If this video doesn’t help you out then ask us live at our Google Helpouts page. – Honest reviews and advice Hold tight! and welcome to today’s video. We are in England! Not Scotland, even though it’s easy to make that mistake with weather like we’ve got today. that’s millilitres for you people who don’t work in imperial. We’ve had 30 mil of rain overnight Which made me think that we need to do a video on how to fix compression fittings. Now, as you know, we’ve done a video a long, long time ago about how compression fittings work. That’s great. But what about if they leak. So we’re going to have a look very quickly if you’ve got a weeping compression fitting, how you can fix them and what you can do to solve the problem. So let’s go and I’m going to get soaked whilst doing this! Hold tight. So then, as we all know, compression fittings work in a really simple way. If you want to know how go to our video which has a very brief description. We’ve got an olive, a tapered insert here, and a nut with a taper on the inside. When they tighten up those 2 tapers work on that olive and compress it on to the pipe to create a watertight seal. So, what do we do if this is leaking? First thing’s first, if you think that you’ve got a leaking compression fitting like that. The first thing I would try and do is see if you can actually nip it up a little bit. Get yourself a pair of grips to grip the inside part here, the actual main body of the fitting. And then use a pair of adjustables to tighten it up. Let’s go! When you’re using grips always grip in the opposite direction to where you are tightening up So, this would be wrong. To tighten this fitting up, the grips are the wrong way round. So you want the grips to be this way round like so. Then you can get your adjustable on the fitting like that and tighten it up. Give it an extra nip. Often that will stop a leak on a compression fitting. Sometimes though it doesn’t. After you’ve done that, get yourself some tissue, wipe it down, fill the system up or whatever you’re working on with water again and test for leaks. If you still find it’s leaking, there’s about 3 or 4 other things we can do to perhaps stop this fitting from leaking altogether. So the next thing we could do is actually strip the fitting down and you will see then that you’ve got a nut with your bitten on olive nut with your bitten on olive,if you don’t want to change the fitting and if you can’t change the olive, you can’t get a hacksaw or something like that, there’s a couple of things you can dothat might seal it if you don’t want to change this olive the first thing i would do isuse some jointing compound this is pretty old jointing compound but it’s going to do for demonstration purposes today, so get yourselfsome lovely jointing compound all this is is linseed oil and chaulk and you get your compoundand you splodge it onto your fitting and then useing your fingers so you get it on nicely like that and then pushyour fitting back together again and tighten it up as you would normally. If you haven’t got any jointing compound you can also use PTFE tape. Right so we’ve got our olive here and remember this is only if you can’t change the olive or the fitting. A little bit of PTFE tape, now,PTFE tape is pretty cool stuff! There’s a knack to useing it try and have your tape coming out at this angle like this, lay it across the olive, with your thumb, Just wrap it round, front and back of the olive, just like so, Make sure when you put the PTFE on the olive that the PTFE winds in the direction that the nut tightens up. If it goes the other way you’ll find that the PTFE splurges out and you won’t be able to seal the leak. So now you’ve got a nicely covered up olive there. Push the fitting back together, and then tighten up. I have never in all my years of plumbing had one of these leak after doing PTFE around the olive. So what if you’ve done the PTFE, or you’ve tried the jointing compound, and it’s still leaking? You are probably going to have to change the fitting. But sometimes you can just change the olive. Lets have a look at how you change the olive. The Way to get an olive off if you don’t have an olive splitter you might as well use a junior hacksaw and a very steady hand. Because you do not want to score the pipe. The good thing is you can get a junior hacksaw cut diagonally like this across the olive but before you actually cut fully through the olive, you can get a nice little thin slotted screwdriver and twist the olive apart, and be easily removed from the pipe. So, get our hacksaw blade across the olive and just gently start to saw Try as best you cannot to score the pipe. Now you should be able to pop your screwdriver in there and remove the olive. Now looking at the condition of the pipe, it’s not too bad. At this point you can have problems that may mean replacing the pipe If there is a slight ripple in the pipe its going to be very difficult to re-seal that bit of pipe. This piece looks OK so we’re going to clean it and pop a new olive on and re-tighten the fitting. So new olive, old fitting on. Re-tighten up. Sometimes you’ll be able to slacken off the fitting and just grab a pair of grips pop that round the olive and just wangle it off. But then sometimes you’re going to have to resort to this method to get the olive off. Every plumber out there has a different way of trying to seal compression fittings and I’ve just given you there ways of doing that. Follow us on facebook and twitter, And please subscribe! Remember there’s lots of different ways to do this. So test it out, give it a go and you may fix the leak! I hope you have enjoyed this video. The weather here is lovely! See you next week, and remember, HOLD TIGHT!!!!!

100 thoughts on “FIX LEAKING COMPRESSION PIPE FITTING – Plumbing Tips

  1. Sometimes the olive can become loose on its copper tube because the copper tube has compressed beneath the olive, and you can't shorten the copper pipe to start again with a new olive, because it then won't be long enough to reach the male BSP thread that its to be re-attached to. So you can then use some resin core electrical solder wire, which has a higher tin content, and therefore a thinner molten viscosity than plumber's solder, and then warm the olive with a butane torch, apply some acid flux to the olive, and then warm it again and apply the solder sparingly, so that it gets "sucked" into the joint between the olive and the copper tube, but not too much as you don't want surplus solder outside of the joint, other than just a very thin coating at the point of application. If you do end up with surplus solder lumps outside of the joint, reheat the joint, and judiciously apply a blast of compressed air from an air-gun, to remove the surplus solder, but avoid blowing it out from between the olive and the copper tube. There is lead in solder, which can be toxic for drinking water, but its unlikely to contaminate the water in this case, as water is not actually flowing over the soldered joint, especially if you apply a little thread tape over the soldered olive afterwards, before re-assembly. Otherwise use silver-solder (EasyFlo) if you are concerned about lead, but make sure you wash off all flux by flushing out the copper tube joint afterwards, with the tap fully open for several minutes.

  2. To remove olives in tight spaces I use a hand held Dremel with a cut off disc. It literally takes seconds but be careful not to cut the pipe

  3. Hey man you gotta speak a little slower We the US ppl having difficulties understanding your English 🤣🤣🤣

  4. Can you please come fix my very simple problem please. 3rd call back to cowboy plumber. All he had to do was replace 2 point valve for CH. Simples right? Wrong. After he'd left (55 minutes job) I noticed a pipe behind it was leaking. Called him and he sent his other cowboy mate, he left water dripping all over my airing cupboard, which forms part of the roof of my stairs!! Anyway, first he put one of the nuts on 'skewed' like it was drunk. I pointed it out; he redid it. Still leaking. Kept tightening it; oh dear poor nuts. He finally said he wasn't 100% sure it was fixed; me neither. He left. Today, noticed it's still not leak proof. Not dripping exactly but enough to wet toilet paper; too wet for me. So on to round 3. These are supposed to be great plumbers btw; 5* ratings or a few where no ratings been given but no negative ratings. My – UK.

    I LOVE your videos btw. I'm female and wish I'd studied plumbing instead of teaching. You're brilliant and just a bit cheeky. Long may you stay that way.

  5. I love this video, in the USA here. I have a few plumbing vids myself you might find interesting, check one out at

  6. love the vids informative as ever .also loved the hat changes and hairstyles and the banter with your vids keep em coming .

  7. Thanks very much for this video, recently I had to fix an outside tap fittings as it froze… and not being a plumber, I struggled, so many thanks! – and I liked  the extra hats!

  8. Well there you go to "plumber by trade" we now all know how many jointing compounds are out there……. and wow there could be more….. well. …. you know your stuff. 😴

  9. Hack saw? Dude, a hack saw suggestion must be to create a 'call to a plumber'. Hacksaws make a mess, use a pipe cutter.
    1. FIRST thing is to dry the joint with absorbent paper towel and ensure there is actually a leak rather than condensation or a leak elsewhere.
    2. jointing compound never works; use 2-5 circumferences of gas rated PTFE tape; job done 99% of the time.
    3. Every commercial water plumber leaves a leak- and usually charges to fix their own work and leaves at least 10% joints leaking.
    4. getting an olive off with a hacksaw with a pipe fixed to a wall??

  10. Iv had a olive that had been over tightened. The copper pipe was compressed and would not seal. To fix it i simply cleaned the olive fluxed it and run a small amount of solder under the olive, wiped it with a wet rag to get rid of excess solder. It…… holds tight.

  11. 1. Why not use PTFE tape in the first place?
    2. Do compression fittings get leaky after some time by themself (I am worried as I want to do a part of my heating system with them)

  12. The problem with many modern fittings is that the olives are too hard to compress properly and leak between the olive and the pipe. When the joint is undone the olive literally falls off. I suggest using PTFE tape even on a new fitting to overcome this. If it's only a slight weep, I wrap a towel round it and leave it, and it usually stops after a day or so. I think that's because I live in a hard water area and the lime seals the weep.

  13. Thank you. I had a stubborn leak at the compression ring on the shut off valve of the kitchen sink. Tried everything I could think of including the Teflon tape. Didn't work, so as a last resort, bought some pipe joint compound, stuffed the whole thing full and by god it worked. Was ready to call a plumber to replace the compression ring. You saved me a bunch of money.. Thanks again.

  14. Don't know why everyone gets compression joints wrong. It is very important to not bottom the tube in the joint — push it in to the internal flange and withdraw it a mm or so before tightening. It will usually seal if bottomed but if ever undone for maintenance it is very likely to leak. Often it is necessary to trim a smidge off the pipe when refitting.
    This applies not only to plumbing but also copper pipes on old bikes and cars. Many times people are mystified why they just can't stop a pipe weeping, simply it's because the end of the pipe is bottoming and there is not a hard clamp of the olive to the fitting. Is that the sound of pennies dropping I hear?

  15. Great advice (and interesting hat changes). This has given me some extra confidence to stop that pesky leak under the sink. I've used compression joints before, most of them successfully…..but there's one little beast, which is on one end of a very short piece of pipe, that won't seal. It could be that I've over-tightened & stressed the pipe…in which case I'll have to fit a new piece ( pain in the ****)….but I'll try the PTFE tape on the olive first. Thanks!

  16. Whenever I have a plumbing problem I go straight to this channel for the fix. Thanks mate for bailing me out of many a hole.

  17. Can you do a video next of the “quickest, easiest and most sure fire way, of bringing your Mrs to orgasm”.

  18. Thanks Plumber Parts— what's your plumber's name? Going mental with a leak until I put the PTFE around the 'outside' of the olive. Six years ago!!

  19. Foe Australians this is useless, because it is forbidden to repair your plumbing in Australia unless you are a licenced plumber. Can you believe that?

  20. I wish you lived closer mate I love watching your videos, recently got our upstairs rads not working right, got a gravity fed system but gonna get new combi boiler asap

  21. Links to the tools I use everyday here:

    Plus, follow my Vlog “TimesWithJames”:

  22. The rain, the wet, the hair, the style , no gel, no need, the rain, the dry, the style, the rain, the hat, the …wait…..the compound! ah ha!

  23. PTFE is King, it's never failed for me either, In fact I've put it on joints before even trying them when I really don't want problems

  24. All very easy when you are holding the pipe in your hand, more of a challenge when it is under a bath and almost impossible to get a single pair of grips on!

  25. really helpful that mate, just cut threw cold water,fixed that, but i have gone a mil into the hot water pipe, is there a quick fix .ta

  26. Dude, you just got yourself a new subscriber. This video was AWESOME! 😂 I've always called that thing a compression ring but from now on I will always call it an olive! Outstanding work my good man. Outstanding work indeed!

  27. question if you cut the pipe off with a hacksaw and then what about if you added one of those like metal connector pipes that you have on the toilet and then connect it back together to a washing machine connector. I thought this is just in might help other people if it would work. Thank you for reading my comment

  28. Love the little tip on which way around you should apply the PTFE tape, whilst you were applying it the wrong way yourself.

  29. Sending you plumber Love from Denver Colorado! Trying to fix compression fitting on the water feed to my swamp cooler.

  30. All good fixes, as suggested by you and your viewers.  You didn't mention the use of a compression sleeve (olive) puller, which is fairly simple to use, but can be expensive to buy (from as little as $20.00 to $55.00, or more).  If the olive is compressed so tightly (or has even bitten into the copper pipe), the sleeve puller may be the only way to remove it.  However, I like the idea of using PTFE (Teflon) tape as an over-wrap, then cinch the connection up tight.  There are also olive cutters that "bite" through the brass olive.  Using a hacksaw is best left to experts, as it doesn't take much effort to cut into the copper pipe before you realize it.  You may be further limited in your choices if working space is minimal.

  31. I wish I had seen this video 4 hrs ago. My bathroom sink tap had a leak at the point the flexible tap connector met the main pipe. The pedestal for the sink prevented disassembly of the fitting. I put PTFE tape on the thread but not the olive. Result, only a small improvement. Next time I will know.

  32. Quote "I've never had one leak after fitting PTFE tape". Just tried and calloo callay, it worked 🙂 Now I'm looking for advice on how you apply tape without it twisting into a thread like thin cotton 🙁
    btw love how you you've got orange paint on your junior hacksaw so you've a chance of finding it again when it's crept away under the floorboards

  33. Hello mate, what do you think of applying Plumber's Gold on tip of copper pipes before compression fixing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *