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Plumber using plumber's tape

Plumber’s Tape and Where To Use It

A toolbox staple and your pipe’s best friend, plumbers tape is your friend when it comes to leak prevention.

What is Plumber's Tape?

This roll of tape has many names, but the official name is Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Tape. More commonly, and for a good reason, we know it as plumber’s tape, Teflon tape, or thread seal tape.

PTFE is a hydrophobic material, meaning it repels water. This makes it the perfect sealant for threaded connections without a rubber seal. Additionally, the material reduces friction and prevents pipes from sticking together when you want to disconnect them.

How to Use Plumber's Tape Correctly

Like many things, plumber’s tape will only work well if it is correctly applied. Here is our guide to applying plumbers tape to your pipes:

  • Clean the Surfaces: A clean surface will allow the tape to properly sit on the pipe. Wipe down the male threads with a rag before you begin.
  • Where to Place It: On the second thread from the end of the pipe, place the end of the plumber’s tape and keep it in place.
  • Wrapping With the Pipe: It is important that the rotation of the pipe works with the tape, not against it. So, begin wrapping in the opposite direction of how the pipe will rotate into its counterpart. Continue wrapping between 4-6 times until you’re near the end of the threads.
  • Finishing the Wrap: Plumber’s tape breaks very easily, so once you’ve finished your wrap, simply firmly pull it apart. Smooth down the loose end, and your pipe is ready to go!

Where to Use Plumber's Tape

The best places to use plumber’s tape are:

  • Shower arms, heads, and bathtub spouts
  • Pipe-to-coupling connections
  • Pipe-to-valve connections

Keep in mind that plumber’s tape should not be used on PVC fittings or valves with female threads.

Additionally, it’s important to know that tape cannot solve everything. In the event of a plumbing emergency, or if you’re unsure of how to properly complete a plumbing job, call in the experts at John Manning Plumbing! Call us at (661) 338-6305 or contact us online to book your appointment today.