DYI Tips for Using Plumber’s Tape

Using Plumber’s TapeIf you’re tackling a small plumbing project at your home, one of your best friends will be plumber’s tape. Also known as thread-seal or Teflon tape, plumber’s tape is designed to create water-tight connections between pipes.

Overall, plumber’s tape is very simple to use. Here are some tips for using the product in your next DYI project.

Benefits of plumber’s tape

Using it correctly can prevent future leaks from occurring at threaded pipe joints. The tape also acts as a lubricant, which helps the pipe thread on easier, and creates less resistance if you need to disconnect the joint.

How to use plumber’s tape

Plumber’s tape is used when connecting a male threaded pipe into a female fitting.

  1. Clean and make sure the threads of the pipe are free of dirt or debris
  2. Pull out a small section of tape and place it on the threaded end of the pipe. The top edge of the tape should line up with the second thread from the end. The tape should be positioned straight and lie flat.
  3. Wrap the tape in the direction of the threads (usually clockwise). Keep the tape snug against the pipe (but not too tight that it rips). Do not let the tape bunch up or go over the edge of the pipe.
  4. Wrap the pipe 4-6 times around, moving your way down (and overlapping) so that all of the threaded area of the pipe is covered.
  5. When you’re done wrapping, cut or break the tape cleanly and pull the end of the tape tight in the same direction as you were wrapping. The end should stick to the underlying tape and create a smooth finish.
  6. Insert the pipe into the fitting and turn to tighten. If the tape starts to bunch and peel off, you wrapped it in the wrong direction.

Different colors of tape

When shopping for thread-seal tape, you’ll notice that it comes in a few different colors. This isn’t for looks – each color indicates a different purpose.

  • White – For water pipes 3/8 in. or less. This is the most common type for home plumbing repairs.
  • Red – Triple density for pipes ½ – 2 in. with larger joints.
  • Yellow – Double density, for gas and fuel lines.
  • Green – Grease and oil free, for pipes carrying oxygen.

Plumber’s tape is a useful product, but it can’t fix or avoid all plumbing problems. That’s where the professionals come in. If you need expert assistance with your project in the Amarillo area, give Pratt Plumbing a call today at (806) 373-7866.

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