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How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

Posted by david_cary (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 5:26

So I'm installing a preplumbed coffee maker thatt uses a water supply just like a fridge ice maker. I have no problems with the pex to 1/2 brass to valve connection. The valve and coffee maker came with the 1/4 in brass compression fittings. I bought some 1/4 in plastic hose.

How tight do I need to get these fittings? It is very hard to access the connection behind the coffee maker so I have to have my wife tighten it while I am holding the thing up. I initially hand tightened and that leaked. I am trying to come up with a strategy - do I tighten until it stops leaking? Or keep water off and tighten to a moderate wrench tighten? Tighten as strong as my wife can do in an awkward position?

Or (best) would be a tubing that doesn't rely on crappy brass compression fittings. Like maybe something with a rubber seal made like you use with faucets? The line is supposed to be between 3.5 and 5 feet although I'd accept a 6 ft line (the actual rule is less than 5 feet but I need at least 3.5 feet to slide the thing in and out)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

Keep tightening until the leaking stops.

It normally takes a pair of wrenches, and a pretty decent amount of force.

Brass compression fittings are preferred over anything with a seal.

Seals dry out with age and start to leak.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

Dont forget to use the compression insert fittings when using plastic tubing


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

Ok - I am getting some conflicting advice. I am now told (by my building superintendant) that brass fittings might cut into the plastic tubing and I should use plastic fittings.

What I have is a brass fitting that slips over the tubing and holds the nut on (not its job but that is what it does). So brass nut, brass fitting, plastic tube.

So crank down until it stops leaking?

I know of no "compression insert fittings" unless that is the brass part that slips over the tube.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

"I know of no "compression insert fittings" unless that is the brass part that slips over the tube."

It is a small brass nipple that slides inside the plastic tubing.

Using copper tubing would be a better solution.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

The unit has to slide back with no access so I don't think copper is an option. It is 22 inches deep installed in a cabinet with walls on the side so I'd have to cut through the back wall to access it. Not impossible since it is the garage but that does seem extreme.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

When you use a brass compression ring on plastic tubing, it will leak if you don't have the insert used for plastic. Go to HomeDepot and buy a package of these. It will also come with a plastic compression ring which is preferable in this situation.

Watts A-8 96760-PT Brass Insert and Delrin Sleeve.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

Thanks weed - I'll check it out later today.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

"The unit has to slide back with no access so I don't think copper is an option."

You put a loop or two of copper tubing as large as you can fit behind the unit.

Pull the loops out like a large spring to connect up (do NOT straighten the tubing) or pull any further than you need.

After making the final connection yo simply push the unit back in.

The coils of copper will collapse back down between the unit and the wall and not be any thicker than the plastic tubing you are trying to use.


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RE: How to get 1/4 in compression fittings to stop leaking

brickeye - thanks for the advice. The length limitation probably makes the coiling hard to do. Maybe with experience I could do it but there just isn't enough extra length to have large enough coils for me to be comfortable.


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