Plumber’s Tape also known by other names like Thread seal tape and PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) tape. Pipes and fitting with screw threaded end requires a Plumbers tape in lubricating and sealing the threads for swift closure and preventing any leakage.
Different color tapes are used for different purposes.
Yellow is used for Gas plumber tape which is denser than plumbing tapes. White is used for plumbing tapes to colour correspond the pipelines. Green is used for oxygen and some medical gasses.
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The tape is chemically non-reactive thus it is preferred with acids, gasses and solvents. It has high pressure resistance which makes it stable up to 500˙F+ or 260˙C+.
Convenient for winding around pipes being a malleable and non-hardening material. Its non-sticky backing is helpful in reapplying and removing the tape. It is ideal for plumbing pipes as having low friction and hydrophobic (water repellent) properties.
Also Read: How to use Plumber’s Putty?
The tape is suitable for any threaded pipe fittings made up of PVC, steel and copper. Thread connections having rubber seals are avoided.
The tape can be used on any pipe to coupling connections, pipe to valve connections. Mostly used in fittings like shower arms, shower heads, threaded tub spouts.
Also read: How Long Does Plumber’s Putty Take To Dry?
How to use Plumber’s Tape?
Follow these 4 easy breezy steps and get rid of that leakage instantly.
Remove the traces of dust, grease or metal shavings using a toothbrush or a specialised product such as an industrial strength pipe cleaner.
Start from one end of the pipe by putting your index finger through the tape spool. Hold the tape down on the thread with your other index finger.
Wrap the tape in a clockwise direction similar to threads on your fitting to avoid distortion and unravelling of the tape. Lay the tape straight flat and tight.
Repeat the wrapping 4 to 7 times depending on the density of the tape. Don’t overlap the open end of the pipe for smooth sealing.
Break the tape by gripping it between thumb and forefinger, pulling it sharply and pressing it down seamlessly.
Make sure no loose tape is left improperly adhered.
Any fitting can be fixed and sealed by following the steps and won’t require your attention any time soon.
Excessive use of plumbing tape can create chaos preventing the threads from fully engaging and leading to leakage.
Loose tape can also create a joint or slough off.
Adding liquid sealant compound on tape’s surface before connecting helps with the leakage. Tighten the connection using wrenches over the tape. Make sure that the joints are properly aligned for tight sealing.
You are not only saving money on plumbing by fixing it yourself but also becoming self-reliant. Kudos for giving it a try.