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Old 05-04-2006, 02:36 PM   #1
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Removing compression ring?


I have copper pipe throughout the house. I need to replace the valves on the washing machine. The existing valves are attached with a compression fitting to a copper pipe which only sticks out of the wall about an inch. There is obviously not enough protrusion to just cut off the pipe and replace the valve. When I remove the valve, the ring and nut remain on the pipe. I would like to replace these since the nut is all corroded but It doesn't seem to slide off. Since the pipe is so short, I can not push the nut back far enough to get a hold of the ring. If I just pull on the nut, obviously the nut is further compressing the ring not allowing it to slide off. Is there a trick to removing these without damaging the pipe and without punching a hole in the drywall?

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Old 05-04-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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Removing compression ring?


In a word, no. Compression fittings can be reused with varying results, usually leaks. Once that the brass sleeve has been compressed onto the copper, there is no going back. Sorry about your drywall repairs.

You may want to shift to sweat fittings at this point. IMHO, they are much easier to replace.

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Old 05-04-2006, 08:59 PM   #3
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Removing compression ring?


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Originally Posted by ruzz
I have copper pipe throughout the house. I need to replace the valves on the washing machine. The existing valves are attached with a compression fitting to a copper pipe which only sticks out of the wall about an inch. There is obviously not enough protrusion to just cut off the pipe and replace the valve. When I remove the valve, the ring and nut remain on the pipe. I would like to replace these since the nut is all corroded but It doesn't seem to slide off. Can the nut be reused on another new compression valve? The nut may just have surface discoloring and still be functional. Since the pipe is so short, I can not push the nut back far enough to get a hold of the ring. If I just pull on the nut, obviously the nut is further compressing the ring not allowing it to slide off. Is there a trick to removing these without damaging the pipe and without punching a hole in the drywall? You could drill a small hole(s) into the compression ring but do not go into the copper pipe. By drilling a small hole(s) into the compression ring , you will remove some of the strength of the ring. Or you could file a slot into the ring to weaken it but do not file the copper pipe. Or you could use a hack saw blade to cut a slot into the ring but do not cut into the copper pipe. Or you could use a dremel tool to cut a small slot into the ring.
You may find that you will have to open up the drywall and solder on a new valve. Repairing drywall is an easy task.

Last edited by redline; 05-04-2006 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:32 AM   #4
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Removing compression ring?


Due to compression rings "setting" into the copper pipe (with the accompanying slight distortion), I usually use the existing brass ferrule ring and nut with a new compression valve.
The ring seals the fitting, not the nut, and if you have to use it, just smear a little clear silicone on the ring and it will seal it.
If you are forced to replace the old ring and nut due to nut corrosion, you may be able to add enough pipe with a short piece of additional pipe and soldered coupling(s) from below the floor under the wall (crawlspace? basement?) in lieu of tearing into drywall. Check out the possibilities first. You'll have to completely drain the line to solder it, of course.
OR, use one of redline's suggestions. More than one way to skin that cat.
Good luck!
Mike
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:00 AM   #5
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Removing compression ring?


I suggested to ruzz to try and reuse the nut and ring. As long as they are both in good condition then a new valve threaded to the old nut and ring should be the easiest and cheapest method.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:03 PM   #6
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Removing compression ring?


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Originally Posted by ruzz View Post
I have copper pipe throughout the house. I need to replace the valves on the washing machine. The existing valves are attached with a compression fitting to a copper pipe which only sticks out of the wall about an inch. There is obviously not enough protrusion to just cut off the pipe and replace the valve. When I remove the valve, the ring and nut remain on the pipe. I would like to replace these since the nut is all corroded but It doesn't seem to slide off. Since the pipe is so short, I can not push the nut back far enough to get a hold of the ring. If I just pull on the nut, obviously the nut is further compressing the ring not allowing it to slide off. Is there a trick to removing these without damaging the pipe and without punching a hole in the drywall?
I know this is an old thread to revive, but I ran across this page on Google searching for a solution to the same problem. Just in case someone else comes across this page here is what I did.

I also have copper pipe (1/2") through the house. My washing machine valves are also attached with compression fittings. I may have had a little more pipe than you, but maybe not.

To get the nut back far enough to access the compression ring I cut the wall-to-pipe flange off with some wire cutters. Once the flange was removed I could push the nut back and slightly into the wall. I used a hack saw blade, not installed on the hack saw, to put a groove in the compression ring. I did this very carefully, cutting at a 45 degree angle to the pipe. Once I was close to cutting into the copper pipe I stopped. I then placed a flat head screwdriver in the groove I just cut in the ring and twisted it. The ring popped and I was able to slide it and the nut off the pipe. I then packed the new nut with plumbers putty, pressing it firmly into the threads. I placed the flange on, the nut on, the ring on, then tightened the valve to the nut. The reason I used the plumbers putty is because it seems to take up any space in between the pipe and ring, and between the ring and nut. You could probably use clear silicone also, but its more messy.

Last edited by westphoenix; 01-13-2008 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:26 PM   #7
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Removing compression ring?


I use a compression nut and ring puller. It looks like an ordinary gear puller but it does help the ring to smooth the copper tubing out as it's slowly being pulled forward and off. A little clean 'n' buff with some plumber's emery paper and a very thin and light smear of plumber's grease on the tubing helps the new compression ring to move easiliy and fully seat into the new valve body rather than become cocked on the tubing.

I also use the hacksaw and screwdriver method to remove the more stubborn compression rings, especially if they're not easily accessible for the puller. Just have to be very careful not to nick the copper tubing.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:31 PM   #8
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Removing compression ring?


Yahoo!!!!!! I feel like Da Bomb thanks to you guys!!!! I was able to remove the old compression ring and now have a leak free shut off valve. Thanks for the Dremel tip. Thank goodness that is one tool my soon to be ex-husband didn't take when he left. I used a cut off disc to cut a slit & it came right off. I then used a fine sandpaper to clean & smooth the copper pipe. the new compression nut/sleeve & some teflon tape & life is good again. No more mopping/sopping up the water in the kitchen. thanks again!!!
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:31 AM   #9
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Removing compression ring?


Just fround this thread with google as I was experiencing the same problem. I used a gear puller (bought from autoshop for like $10 and has been unexpectedly usefull lots of times now) and a washer (to keep center of gear puller from entering the pipe) to pull the compression nut to the end of the pipe. Next I slid the nut towards the wall to expose the compression ring. Then with a simple twist of a wrench (robogrip) lightly on the compression ring the ring twisted off the tip of the pipe. Did this on all three pipes in my bathroom, about 2 minutes per pipe. Then had to go to home depot for new shutoffs and saw the ring pullers mentioned by previous poster (almost exactly the same as gear puller) in the home depot plumbing isle for like $10. Project already finished, so didnt buy it.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
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Removing compression ring?


Hey guys, just joined this group looking for this information. I'd already had a puller in hand but it was too big and wouldn't fit behind the nut between it and the wall. Soooooooooooo...........looking for that tool you never use I came upon a batter terminal puller. JUST the RIGHT SIZE! Worked like a charm. Can't remember last time I'd used this thing but sure came in handy. Thanks for the added guidance.

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:41 PM   #11
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Removing compression ring?


In doing some research on google, I found 3 tools designed specifically to remove brass compression rings from copper pipe. Use "Compression Sleeve Puller" for your search criteria.

Here's a couple of pictures of what I found:

D.O. Smith tool:



Pasco tool:



Bleakman tool:



Disclaimer: I haven't used any of these items but I'm contemplating adding one to the tool box since I have 2 bathrooms planned for remodeling. The D.O Smith and Pasco tools appear to latch on the nut, pulling out the compression ring and nut simultaneously. The Bleakman tool differs by latching directly onto the compresion ring.

I've always managed to remove brass compression rings with a propane torch, channel locks, and some elbow grease but I'm down for whatever is easy.

Regards, asawadude
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:41 PM   #12
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Removing compression ring?


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Originally Posted by asawadude View Post

I've always managed to remove brass compression rings with a propane torch, channel locks, and some elbow grease but I'm down for whatever is easy.

Regards, asawadude
Cut that ring off and solder it. Looks much better.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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Removing compression ring?


Thanks! Heating the whole compression-ring and nut worked to remove an old compression ring. The copper pipe is short at my toilet, so I coludn't slide the nut back far enough to use a hacksaw or dremmel. I heated the ring (and the nut and pipe too, I suppose) with my cheap propane torch and pulled the nut with a vice grips. Pulling the nut worked and avoided marring the ring or distorting the pipe. It came off pretty easily.

I also used emory cloth (very fine sandpaper) like the other poster suggested to clean up the pipe before applying the new fitting.

Note: on close inspection, my old valve was slightly different (different thread pitch and depth from circa 1970 house). So my problem was that when I put on the new valve it did not fully tighten or compress the valve, and it needed to come off.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:54 PM   #14
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Removing compression ring?


This thread has a lot of good info on it and was very helpful.
What ended up working for me is this.
I took a pair of slip joint pliers and grabbed the ring very very gently. Then I started rocking the ring back and forth clockwise-counterclockwise without trying to pull it off. I increassed the force very gradually and the ring finally broke free. Then I started pulling a little bit while continuing to rock the ring back and forth. It slid off with very little trouble.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:30 PM   #15
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