Dripping olive..


OK, so I got too enthusiastic pulling out the washing machine to clean behind it..
To cut a long story short - I have a 15mm copper pipe that appears out of a hole and, an inch later, goes into the standard compression fitting washing machine outlet tap. The compression fitting, thanks to the actions mentioned in the first line, is now leaking. Just a drip every 10 secs or so.
I tried tightening the compression joint. It won't tighten. It will loosen very easily. When I say it won't tighten, I mean it won't tighten. I'm sure that the nut is bottoming out on the fitting and not applying more force to the olive.
Now I have choices, as I see it.
1) Saw end off pipe, complete with existing olive. Re-assemble with new olive. There is just about enough pipe sticking out to do this.
2) Saw off end of pipe. Clean up end and solder on a join to a new bit of pipe, complete with old outlet tap with new olive. Or even new outlet tap and new olive.
3) Undo compression fitting. Apply PTFE tape to old pipe and olive. Re-tighten with fingers crossed.
4) Saw off end of pipe. Clean up end and solder on blanking cap. Wash clothes by hand..
Anyone had much joy in stopping compression fittings from leaking?
-- Sue
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Palindrome wrote:

A bit tricky but I have managed to part saw and part split open an olive or 2 without damaging the pipe enough to cause the replacement to leak. Very scary.
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Silicon instant gasket might do it. There are plenty of brands available. Had the same problem with a 15mm olive on a half inch pipe feeding the toilet tank on a sunday night :(
Had a choice of taking up floor boards and replacing the pipe or trying this. It worked for 6 years so far touch wood. Smear some silicon instant gasket round the olive and in the back of the fitting and on the threads. Give it a chance to go off before turning the water on. It's a bodge but it might save digging out the wall.
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Given the amount of (pretty advanced) DIY you evidently undertake - plus giving endless really helpful advice here, I think option (4) is a very, very bad idea :-((((
--
Martin



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Martin wrote:

something with a hammer. Or set fire to it with an arc welder.
Except that these little sods of pipes are in a "left-handed" corner at the back of a hole, yes, just big enough to take a washing machine.
Just about room for me, a torch and a blowlamp. Eyebrows may turn out to have been optional.
I think that I am going to try a bit of PTFE tape and some instant gasket (thanks Alan - I hadn't thought of adding some of that).
Anywhere else and I might have tried sawing off the olive. (Thanks invisible, I hadn't thought of trying that either). I might still try, if I can get enough cushions in there to lay on. A needle file might do it.
I'm so annoyed with myself. If I had taken a bit more care pulling the machine out, it wouldn't have yanked on the pipe..
It wasn't that dirty behind it anyway. :(
-- Sue
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olive might be easily removed by getting an open ended spanner, with the flats the size of the copper tube diameter, and use that to tap the olive off from behind, Once that is done, replace the nut and olive and try again.
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Smear the fitting side of the olive with water hawk / hawk white assemble the joint, wrap the olive with ptfe, then smear the lot with a goodly amount of water hawk. If it doesnt squeeze out everywhere when you tighten the nut you havent used enough. Put it on the list of things to to do properly in a spare 5 mins. ... ( cut olive off with a jnr hacksaw - new nut and olive should sort it as long as you havent crushed the pipe).
I had a similar problem with a rad value that refused to stop dripping, its still on the list of things to fix properly but the dripping has stopped so its at the bottom :-) .
Lard.
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Option 3 has to be your best bet. If it doesn't work (unlikely), you've not lost anything except some PTFE tape and some time.
Rob Graham
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Try packing it with hemp and gunge.
If you can get at the olive, gently file through it and replace it.
You can usually use the cap to tap the olive off to replace it, although in this case the thing might be inbedded in the pipe and you need to replace the bit of pipe.
Since your knowledge of DIY is so much greater than my own I do hesitate to offer suggestions since you have probably worked through them.
Oh I nearly forgot. Do a one way trip by using the very useful car body filler. Apply to the thing, screw tight as fast as &*^* and let set whilst praying fervently. Hope it seals it up.
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wrote:

Going down that route Araldite is as good as anything. I used it to fix a thermostat cover on a car one time. Yellow Reliant Regal van to be exact. And one of my grandparents was a Trotter :)
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Popeye must have dealt with a dripping Olive. But No2 seems the best option.
Adam
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wrap the existing olive in ptfe and retighten or carefully cut the olive till its almost thro to the pipe with a junior hack saw then spring the cut open with a small screwdriver being careful not to carry on all the way thro the olive and sawing into /nicking the pipe then replace the olive etc.i have a tool a bit like a pair of pliers that goes over an olive with a squeeze they are off...like this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MONUMENT-2030B-15mm-OLIVE-REMOVING-TOOL-REMOVER_W0QQitemZ310052071875QQihZ021QQcategoryZ42337QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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nobby wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MONUMENT-2030B-15mm-OLIVE-REMOVING-TOOL-REMOVER_W0QQitemZ310052071875QQihZ021QQcategoryZ42337QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem <snip>
That would have done nicely!
As it was in such a totally awkward place, I ended up opting to leave the original nut and olive on, applying a significant amount of PTFE tape and putting a blanking cap on the end. Which seems to be totally drip free.
No, I haven't given up the washing machine! I ran a new section of pipe, picked up from a pipe in the cellar below and ending on a new valve/connection point in a far more sensible place behind the machine. So I can pull the machine forward now, without worrying about the hose pulling on the fixed plumbing.
I'd rather have soldered an end-cap onto the pipe - but it was just too awkward a spot to work in. But I'm hoping that the compression fitting will be fine, as it shouldn't be disturbed in the future.
Thanks for everyone's very helpful suggestions. If people had said that PTFE tape would never work, I would have done something different.
-- Sue
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@privacy.net says...

plus diy attacked as it arises. Let me know f there's a divorce in the offing.
ps. Don't worry about the dinner thing.
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