DIY How To

Repairing Compression Joints

Most leaks on compression fittings are caused by over or under tightening. To determine which it is, if there are any threads showing try tightening the cap nut half a revolution. If the fitting still leaks or there is no threads left, you will need to drain the pipe and dismantle the leaking side of the fitting.

Check the pipe goes right up to the internal stop, if it doesn't try pushing the pipe fully into the fitting. If the pipe is too short a new piece will need to be fitted.

If the olive looks OK then wrap about eight turns of PTFE tape around the olive and remake the joint. If the olive looks damaged or worn remove the olive and fit a new one. To remove the old olive, try turning and pulling the olive off by hand. If the olive is tight then try the following steps.

Repair compression joints


Tap off olive To remove the old olive, place an open ended spanner below the nut and tap the spanner upwards, if you don't have the right size open ended spanner, you can use an adjustable spanner, but take care not to hit the thumbwheel as it will get damaged.
Cut olive If the olive is tight and will not tap off, carefully cut the olive with a junior hacksaw taking care not to damage the pipework. Cut diagonally across the olive as shown.
Saw cut on olive Take care not to cut all the way through the olive, otherwise the pipework will get damaged. Cut until there is a slot about 3/4 of the depth of the olive.
Prise olive apart Insert a flat bladed screwdriver into the slot and twist. This should split the olive, if it doesn't, carefully cut the slot a little deeper but not all the way through and try again.
Split olive Once the olive splits, it can be prised apart with the screwdriver and removed from the pipe. Clean any surface dirt off the end of the pipe with a cloth and make a new joint as shown
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