DIY Doctor

Washer stuck to copper pipe

Postby BertieT » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:30 pm


We are trying to fit a plastic speed fit elbow 15mm onto our water pipe in our bathroom in order to connect a new shower unit to it. However we cannot remove the old copper washer used with the existing fitting :? - (I think it's called an adaptor?)

We cannot use the existing fitting as we have had the walls plastered & re-iled (they needed it!) & this has resulted in less space between the shower unit & wall. The speed fit connector gives us the extra centimeter we need to get the shower back on for a perfect fit!

We have tried everything to get the washer off but to no avail, any advice offered would be greatly appreciated.

Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:03 pm


Simply Build It

Postby Dave From Leeds » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:05 pm

From your description it sounds as if this "washer" may be an olive from a compression fitting. The only way to remove these is to cut the pipe behind them. However, it seems from your post that if you did this you wouldn't have enough pipe left outside the wall to fit your speedfit elbow.
Dave From Leeds
Rank: Ganger
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:02 pm

Postby plumbbob » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:20 pm

Not sure exactly what you are trying to do, but it seems you are trying to remove an olive from an existing pipe.

The olive can be removed although it can be difficult to do so. The problem is though, when you have succeeded you will find the Speed fit connection won't be water tight. Compression joints crush the pipe slightly and the deformation will prevent a tight seal. You need to find an alternative solution.
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1891
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 9:59 pm

Postby Steve the gas » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:14 am

Hi Bertie,

I think you mean the olive - not a washer. That is a ring of copper/brass crimped on to the pipe with a nut behind it?

If it's an olive you have 2 options:-

1. Use a compression elbow instead of the speedfit one - assuming the threads are the same and you haven't deformed the existing pipe.
2. You can cut the olive off by diagonally cutting the olive with a junior hacksaw. Be careful not to cut into the pipe, before you are all the way thru the olive - use a thin flat blade screwdriver to open the cut you have made & it will snap off.

Steve the gas
Rank: Site Agent
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 780
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:07 am

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics