6 Tips for Using Plumbing Teflon Tape for Repairs 6 Tips for Using Plumbing Teflon Tape for Repairs
Plumbing Teflon tape is essential for the do-it-yourselfer making plumbing repairs. The non-adhesive tape works wonders when threading two plumbing components. You should be sure to use it when you are working on plumbing in your home. These 6 tips will help you use Teflon tape like a pro.
1. Find the Threads
Teflon tape is designed to coat the threads of plumbing components and create a tighter seal. If you use Teflon tape on any plumbing repairs that involve threaded pipes you will have success. Do-it-yourselfers sometimes wonder if they are going overboard with Teflon tape. If you are making a plumbing repair and you have to thread 2 components together, use the Teflon tape. Don’t feel inferior to the pros when you use Teflon tape. They use it all the time too.
2. Don’t Skimp on the Tape
The whole purpose behind Teflon tape is to make a better seal between plumbing fixtures. When applying the tape, don’t skimp. Plumbers advise that you should wrap any component with the tape 4 to 6 times. That may seem like a lot but if you want to avoid leaks you have to apply enough tape to create a heavy seal.
3. Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty
It is especially important to wrap the tape in the same way that you will turn the female component. For example, if you are replacing a shower head, you will wrap the male component, the pipe in the wall, with Teflon tape. You will then thread the female component, the shower head, on to the male. To tighten the shower head you will turn it to the right. This is the same way that you want to wrap the tape. This will help the tape go deep into the valleys of the threads. To help you remember this, memorize “lefty loosey, righty tighty”.
4. No PVC
Teflon tape should not be used when threading PVC pipes. These pipes will need a cement treatment.
5. ½ Inch is the Best Size
Teflon tape comes in a number of different widths. Though ½ inch tape is not the only tape used by professional plumbers, it is the most versatile. It is small enough for little repairs, but wide enough to repair longer pipes. It is the best choice for do-it-yourselfers that don’t need to buy Teflon tape in various sizes for plumbing projects. Because do-it-yourselfers won’t be using Teflon tape with the same frequency as professional plumbers, buying one or two rolls of ½ inch tape will work fine.
6. Don’t Fray the Tape
Just like anything else, all Teflon tape is not equal. Some of the more inexpensive products will fray rather easily. Frayed Teflon tape is useless for plumbing repairs. The frayed tape doesn’t coat the threads and can get caught when you attach the female components. Don’t always buy the cheapest tape. Ask someone at the local home improvement store which brand is most popular. If you find that your tape frays you should return it to the store for a better brand.
That’s it. Teflon tape makes plumbing repairs a breeze. Follow these tips and you can make home repairs just like a pro.