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I gouged my pipes...uh oh!

Andruid_2 Member Posts: 41
When stubbing out my 1/2" copper pipe for some towel warmers, I wrapped some green masking tape around them to keep the mud and paint off them. Install time came, and I went to take the green tape off. But, it didn't come off like other masking tape. It was gummy and sticky and impossible to get off. As a last resort, I 'carefully' scraped it off with my utility knife. That was not a great idea. The metal-to-metal seal of a compression fitting doesn't work well with small gouges in the pipe. I never got any of them to hold pressure.

Tomorrow I get to try again. If I have indeed gouged the pipes, can I 'tin' them with solder and fill in the small gouges? Maybe I could heat the pipes up, brush some flux on them, drip solder all over them, and then carefully wipe them off. Has anyone tried this procedure? Any other thoughts on dealing with a ferule and nut compression fitting on gouged pipes?

Thank you


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,332
    About all I can say is... good luck. You might get lucky with the soldering idea, but that type of fitting really requires very very smooth pipe to work. You may have to cut back and add short nipples of new pipe. You might also try Sharkbite fittings.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,547
    I scrapped the hell out of copper lookouts for plumbing. Not with a box cutter blade but a steel pocket knife. Then sand cloth them to shine with no paint or mud. Never had a problem from that activity.

    Are you trying to use the compression nuts and ferules that come with the towel warmer? They might be made to a slightly different standard. Try buying some "Brass Craft" stops and steal the nuts & ferules off them, that might work.
    Last I looked that company was still making pretty good things in this country. I go out of my way to get them when possible.
    Not the hardware store junk made by the ChiComs. I know not politically correct at all but I feel better about saying it.

    Just be sure any other compression nuts you try have the same thread as your towel warmer! Should screw on by hand without the ferule or pipe in it.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,836
    Get some of the open mesh type cleaning cloth and buff them till the scratches are gone. It takes a fairly deep gouge to prevent a ferrule from sealing, might be something else going on.

    Always lube the threads on a compression fitting, ChapStick works well for that. A little on the outside of the ferrule never hurts either.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    rick in AlaskaZman
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,547
    For lube for these I use the "Slick Tite" Teflon paste pipe dope. It is very thin and good for lubricating threads of all materials.

    Compression nuts on ferules take quite a lot of torque.
    On all of them I have done or removed at a later time the ferule is compressed onto the pipe. The nut of course is captive on the stub, I always like to leave enough pipe for a second chance of cut off and redo. Looks OK under a sink but maybe not for your towel warmer.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,209
    I also found that when you tighten down the ferrule, pull the pipe out just a hair, then tighten it up. My thinking is that if you don't, the ferrule will start biting in to the pipe, but the nut is still trying to pull it all toward the fitting, and the ferrule stops it and things wad up. By pulling it out slightly, it gives you more squeezing room, and less chance of a leak.
    Agree on the sand cloth and lube 100%.
  • Andruid_2
    Andruid_2 Member Posts: 41
    Well, that didn't take long. And you guys got nothin' but gold for me. Thank you. This here "Wall" is truly a treasure trove.