How to seal pipe fittings

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How to seal pipe fittings
Pipe fittings should be insulated with the proper sealants. (pipe fitting image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com)

Pipe fittings are threaded piping components used for joining pipes and tubes together. They are typically composed of PVC plastic or some type of metal and are highly durable. Pipe fittings do, however, need reinforcement to ensure that the piping system is insulated properly. A quality tapered pipe thread can be sealed using different pipe sealants, or pipe dopes as they are commonly known. TFE tape is also intended to compliment pipe dope for an optimal bond.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • TFE tape
  • Anaerobic pipe sealant
  • Rag

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose a TFE tape according to density and thickness. When making your selection, keep in mind that a tape thickness of 3mm to 4mm and a density of 1 gram per cubic centimetre (CC) is recommended for the best seal (1 CC is equivalent to a millilitre).

  2. 2

    Apply TFE tape to the male pipe thread that will be inserted into the pipe fitting. Start by wrapping it clockwise, in the direction of the thread spiral. Make sure the tape does not overhang the first thread in order to avoid fitment issues later on.

  3. 3

    Draw the free end of the TFE tape tightly around the male threads. Once it has conformed to the threaded surface, press it firmly at the overlapping points.

  4. 4

    Ensure that the female threads of the pipe fitting are free of grease, oil or other contaminants. Such contaminants can trap air and cause the pipe sealant to adhere improperly.

  5. 5

    Squeeze an even coat of the anaerobic pipe dope onto the taped male threads using a full 360-degree application. Attach the pipe to the pipe fitting and wipe the excess sealant with a rag once the pipe has been connected.

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