver Colorado! Trying to fix compression fitting on the water feed to my swamp cooler.

Michael Elwood says:

Love the little tip on which way around you should apply the PTFE tape, whilst you were applying it the wrong way yourself.

Chris Watkins says:

You’ve just convinced me to not use push fit, saving a lot of cash. Thanks

Frank Symes says:

question if you cut the pipe off with a hacksaw and then what about if you added one of those like metal connector pipes that you have on the toilet and then connect it back together to a washing machine connector. I thought this is just in might help other people if it would work. Thank you for reading my comment

BenjWarrant says:

Thanks, James, you just saved my Easter weekend!

Andy Warrington says:

nicely done , thumbs up mate

Rebecca White says:

My husband swears by PTFE tape around the olive. Hundreds of compression joints and not a single leak.

Slayer 6 Romeo says:

Dude, you just got yourself a new subscriber. This video was AWESOME! 😂 I've always called that thing a compression ring but from now on I will always call it an olive! Outstanding work my good man. Outstanding work indeed!

Maureen McNulty says:

No need to rude about the weather mate! Stick to the plumbing advice

khalid karim says:

Good tip. from west London

Jose Fajardo says:

Great video, thank you for your assistance.

Dave Martin says:

annoying british people should be banned from youtube videos

paulkazjack says:

Love PTFE tape.

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