I am trying to replace the shut off valves for the kitchen faucet. I
am using the compression type valve that connects to a copper stub
pipe. This has a thin copper or brass ring that fits over the stub.
It keeps dripping. I have tightened it to the point that the ring has
Any advice or tips on the proper techniques for this type of fitting?
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Get coppeer fittings to attach to the faucet. Learn to solder copper
pipe. Get a plumbing book from Home Depot or Lowes. Use a battery-drainer
gizmo (rubber sucking thing with long skinny tube) to suck the water away
from pipe connections (the biggest problem in soldering pipe), and be
sure to keep the flame from hitting anything but the pipe (they sell
special pads for this) so you don't set your house on fire. Practice on
some copper pipe before you are doing it inside the wall. Then your
plumbing world will gain Buddha-nature.
If you broke the ring you will have to replace the whole thing,witch might
be better anyway. What you are talking is called a "angle stop" go to any
hardware store they will have one. I would guess the copper stub out is 1/2"
( 5/8" OD ) The compression stub out is most likely 3/8". If you can take
the old one with you, you will be better off. When installing the new use
Pipe dope on the brass compression ring and all the threads. If you have one
that the supply line for the fixture is non removable from the angle stop
you might to get the same kind, or else use a flex hose the should be able
to set you up at the store. If the stub out is out of shape you might have a
hard time installing a new one. Clean the pipe with sand cloth.
FWIW, I always use some emery cloth to clean the pipe first and (despite
what it might say on the packaging) I use a small amount of pipe joint
compound. It's important to have a square end on the pipe and to push
the valve on until it seats. It shouldn't be necessary to use
But I don't claim any special expertise in this area, so others might
tell you differently. Just because it works for me ... YMMV.
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A couple suggestions:
First & foremost, be certain the copper stub has a nice clean 90 degree cut
at the end. There should be no burrs on the cut end. Ensure the tube is
still nice & round. This is easy to check by sliding the new compression on
& off , and looking for spots where it binds and /or has a gap between ring
& tube. If the tube has a kink or flat spot, the compression ring won't make
a waterproof seal.
Be sure the stub is very clean. 00 steel wool works well to remove surface
Slide the nut & ring onto the stub farther than their final seating
location. Then slide the >>NEW<< valve assembly into place, making sure the
stub is fully seated. Hold the valve at the desired angle, and slide the
ring & nut down to it & hand tighten.
Now hold the valve assembly firmly in on place with a crescent wrench. Use
another wrench (preferably the right size box end wrench) to slightly
tighten the nut. Just slightly snug the nut the first time. Then back the
nut off 1/4 to 1/2 turn, and snug it again. Repeat. This snugging / backing
off will help seat the compression ring better than a single hard tightening
If this fails you may have to resort to soldering an extension onto the
Another alternative is to go another way. Solder an adapter on the copper
pipe and then use (thread or solder) a quarter turn ball valve. If there is
a cosmetic issue, they also make chrome quarter turn ball valves. These
valves make life so much easier.
My experience is limited but I always remove the
old ring (especially if the old ring caused a
depression, cut at least 1/2" off the pipe, and
slip a new nut and ring on which will be slightly
behind the old ring depression. When you tighten
the nut make sure that the valve does not turn.
(I've occasionally had a leak no matter what I did
if I let the valve turn slightly.) And, tighten
the nut moderately. Leakless valves installed by
plumbers often have rings that slip right off with
no obvious or felt depression in the copper pipe.
In your case you have damaged the pipe enough that
you need to cut off a piece so that the new ring
will seat on undamaged pipe. Or sweat on a
coupling and a new piece of copper pipe to the old
pipe if cutting it off would make it too short.
Good luck. Tighten the nut to no more than 15-20
ft-lbs turn the water on and if it leaks tighten
slightly until it stop leaking.
I know this suggestion isn't "by the book" but it worked for me the
couple of times I ended up with a weeping compression fitting and
couldn't easily replace the parts and start over again.
I just backed the nut off and slid it away from the ferrule (ring) and
then pulled the pipe out of the fitting a bit.
Then I wrapped a few turns of 1/2" wide teflon pipe tape around the
ferrule. The edges of the tape lapped onto the pipe.
When I pushed the nut back and tightened it the teflon squished into the
gaps and the joint was "tighter than a bull's ass in fly season",
without any overtightening of the nut.
YMMV, but the mechanical principles made sense to me, and as I said
above, it sure worked for me.
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