Compression Fitting Problems: Electrolysis and Leaks

There are two problems that face compression fittings and can cause problems for Richmond Virginia Residents they are Electrolysis and Leaks.  In this article we will discuss both so you can have a clear understanding if you decide to tackle these problems on your own and what to use to prevent them.


Compression Fittings and Electrolysis 

 There is a process when the brass fitting of a compression fitting meets steel that process is known as Electrolysis.  Electrolysis can be very problematic especially for a compression fitting as it connects to copper steel.  You see the water flowing through your pipes carries electrons from the steel pipe to the copper.  These electrons over time can lead to corrosion.  Corrosion is death to pipes.  Through the cost of time Corrosion creates holes where the pipes meet.  How bad can corrosion get?  It truly depends on two factors.  The first is the temperature of the water flowing through the pipes and the second is the hardness of your water in your area.

Now with all problems there is  a solution.

In order to prevent the problem with electrolysis in your compression fittings you should use a Dielectric union fittingYou could pick one up by clicking the picture here
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The reason why Dielectric union fittings are so effective because they are designed with a spacer inside to prevent the metal to metal contact when joining copper to steel.

Compression Fittings and Leaks

The second problem with compression fittings is leaks. Leaks are caused by a compression fitting being too loose. In installing a compression fitting its important to ensure the tightness of the fit. If your fitting is not screwed tight enough leaking will occur.

Vibration of the compression fitting can also loosen the fitting creating leakage. To fix both of these issues you should tighten the nut of the compression fitting to foster a secure seal. This generally fixes both problems.

However be sure not to tighten to much because this too can cause a leak. If a compression fitting is too tight it requires a replacement of the pipe and the connection.

Electroylisis and leaks can be a little overwhelming even for the most capable DIY plumber. There is no shame in getting help. You can always explain the problem and obtain a free estimate from a licensced plumber by clicking here