Threaded plumbing joints require watertight sealing to avoid dripping. Plumber’s tape, also known as Teflon tape, assists in creating watertight seals on them. It also assists in lubricating the connection such that threading becomes smoother.
It also assists in preventing the threaded pipe joints from sticking such that you can disassemble them easily in the future.
It’s effortless to use the tape. However, there’s a correct and wrong way of using it. Read on to learn how to use it correctly.
Using Plumber’s Tape, the Right Way
Using plumber’s tape correctly demands wrapping it around a pipe or plumbing fitting in the correct direction. Once wrapped in the right direction, the friction created by them will tighten the applied one.
If wrapped the wrong way, it will ball up or unravel when tightening it. You should apply the tape in an opposite direction to how the fitting will be turned. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Use a dry piece of rag to clean the pipe’s male threads. Next, take the tape and place it around the second outermost thread of the piping.
Hold the tape in place using your finger. Ensure that it lies flat, and that it extends in a perpendicular manner to the pipe’s length.
Step 2: Wrap the tape tightly around the threads in a direction that’s opposite to how you’ll turn the pipe.
Step 3: As you wrap the tape, maintain tension and wrap it towards the inner threads. Overlap it while wrapping it.
Step 4: Make 4 to 6 wraps. Finish wrapping at the innermost thread.
Step 5: Now cut the tape to finish the job. You can cut it by gripping it between your forefinger and thumb, and pull it sharply to break it.
Once done, smoothen the end of the tape. You can now fix the pipe into the threaded fitting.
Areas of Applications
Teflon tape is ideal for most threaded plumbing connections that lack an inbuilt rubber seal. In case you have ever worked with a pipe-joint product, it would be great to substitute with tape for similar applications.
You can use tape on most metallic pipes and rigid plastic pipes. The most common areas of application include:
- Shower arms
- Tub spouts that are threaded
- Connecting pipes to couplings
- Connecting them to valves
You can also connect some gas pipes using tape. However, you must use a special yellow one for gas pipes, according to the Fast Plumbers website.
When visiting a hardware store, ask them whether they have “Teflon tape”. There are many brand names of the tape, but Teflon one generally refers to any plumber’s tape. You can also refer to it as “thread-sealing” or “thread seal” type of tape.
There’s often some confusion since the name “plumber’s tape” also refers to plastic or metal strapping that is used for supporting pipes.