Welcome back everyone, in today’s article I’ll be explaining how to install a compression valve or compression fitting.
Compression fittings are user-friendly, easy to install and have many purposes. These fittings aren’t normally used in new constructions but rather, renovation projects. Compression fittings are ingenious because you can use them in places where welding isn’t an option. Also, compression fittings can be used on leaky pipes such as broken water lines in an emergency situation.
Step 1: A COMPRESSION FITTING (VALVE)
Alright, so these fittings are composed of 3 parts, the valve in this case, a sleeve and a retainer nut. All of these work in conjunction with each other to make for a leak free, solid joint
Step 2: TOOLS/MATERIALS FOR THE JOB
You’ll be needing some tools and materials to install these the correct way, starting with either 2 open end wrenches the size of the retainer nuts or 2 adjustable wrenches, and I always like to install a bit of pipe dope to lubricate and seal my connections so for this, I’ll be using my trusty can of pipe dope.
Step 4: PREPPING THE PIPE/FITTING
So the first thing to do is to ensure that you pipe is free of any kinks, debris or just plain old dirt, so get yourself a clean paper towel or rag and clean it off as best as you could. Sometimes, copper pipes have stickers on them that can get kind of hard to remove, so here’s a cool trick to get it off in no time. Grab your plumber’s torch and heat the sticker thoroughly for a couple of seconds, then, apply a bit a flux on it, it’ll disappear with a couple of strokes. Make sure to wipe off any excess flux or it will eat up your pipe. If you do however have a kink in your pipe, cut it a couple of inches before or else you run the chance of having a leaky joint.
Step 5: PLACE THE FITTING ON
Once your pipe is ready, slip on your retainer nut, then the sleeve and finally the fitting. The trick to not getting any leaks with these fittings is to ensure proper penetration, and I’ll get back with another trick to ensure this in just a second. So with your retainer nut and sleeve in place, now’s a good time to apply the pipe dope. Only a small amount is required for it to do its job.
Step 6: SECURING THE FITTING
The only thing left to do is to tighten the retainer nut. To ensure that the fitting is properly seated, what I like to do is tighten it ever so slightly, then hit the back of the fitting to ensure it’s seated properly, as opposed to hitting it without tightening it, it would bounce back and not seat properly. Once that’s done, go ahead and start tightening it. Your cue for knowing when they are tight enough is when you start to hear a squeaking noise as you are tightening, this is caused by the rotational friction between all the parts inside.
And that’s how to install a leak-free compression fitting!