To guarantee a complete seal of drain line (to prevent water damage), some plumbers will apply Teflon thread tape before installing new connection parts. This is a cheap and effective way to protect against leaks in drain line connections. In general, the rubber seals inside the fittings are not enough on their own. Although this tape has been criticized for being less effective than the company claims, it is still a good idea to use it.
PTFE Tape has been used for years as a sealant tape on threaded joints of any type before joining two pipes or spigots together. It is commonly called thread tape, PTFE tape or Teflon tape and is typically made up of 100% pure virgin PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and is sold under many brand names.
about the tape
Teflon tape has a propriety formula, and it can be very difficult to remove the tape if you choose the wrong product. Some of these 100% pure tapes use adhesive that activates when wet or will harden with age. When PTFE tape is used for plumbing purposes it must be specially engineered with the right thickness, adhesive formulas, and weave to ensure proper sealing without compromising the metal pipe threads or creating a potential fire hazard from leaking gas pipes . The reason why PTFE plumbers water sealant thread tape is that Teflon has long been known for its low coefficient of friction, which is very important when dealing with metal pipe threads that require rotation to form the seal. This means that Teflon tape will not wear out or damage the threading on metal pipes and joints as easily as traditional tapes made from other materials such as hemp or fiberglass.
In fact, many plumbers have even gone so far as to suggest that, in some types of joints at least, the tape may actually help improve the quality of the seal. In one test by a Canadian gas company , they found that when Teflon thread tape was applied to a joint and then tightened with a conventional pipe wrench, it actually produced a better seal than when normal hemp or fiber tape was substituted.
Teflon thread tape is generally very simple to use, you simply wrap it around the threads of two matching plumbing connectors (like PVC pipe fittings) and tighten the parts together with a standard wrench. No need for any special glues or adhesives. As long as there are no gaps in the tape, it will form a complete seal to keep liquids and gas from escaping.
The tape is very flexible and conforms well to uneven or irregular surfaces, which means it can be used in joints that are subject to varying levels of stress. It also doesn’t get old and stiff like other tapes, and it’s safe for use with drinking water.
If a Teflon plumbing tape is used correctly, there should be no problem with it in terms of safety. However if the pipe is not tightened properly, or if the tape shifts out of place during the tightening process, then it could cause leakage problems. There are also concerns that heating PVC pipes with certain types of tape might increase the risk of fire. However, the tape generally comes in a white (rather than transparent or yellow) color and is engineered to melt and release at high temperatures, so it’s unlikely that you will ever have this problem.
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