Is it common for copper pipe to be too soft for compression fittings?

I recently bought some 10mm copper tube from tradingdepot.co.uk:-
COP10/10/BARE 1 15.67 Coil Plain Copper Tube 10mm x 10m
However I'm finding it *very* difficult to make good compression fitted joints with it. I've not had any problems at all with some older 10mm pipe I have (existing installation) and nor do I ever have any problems with larger sizes. I've made many, many compression fitted joints over the years and I've never had as much hassle as I've had with this particular pipe.
On disassembly (of leaking joints) the olives have deformed considerable and dug into the pipe. Normally when I take my compression fittings apart it's possible to remove the olives (with a bit of persuasion) but with this pipe there's absolutely no chance of doing this.
How do I make sure that any further 10mm copper I buy is stiff/hard enough to take compression fittings well?
--
Chris Green

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On 12/11/2012 09:53, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Sounds like you are dong them up too much for this pipe if the olives are that deformed - are you sure it is the pipe, and not the olives that are at fault here?
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On Mon, 12 Nov 2012 10:08:27 +0000, Toby wrote:

Coiled pipe will be soft other wise it would be rather hard to uncoil.

Olives deformed *and* dug into the pipe? Doesn't sound right (well it's not with a leaky joint). Are the olives soft copper or hard brass?

I'd go with that, can't decide if a soft pipe needs a soft olive or a hard one. I suspect soft and not murdered up. A compression joint should not require any tape or jointing compound. Having said that I do put a merest smear of compound on mine but I do mean very little, more for lubrication than sealing.
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Dave.




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Copper olives.
As I said everything works fine on the old, already installed, pipe. It's just this new pipe I'm having problems with. On disassembling the joints the olives are nothing like the ones on successfully made joints, the edges of the olive are sort of collapsed/imbedded into the pipe.

Quite. I'm *not* doing them up particularly tight, especially not to start with, just a quarter of a turn or a little more after the nut has tightened.
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Sounds to me like you're over tightening them. You can get round the problem by winding some PTFE tape on top of the olive. Or using solder fittings which are cheaper anyway.
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I have been told that using PTFE tape is now standard practice. Used to be jointing paste when I was a lad. When ..........

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On 12/11/2012 10:50, Mr Pounder wrote:

I still prefer jointing paste. As an amateur plumber I find it much easier to use. It's obviously messier.
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When I was an apprentice I don't remember anybody using PTFE on compression joints. When I first saw it being used I considered it to be a botch up. I now have to admit that it is a good idea.

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Mr Pounder wrote:

I have only used paste on old joints that have been distrubed. Not one of my new joints has been anything but dry - given I am an amateur, I despair of any professional who needs to do this as a matter of course...
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On 12/11/12 09:53, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

10mm is a total bitch. All my joints ended up with red boss or summat smeared everywhere to stop the leaks
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On 12/11/2012 09:53, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

...
Microbore tubing is to Table Y of the British Standard and is fully annealed, which means it is soft. Normally copper plumbing pipe of 15mm and over is to Table X and is half-hard, although it can also be obtained in fully hard condition (Table Z), which has thinner walls and, therefore, uses less copper. The harder the tube, the more difficult it is to bend, hence the use of fully annealed for microbore, which is often chosen for its ability to be fitted into difficult places.
Colin Bignell
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Ah, now that would explain it somewhat. Maybe I should try and get some half-hard 10mm copper. I think the straight lengths sold in the French diy stores might be harder (this is for use in France), I need very little so price isn't a big issue.
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Chris Green

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On Monday, November 12, 2012 12:28:23 PM UTC, Nightjar wrote:

This is true, however the BS Tables X, Y and Z have been superseded by some BS EN spec that I can't recall the name of. Use of the word 'tube' noted and applauded.
I'd suspect the OP has got dodgy fittings or olives; metric fittings and imperial pipe possibly? There is a lot of imperial soft annealed pipe used for refrigeration, because many of the fittings are made in the USA
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On 12/11/2012 14:10, Onetap wrote:

BS EN 1057, but nobody I know uses it. The plumbing trade is full of people who use old names for things. I still get orders for Byelaw kits and the Water Byelaws were superseded in 1999. The equivalents in BS EN 1057 BTW are Table Y - R220, Table X - R250 and Table Z - R290.

I also supply products for pipes.

imperial pipe possibly? There is a lot of imperial soft annealed pipe used for refrigeration, because many of the fittings are made in the USA
Apparently the OP is in France, so it is probably all metric, but, being French, possibly not metric as we know it.
Colin Bignell
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I still ask for timber by imperial sizes and today I bought some 4" x 2" electrical trunking. It's not just plumbers ...
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imperial pipe possibly? There is a lot of imperial soft annealed pipe used for refrigeration, because many of the fittings are made in the USA

Er, the pipe fitting work is in France, I'm in the UK just now but off to France again tomorrow.
It's supposed to be all 10mm, there's never been any imperial bits mixed in with it, the original pipework is from Belgium and marked 10mm (among other things). The original pipes (which I'm having no trouble with) are definitely much stiffer to bend than the new stuff which I'm having trouble with.
I have found that bending this soft pipe (with a proper pipe bender) is very difficult too, it just collapses into creases. However bending the original harder pipe, while it takes a bit of effort, actually produces a nicely curved pipe with no creases.
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Chris Green

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On Monday, November 12, 2012 5:48:04 PM UTC, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Sounds like unsuitable pipe, possibly thin-walled stuff (and so cheap) that's been passed off as something better somewhere up the supply chain. I'd get some more. It is copper and not plated steel?
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Had the same problem with the soft 10mm tails at a mixer - I originally tried to use 15 x 10 mm compression reducers. After much messing around, couldn't get it drip free. Ended up using end feed solder ones - not ideal if it ever has to come apart. Would be interesting to see if push fit works better - I suspect it would.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 12/11/2012 12:50, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

End feed fitting reducers can work well for tap tails. That way the reducer can go straight into a 15mm service valve.
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Cheers,

John.

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Are you using 10mm copper pipe inserts aren't you? They push into the end of 10mm pipe, so tightening prevents collapse.
Ebay UK item 190545998698. BES UK item 19949 "Brass insert for use with soft copper tube; recommended when using a compression fitting".
Just no-one mentioned them...
Quietly, I am convert to John Guest although I recall it can not be used for some applications, eg, Megaflow type applications re theoretical pressure & temperature re safety device failure.
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