I tackle a bit of plumbing occasionally and normally use solder fittings,
but recently had to do some work which required chrome pipe and chrome
compression fittings for an electric shower. Also not allowed to use Boss
White near the shower. Normally I don't have many problems with standard
pipe and fittings but this was a hell of job getting a seal. Even had the
pipe slip out of one fitting because the chrome was so slippery.
In the end I got a seal by using some spare 15mm olives that were more
substantial that the ones in the cheap fittings from screwfix, also roughed
up the chrome that was inside the fitting, and yes, bugger it, I used a bit
I would love to know if there are any tips for working with chrome fittings
that will help if I ever tackle similar work again?
Is it chrome, or stainless? My shower had stainless pipe which was thin
walled, and when I used one of those push-on fittings with teeth inside
which grip the pipe, it wouldn't hold. I replaced it with copper, I didn't
want the leak in the loft above our bed where the join was.
And I use PTFE tape to seal compression fittings, they often don't seal
when it's got the torque I consider correct.
I believe it also weakens/ embrittles plastic, at least the binding agent in
it does and as the water control valves in the showers frequently have
plastic components - taboo as far as the manufacturers are concerned. Having
said that I have a couple of plastic header tanks with the tank connectors
sealed with boss white 30 years ago and they're still holding water, but
they aren't under pressure and it's a different type of plastic!
You sure the pipe was 15mm and not old half inch?
I've used chrome on showers and never had any problems. The only time
I have had that problem was on old half inch pipe where I couldn't get
the right olives.
A smear of silicon gasket seal *behind* the olive was a successful
bodge on a cistern inlet.
These fittings are supposedly made to close tolerances.
Just possible you got two extremes but it would be something I've not
come across in plumbing fittings.
Unless it's all being made in China nowadays.
Well it seems that unless you buy Conex, that fitting are getting cheaper
and cheaper these days, and the fittings are definitely not as deep and the
olives not as substantial as they used to be. I guess that if I buy cheap
stuff I have to take my chances. Normally things are fine with copper, but
with Chrome plated copper, definitely go for quality fittings!!!
That's my summary anyway.
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