Troubleshooting Steel Pipe Couplings Troubleshooting Steel Pipe Couplings

Whenever you need to connect more than one pipe together you do so using steel pipe couplings. Each end of the pipe will screw into the coupling creating whatever twist or turn that you need it to. Unfortunately steel pipe couplings are never as strong as a solid section of steel pipe but they are pretty tough in their own right. Over time, steel pipe couplings can fail for any number of reasons. Troubleshooting these failures is not overly difficult but it can take up a lot of time. This is especially the case when there are multiple steel pipe couplings. The following article will share with you tips and tricks on how to troubleshoot a steel pipe couplings. 

Drain it All 

Whenever you are using steel pipes to transport any type of liquid and you have multiple steel pipe couplings it can be hard to spot which one is bad. The solution is to stop any flow of the liquid through pipes and then flush the system with any number of pipe cleaners on the market. You can remove the section at the lowest point to drain out any remaining fluid. Reconnect that section and then pour a glass of water down the drain. The water, since it is in a very small amount, will make its way past the steel pipe couplings. If there is a faulty coupling the water will drip from it. 

Check Seals 

In most plumbing operations and the use of steel pipe couplings will have the threads of the pipe wrapped in silicone tape. This seal prevents water or other liquids from draining out around the steel pipe couplings. Each pipe leading into a coupling should be wrapped with silicone tape. Once the silicone tape erodes then the seals become weak and liquid can then come through the coupling. Use a wrench to remove the steep pipe couplings and check the ends of the pipes. If the tape is missing or eroding then wrap the threads again and then attach the pipe back to the coupling. 

Loose Couplings 

If there is high pressure coming through the pipes or they rattle then it is possible that steep pipe couplings can come loose. This applies to anything that is screwed in place. You can determine if this is the case rather easily. Go to each coupling in the pipe system and gently wiggle it. If you can feel even the slightest movements then tighten it with a wrench. Loose couplings can cause leaks as well as a loss of pressure. Tightening them will fix this issue.


If your water bill is suddenly higher despite every other factor remaining the same then you may have trouble with insulation. Pipe insulation if it is used is often placed around the steel pipe couplings last if even at all. The insulation can pull away from any section where there is a gap. When this happens you will lose heating and cooling effectiveness and this is often found at the couplings. Check to make sure the insulation is covering the coupling completely and are taped adequately.

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