Repairing Washing Machine Shutoff Valves

One of the shutoff valves for my washing machine sprung a small leak and I replaced it with a new one. I got the replacement (from HD) which connects to a 1/2 in female compression fitting coming through the drywall wall. (This is a 20 year old home). I replaced both and the new ones leak very slightly at the compression fitting. The old fittings were slightly corroded and I cleaned them up the best I could given the very limited access. Apparently, what I've got is chromed escutcheon plates that cover the wall opening and the upstream fittings. It appears that the compression fitting ring is on 1/2 in copper tubing that comes through the wall. Not enough protrudes that I can remove the ring.or get at it to clean it all up. (BTW, I am familiar with the more serious version of these fittings, Swagelok, etc. and understand how they're supposed to work.) I assume that the compression ring is either loose on the tubing or it is no longer smooth enough to provide a proper seal.
The worst case scenario is to open the wall, cut off the tubing, solder on extensions, and attach new compression fittings. Obviously, I'd like to avoid this and just clean up the existing compression ring enough to get a good seal. However, everything is so close to the wall that I can't back off the female nut (trapped behind the compression ring) enough to uncover and clean the compression ring.
Are there any tricks to cleaning this old compression ring and improve the fit enough to get a good seal? Can I put some kind of polishing paste on the old valve and use is to clean up the mating surface inside? Any ideas and advice would be appreciated.
- Magnusfarce
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Shut off water. Dissemble the compression fitting. Soak the compression assembly with WD-40 and reassemble. Changes the friction directions and such.
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Christopher A. Young
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