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Thread: What's the secret to no leak the first time?

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  1. #1
    DIY Member TSPORT's Avatar
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    Default What's the secret to no leak the first time?

    Hi all. I have been doing my own plumbing repairs for decades but to this day I have not figured out a way to install a water supply line (generally 3/8ths chromed copper)with a brass compression sleeve that does not leak. Further tightening of the nut does not seem to help. Years ago I even snapped a line off due to overtightening. I usually end up having to take it all apart and making a new tube/sleeve assy. and trying again. Sometime I just wait until the fitting crusts up. Gotta be a better way.
    I make sure there are no burrs on the tube. Should I be coating the sleeve & tube w/ joint compound before I install? What's the secret y'all? Thanks.........................TSPORT
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  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
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    I brush pipe dope over everything but it really is not necessary. Do you have the line as far into the valve as it can go? Do you have the line straight up (if it's angled inside the valve it will leak)? That's about all I can think of.

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    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    Make sure the tubing is perfectly round and clean where the ferrule will seat.

    Make sure the nut is clean inside and slip the nut onto the tubing.

    Make sure both the internal and external portions of the ferrule are clean and not damaged, then slip it on the tubing.

    Make sure the "socket" on the receiving fitting (shut-off valve) is clean and not damaged.

    Bottom out the tube in the receiving fitting and while holding the tube bottomed tighten the nut hand tight. Continue holding the tube and tighten the nut one complete turn with a wrench then check for leaks. If it leaks, continue tightening to a maximum of one and one-half turns beyond hand tight.

    Over tightening is as bad as under tightening.

    Pipe dope or teflon tape is NOT necessary and more often than not will interfere with a good seal. At most you may want to use a tiny drop of light oil on the threaded portion to reduce friction.

  4. #4

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    Why not use the flexible supply lines? Even a plumbing hack like myself has never had one leak.

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    DIY Member TSPORT's Avatar
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    I don't like the flexible lines for toilets because they are visible. The chrome tube looks much neater & nicer. Also, it always seems whenever I try the flexible lines, the length is either just a bit too short or long to make a nice flowing bend or circle. I will give it a few more snugs w/ the wrench. If no good, looks like it's time for another compression sleeve & piece of tube. I will try bottoming out the tube in the valve next time. Don't think I've been doing that. Didn't think it mattered, thought the compression sleeve was doing the sealing. Appreciate the input!.................TSPORT

  6. #6
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    The ferrule does do the sealing but you must have the proper length of tubing past the end of the ferrule for it (the ferrule) to properly crimp to the tubing.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    I like Furd's suggestions.

    Like he says, I've started using a drop of oil on the threads (something I learned on this site, from Terry) and it seems to help.

    One other thing to add - try to make sure the tubing enters the fitting as centered as possible, and with (ideally) no lateral tension - I think it helps keep the ferrule properly aligned on the tubing, not cocked a little to one side. (Oops - I see Marlin already said this)

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