An olive is the compression ring or ferrule found on copper water pipe fittings that seals both to the pipe and compression nut to prevent leaks from forming. Proper installation requires an olive cutter.
Olive cutters are much simpler and safer alternatives than olive pullers, as they do not damage the pipe below them. There is a wide selection of sizes to accommodate various pipe diameters.
Olives are small pieces that help form a watertight seal in compression fittings. Made of copper or brass, they may be either spherical or rounded in shape and installed into the nut of a compression fitting and tightened using either a spanner or stilson until it begins biting into the pipe.
Before tightening the nut, apply a thin coat of jointing compound around and over the olive. Note that some fittings, such as tee and coupler, require primer before applying jointing compound. Also take care not to over tighten as this could damage or leak through olives; tighten slowly until resistance is felt before proceeding further.
Compression fittings are commonly found in plumbing applications, yet they do not always create an airtight seal. One way to make sure that they do is by using non-setting lubricants like plumbers mait over or beneath an olive.
Option 2 involves disconnecting and installing a new piece of pipe with an olive. Either way, before setting out on this task it is important that the olive is thoroughly cleaned of verdigris or hard water scale and coated in jointing compound for easy application later. When placing on pipe it should be pushed along slightly by end nut before tightening with spanner or stilson and turning until resistance is felt and additional turn may be necessary to seal watertight connector.
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People often mistakenly believe it to be safe to pour olive oil down their drains because it comes in liquid form; however, doing this may coat the surfaces of your pipes and cause them to slow or even stop working altogether.
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