compression versus solder

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    • #273342

      I am having an outdoor shower put in. The area to tap into the hot and cold pipes is very tight and soldering would be very difficult. I am worried that compression fittings aren’t as strong and that some could pullon the outdoor fixtures and pull the fittings right out. Is that a crazy concern?

    • #287405
      Harold Kestenholz

      Once a compression fitting is tightened on it is secure. A brass compression ring is actually squeezed into the copper pipe and makes the pipe a little smaller right where the ring is; so the fitting can not pull off unless the pull forces the remainder of the tube to squeeze – very hard to do.

      However, frequent movement of pipes due to temperature changes can, in time, make drips appear at the joint. Sealing is better with a solder joint for that reason. The compression fitting is made to help with the tough repair problem you have. In a few years if the drip begins, you will then have to do it the better way.

    • #287406

      If you use hard copper, as you should, then the compression ring will seldom indent it, so a slight loosening of the joint may allow it to separate due to the water pressure. A compression joint, especially in the larger sizes is very susceptible to leakage if it is subjected to movement or vibration. And if you tighten it enough to indent the tubing, you may wind up with an unfixable leak.

    • #287407

      Compression fittings are fine, i have seen then in houses over 50 yrs old, and they are still hanging on strong

    • #287408

      Sorry hj, there are too many plumbers here who spent time trying to get compression nuts and rings off to believe that the rings don’t squeeze copper. True, though, that the best way to use them is to tighten the nuts just hard enough to stop the fitting from leaking. Overtightening is frequent, especially with the inexperienced.

    • #287409

      Hi jwardsworth, Have you considered flair instead of the weaker compression connection?

      FYI A lot of unknowing folks call copper tubing hard (drawn temper) and annealed as “soft” you can also get drawn in a “bending temper.”

      Are you aware of tools that uses an electric heating element to heat the joint so soldering can take place where the use of an open flame is not practicable (like hospital work and repair in the older buildings with lots of flamable stuff around).

      Compression joints can last for many years but are subject to failure with vibration more readily then either a soldered joint or flair connection.

      There are other soldering options available that can also be utilized like self tinning flux solder combinations like Hercules 95-5 which offers a joint strength around 16,000 PSI

      By the way the “unlicensed” guy IS WRONG as usual as you CAN USE the compression ring on either temper of copper tubing with good results.

      The flair type of joint is not recommended on the drawn type .

      As long as the external and internal burrs are removed the compression ring will work for years and years with trouble free service

    • #287410

      Once more you do not read the whole thing. I did not say that compression cannot be used on hard copper, otherwise there would be no way to install angle stops. But I did say that I have removed many angle compression rings by just removing the valve and sliding the nut and ring off the tubing. And this is after many years of leakfree use, so it is not because of poor installation. And if he is using hard copper, it might be a little difficult to flare it unless he is using an automotive or aircraft flaring system.

    • #287411

      “Once more you do not read the whole thing. I did not say that compression cannot be used on hard copper, otherwise there would be no way to install angle stops. “

      Again HJ you prove ignorance IS BLISS. Only a stoned face NON licensed IDIOT would ever think of using a compression joint BEFORE the shut off

      Now my unskilled NON Licensed handyman mentality, friend Let me enlighten you with regard to

      “otherwise there would be no way to install angle stops”

      We REAL plumbers either use the following to PROPERLY install an angle stop

      1- Solder a Copper Male adapter on the copper tubing and use a screwed type of angle that can be replaced very easily

      2- DO the proper job and install a Copper FEMALE connector. THEN come out of the wall with either a brass nipple OR A chrome plated brass nipple (for exposed piping) and again use a SCREWED on angle valve

      3- Or disassemble a copper compression valve, solder the valve on the copper tubing and re assemble ( this protects the washer and bonnet from being destroyed DUH). BUT this takes a mechanic to do and YOUR cheap home center mentality would only look for the simple IMPROPER way of doing this kind of work.

      Connecting a compression valve (nut before shut off) not only shows total lack of concern for the victims you work for BUT shows total disregard to model codes and good plumbing practices BUT then again you never held a “plumbers license” therefore you cant be held accountable for not knowing the proper job.

      HJ not everyone wants a CHEAP job in their home some folks do like Quality.

      You said Compression nuts can LEAK.

      “A compression joint, especially in the larger sizes is very susceptible to leakage if it is subjected to movement or vibration. And if you tighten it enough to indent the tubing, you may wind up with an unfixable leak.”

      Then you have the gall to install them BEFORE the shut off. Man you are something else.
      Lucky you dont have a license other wise you would have it taken away for inept plumbing practices.

      I am shocked that any boss would let you out of the stock room, NO WONDER the Plumbing inspector HAD to Leave as your even suggesting this kind of job makes any REAL plumber sick. Bet your an expert at epoxy/ electrical tape repairs also HUH?

      By the way HJ Flairing is used by PLUMBERS and Steamfitters and even air conditioning trades.

      The flaring tool is NOT just for air planes or car mechanics.

      Listen my non skilled helper friend next time you look at modulating steam valve LOOK at the conection HUH?

      Check out your “normal” Gas flexy HEY GUY ITS A FLAIR CONNECTION big suprise here huh? Know why FLAIR?
      ANSWER DONT LEAK as readily as compression.

      Air conditioning tubing (ACR) Guess what DUDE FLAIR connections on most filter driers.

      Hey HJ ever in your life see a small oil burner? LOOK at the copper tubing (oil supply to the burner)and THINK FLAIR.
      KNOW why HJ? STRENTH, PLUS Flair takes VIBRATION.

      HJ “K” copper water MAINS Flair huh? Think about it.

      Hey HJ go to a supply house next time and not the home centers you normally walk around and ask to SEE A FLAIR KIT (Yoke and block)

      Dont you honestly think after 50 years in this trade you should have LEARNED SOMETHING about doing it properly?

      Class over go back to sleep guy

    • #287412


      You leave me in a quandry, (I hope that is not too big a word for you). I cannot decide if you are an idiot, (my preference). Just acting ignorant to pull my chain. Or are you actually uneducated. A six month apprentice or eighth grade student knows the difference between FLAIR and FLARE, ( and repeat it with every usage). It is a mistake that no genuine contractor or LMP would ever make. And either you cannot read big words or you only read every third or fourth one, otherwise you would have seen that I specified HARD copper as needing the aviation/automotive double flares. Or are you good enough that you have been able to consistently flare hard copper without it splitting on you? And as far as a male adapter and fip stop for fixtures, the only place I have seen that done is where users have gotten their supplies from Home Depot. Out here, every home that has been built for the last 60 years has had 5/8″ (1/2″ nominal in case you do not know what that is either), compression inlets on the fixture stops.

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