When you go to add or replace plumbing lines in a house that’s more than 15 years old, chances are you won’t find new pipes that are the same kind as the old ones. That’s no big deal—hardware stores and home centers carry hundreds of different kinds of transitional fittings to help you make the connections. What is a big deal is that those hundreds of different kinds of fittings don’t all install the same way. Some fittings need to be soldered; others need just a wrench or pliers. Several require specific crimping tools, and there are newer styles that simply push together. We asked Les Zell, a master plumber, how he deals with the ones he encounters the most.
Installing a brass compression tee body is a good way to provide water to your refrigerator’s icemaker. Although the brass ferrule seals the copper pipes to the tee, Les still uses a little pipe dope on the ferrule to assist in even compression. Many municipalities don’t allow 1/4-in. icemaker lines to be covered by finished walls, floors or ceilings, so you may have to run a 1/2-in. line to the fridge instead.