Tips For Proper Use of Plumber’s Tape
Plumber’s tape is suggested for use with many threaded connections that do not have a built-in rubber seal. It also helps lubricate the connection, making the threading a bit smoother, and it helps to prevent pipelines from sticking when you wish to disassemble the joint. Plumber’s tape is very easy to use, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to apply it.
So Just What is Plumber’s Tape?
Plumber’s tape, frequently called Teflon tape, (polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE) greatly helps with water tight seals on threaded pipeline joints.
Using Plumber’s Tape Correctly
The trick to getting plumbing’s tape right is to wrap it around the pipe in the proper direction. When the threaded pipe is twisted into the fitting, the friction of the mating threads ought to work to tighten the tape around the pipe, instead of work against it and tear up or ball up the tape. You wrap the tape around the pipe in the opposite instructions of how the pipeline will turn into the fitting.
We’ll break it down step by step below:
- Clean the male threads at the end of the pipeline with a clean rag or brush.
- Start the plumber’s tape on the second thread from the end of the pipe and hold it in place with a finger or thumb. The tape should lie flat (not bunched up) over the threads and extend perpendicularly to the length of the pipeline.
- Start covering the tape around the pipe in the opposite direction to the direction the pipe will be screwed on.
- Keep tension on the tape so it covers snugly around the pipe. Work far from the end of the threads, overlapping the tape as you go.
- Wrap a total of four to six twists around the pipe, completing near the end of the threads (opposite the end of the pipe).
- Break the tape from the roll by grasping it in between thumb and forefinger and pulling sharply; it breaks quickly. Smooth the loose end down over the threads. The pipe is now all set to be screwed into the fitting.
Where Plumber’s Tape (Teflon Tape) is Used
If you know about using pipe-joint compound (a.k.a. pipeline dope), you can substitute with plumber’s tape in the exact same applications where there’s threads. It can be used on all basic metal pipeline products as well as stiff plastic pipeline. Typical locations to utilize plumbing’s tape consist of:
- Pipe-to-valve connections
- Shower arms
- Threaded tub spouts
- Pipe-to-coupling connections
Plumber’s tape can also be used on some gas-pipe connections, however this requires a special type of plumber’s tape, typically colored yellow, that is rated for gas lines.
Also Known As
Request “Teflon tape” in any hardware or big box home store and you’ll get what you need, however there’s no product that carries this name. DuPont, the maker of Teflon, never manufactured plumbing’s tape. In the late 1960s, tape makers used DuPont’s Teflon in the form of a fine powder, applying the powder to their own plumbing technician’s tape. These makers were allowed to utilize the Teflon name in association with their items but just if they utilized the real Teflon on their tape. Eventually, tapes were more commonly made with knockoff versions of the exact same material, and these can not utilize the Teflon brand, which is now owned by Chemours.
Today, the most basic market term for plumbing’s tape is “thread seal tape” or “thread-sealing tape”. To make things more confusing, the term plumber’s tape is often utilized to describe metal or plastic strapping with holes in it, developed to support pipeline.
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