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Old 06-14-2018, 12:37 AM   #1
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Default How tight should compression fittings be

Ok. Cue the “tight enough to not drip” responses.

When I am installing angle stops I always feel like im really cranking down on them, and on a large job it adds a lot of time, not to mention once a week the wrench slips and busts my nuckles. I have removed some in repair jobs and they never seem that tight. How do you guys approach these things? What is tight enough. Had one blow off when I was my first year in so I think Im paranoid.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 06-14-2018, 01:36 AM   #2
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Ok. Cue the “tight enough to not drip” responses.

When I am installing angle stops I always feel like im really cranking down on them, and on a large job it adds a lot of time, not to mention once a week the wrench slips and busts my nuckles. I have removed some in repair jobs and they never seem that tight. How do you guys approach these things? What is tight enough. Had one blow off when I was my first year in so I think Im paranoid.

Thanks in advance.


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We use eastman valves and ive never had one blow off. But my dad has though. He used some of the import brands that the supply house provided and He tells me the story of how he tightened one down really tight once and every thing was good but while he was doing a leak check. All of a sudden she blew of because the nut cracked from overtightening. The main problem was the cheap thin brass nut. He warns me ahout overtighting them but his arms are huge and i dont think i can ever tighten them as much as he can. Me and my brother benched tested some valves we had laying around and our determination was you really cant go wrong. Even if you went monkey *$%$ tight. But i like to go firm and then give it something extra (pretty much as tight as i can without going super crazy) Its hard to explain cause its kinda by feel. If she dont leak shes good
And of course if something did leak........Just Blame it on the manufacturer

I did have a job recently where i pulled of 2 shutoffs and the ferrels were not even bit into on the copper. The ferrels were moving and i almost pulled one to the end of the copper. That was one where i was glad to be converting from copper to pex and going crimp on it.

I personally obsess over did i tighten something enough or did i over tighten something. Still worries me on certain repairs. But thats why you want to leak check before leaving the job
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:19 AM   #3
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Check post #4 on this link, that’s what happens when you over tighten. I used to crank them down way too much. I bought the Ridgid one stop wrench and I don’t think you get enough leverage to crush the stub out but plenty enough to secure them.

https://www.plumbingzone.com/f21/wip...gs-kids-75809/
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:12 AM   #4
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I find if I buy a descent brand like brasscraft or similar its not so much of an issue, seems to bite really fast. If I buy the $2.03 ones online they need some Torque!

Thank You guys for not making fun of me. It seemed like one of those questions I didnt ask early enough in my career and had to kind of check my pride to ask it.


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Old 06-14-2018, 09:57 AM   #5
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In our area only DIY uses compression stops. Another clue it's DIY theres always teflon tape sticking out.

Anything copper is soldered on by companies, myself included. I do carry a SB ball valve in my tool pouch when I saw the sink flood video on youtube...

I did a few compression in my lifetime and I didn't tight them all the way. I use the same principle as when I do mechanic work on trucks. Not loose, not over tight, you get a feel for it. You know too tight puts too much stress on the brass nut and a recipe for it to break. Think of it like tightening a 1/2" brass union, you don't need extra strength do you?
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:22 AM   #6
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I go tight af - I’ve had em leak a few times not being tight enough and went on another guys job once to make it tight af after he had installed it, had a leak, gone back to tighten, still had leak - I went tight af, and no more leak. It bugs me to see tape/dope on the threads cause it won’t do anything to seal the brass ring - I will however put dope on the pipe under the ring and on the inside and outside of the ring.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:51 PM   #7
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I also tighten them to PFT (Pretty [email protected]#[email protected] Tight) torque specs. Have never tightened one so much to snap the nut. I have noticed that since going LF, I have more of them leak and need to tighten them down more than in the past. At least one per house will leak and i have to really crank on it.

I always found it funny that the instructions on most stops usually say to "hand tighten and then 1/8th turn more with tools" ... forget about that. I tried that when I first started and had two blow off ... never again.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:37 PM   #8
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I learned to put some oil,wd40, or slic tite not to seal but to lubricate
then holding the stop with a 10" crescent tighten with a 8" crescent
then you can get it just right with a 8" hard to over tighten !
never had a leak or one come loose!
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:41 PM   #9
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In our area only DIY uses compression stops. Another clue it's DIY theres always teflon tape sticking out.



Anything copper is soldered on by companies, myself included. I do carry a SB ball valve in my tool pouch when I saw the sink flood video on youtube...



I did a few compression in my lifetime and I didn't tight them all the way. I use the same principle as when I do mechanic work on trucks. Not loose, not over tight, you get a feel for it. You know too tight puts too much stress on the brass nut and a recipe for it to break. Think of it like tightening a 1/2" brass union, you don't need extra strength do you?


in our area only DIY used Pex


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Old 06-15-2018, 07:14 AM   #10
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in our area only DIY used Pex


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Wow really?? All new construction in my area since 1992 used poly-B then in 1995 or so houses and high rise condos are built with pex. I"ve already started to see some sort of pro-press pex. I need to take pictures.

I've also seen Water heater installation by companies using only SB braided lines. Some other places where companies did some new piping used all pex and SB fittings. No crimps at all!

I've also seen copper transitioned to pex for only one foot under sinks and other situations. In one big box hardware store copper fittings are getting real thin and choices in 1/2" fittings are limited and so disorganized it's on it's way out.
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