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Immersion Chiller Compression Fittings

We set out to diagnose a common issue with most copper immersion chillers. At some point the compression fittings that are the connection point between hose and coil become loose. The weight of the hoses once filled with chill water and normal handling can wiggle them loose. Eventually, water make seep or worse squirt out the back or side of the fitting. We show what it looks like and how to tighten the operation up for continued great service out of your IC.

Generally speaking as the fittings move up and down slightly over time they can become loose. All that’s needed to fix this usually is a pair of wrenches to squeeze the two opposing nuts together a bit more.

It should be noted that both copper and brass are fairly soft metals. It is certainly possible to over tighten these type of fittings and create more of a leak that you had before. (I have seen the same thing happen on rubber O-ring based bulkhead fittings on kettles and mash tuns.)

The worse case scenario fix for these things is to cut back the tubing some to where this is good, non-deformed tubing and place a new ferrel (compression sleeve) before the nut and re-apply the compression fitting. In John’s chiller it might have required cutting the tubing back so far that we might needed to go before the 90 degree bend. Bend a new section to 90 degrees (or keep it straight, which might be weird), and put the new fitting together there.

To keep these type of repairs from becoming a regular nuisance, handle this part of your chiller with care. Don’t pick up the chiller with heavy hoses attached without also supporting the hoses with your other hand. Don’t lift or carry the chiller by the fittings, carry it by the tubing. Of course, soldering on permanent fittings would also take care of this issue all together, but that’s a different tool set and for another video!



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  1. Am I seeing things, or is there a bit of a crimp in the 90* inbound neck?

  2. You are correct. There is a slight crimp in that part of the tubing.
    It had gotten bent when John was trying to fix it at his house prior to bringing it by to see if I had any suggestions.

    So if that fitting fails again, I’d have to cut the tubing behind that point and get a smooth section. Otherwise a new sleeve wouldn’t work near the crimp.

    Does that satisfy your question? Let us know.

  3. It looks like I want to look into more durable fittings for my hose. I have been trying to find something that will increase the pressure, especially since I don’t have tons of time to fiddle with the hose. Either way, this has been really helpful. Thanks for sharing it!

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