Tape plays a surprisingly important role in your plumbing system. You simply need the right tape for the job and a little know-how to ensure you apply it correctly. Here’s some helpful information about the two primary types of pipe leak tape and how to use them.
Pipe Thread Tape
Also known as plumber’s tape, PTFE tape, or the brand name Teflon, pipe thread tape creates a watertight seal when applied to plumbing joint threads that lack a built-in rubber seal. If you have a leaky showerhead, outdoor spigot, or other plumbing connection, you need pipe thread tape. As long as it’s applied correctly, pipe thread tape is a long-term solution, keeping your plumbing connections leak-free for years.
Follow these tips to apply pipe thread tape:
- Turn off the water and unscrew the leaky pipe joint.
- Wash and dry the threads to remove any dirt or grime that could be impeding a watertight seal.
- Check the threads’ direction. Most run clockwise to coincide with the phrase “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey,” but there are exceptions to this.
- Apply the tape in the direction of the threads, lining up the edge of the tape with the outer edge of the threads without extending over them.
- Wrap the tape around the threads four to six times, being sure to cover the threads entirely. Pull the tape taut as you go to ensure a tight fit.
- Screw the pipe back into place and turn on the water to test for leaks.
Silicone Pipe Leak Tape
Sometimes called self-amalgamating tape or self-fusing tape, silicone tape has the unique property of being self-adhesive. This means it doesn’t stick to the pipe, only to itself. If you find a hairline fracture in your plumbing, silicone pipe leak tape can provide a temporary solution while you seek a more permanent fix.
Follow these tips to apply silicone tape to a leaky pipe:
- Locate the leak, and when you’re confident you know precisely where it is, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve.
- Dry the area near the leak.
- Wrap the silicone tape around the pipe as tightly as possible, overlapping itself several times. Overshoot the hairline fracture on both sides to help prevent water from seeping under the tape.
- Turn the water back on and make sure the pipe is no longer leaking.
Remember, this solution is only temporary. Silicone tape is designed to prevent water damage and keep the leak from getting any worse until you can call a plumber.
Plumbing Services in Seattle
Do you need help applying pipe thread tape? Perhaps you’re looking for a permanent fix after temporarily stopping a hairline fracture leak with silicone tape. Whatever the case, Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating can help. We have over 20 years of experience delivering top-notch leak repair and other plumbing services throughout the Seattle area. To learn more or schedule services with us, please call (206) 350-0079 or request an appointment online.