The difficulty with plumber’s thread seal tape is not figuring out how to use it, but rather, where to find it! Doesn’t it always seems like that roll of plumber’s tape is always missing? Well, once you do finally remember where you left it, using it like a pro is easy with this quick guide we’ve prepared for you! Continue reading to get started.
Plumber’s thread seal tape is a polytetrafluoroethylene film used to provide needed seals and lubrication for pipes threads. It also goes by other names too, such as PTFE tape and tape dope. Understanding these common monikers will help clear up any confusion you have at the store when purchasing more product. Now that you know what plumber’s tape is, it is time to learn the best ways to use it for your plumbing needs.
White, Blue or Yellow?
PTFE tape comes in a wide variety of colors, all of which are designed for variant plumbing applications. For basic residential plumbing seal and lubrication needs, the most common PTFE tape is the white roll. You will also find yellow and blue plumber’s tape, which are used for commercial or industrial applications. Yellow PTFE tape is often used for gas piping due to its double density properties, while blue PTFE tape is commonly used for oxygen piping due to its triple density properties.
How to Use PTFE Tape
Using plumber’s tape is easy, and only requires a short series of steps, along with a few materials. Aside from your tape, you will also need some paper towels or cloth rags, as well as, some store-bought pipe cleaner. Before taking a look at the steps below, it is important to know that you should not use too much tape. You must also be careful to wrap the tape properly. For more difficult angles, you may be better off using tape dope, which is softer and more spreadable.
Step ❶ – Using your pipe cleaner and cloths, remove all dirt and grease from the pipe threads.
Step ❷ – Using your paper towels, dry the pipe threads thoroughly. Be sure to dry in between each thread groove.
Step ❸ – Starting at the second thread, begin wrapping the tape around the pipe in the same direction of the threading. Use your finger to hold the tape in place while you work in the direction of the pipe. Be very careful to wrap evenly without using too much tape. When overlapping the tape as you make your way around, be sure to only cross ½ of the width of the tape.
Step ❹ – Cut the tape at the end and use your hands to press the tape all the way against the pipe threads. You should be able to clearly see the shape of the threads.