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Old 10-17-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
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brass end cap on brass nipple leaking


Hi: I searched the forums for an answer, but came up empty.

I gutted our shower, and installed a diverter above the on/off control.

When I use a male brass plug on the two brass female fittings, it doesn't leak.

But when I install a 2 1/2" brass nipple (to help determine final wall thickness) and use a female brass end cap, the damn thing leaks like crazy.

The brass nipple is tapered. The female brass end cap I don't think is tapered, but it shouldn't leak. I use teflon tape.

Any ideas? Why do brass female end caps leak? Am I not tightening enough or over tightening???

this is just a temporary measure before the cement board goes up.
any help appreciated.
brian
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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brass end cap on brass nipple leaking


Think Google just answered my question for me.

Tolerances between fittings leave small gaps that must be filled by using either:

1) orange teflon tape (high density)
2) pipe goop
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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brass end cap on brass nipple leaking


Tighten them more. Pipe fitting are tapered and the more you tighten them the better they seal. More wraps of the normal white tape will help also.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Tighten them more. Pipe fitting are tapered and the more you tighten them the better they seal. More wraps of the normal white tape will help also.
I was always afraid of over tightening and stripping the threads. Kind of like when I took my Jetta to the stealership and they overtightened the wheel bolts so much that they were partially stripped. They don't use a torque wench, like I do at home.

thanks
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:29 AM   #5
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You do not use nipples. They are meant for gas lines. Use the proper fittings, or call a plumber to do the job properly. And yes, you have to either use White Teflon or pipe dope on the threads. Orange & Yellow teflon is not meant for water use, it is meant for use on gas lines.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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If you're using the correct fittings and are tighening them correctly, 3 or 4 wraps of teflon tape should do it. The yellow tape is more used for gas piping.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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You do not use nipples. They are meant for gas lines. Use the proper fittings, or call a plumber to do the job properly. And yes, you have to either use White Teflon or pipe dope on the threads. Orange & Yellow teflon is not meant for water use, it is meant for use on gas lines.
Original color of teflon removed from shower head was orange, and this was the builder's plumber - that's what got me confused in the first place. You're right, orange is for gas lines. My bad.

As for hiring a plumber, no way he would have done as good a job as I did. Time is money for a plumber. For me, it's 2 weekends of careful planning. I reinforced the wall with extra 2X4's (they used rotted boards), plumbed a couple boards which were way off. Put in some block bracing too, and put in a shower nook. Everything you do is related to something else. Everything aligned up perfectly, easily removed (just in case), and my custom install would have cost big bucks. Besides, it was a "professional" plumber that caused 1/2 the problems I had with the bathroom in the first place. Everyone involved was responsible for the piss poor workmanship, not just the plumber, and I could give you a 10 point list, but here's just one example:
Guy#1 who drilled the holes for the PEX drilled too close to the baseboards, and didn't put a metal plate in front. Guy#2 routed the PEX and didn't care or notice. Guy#3 put finishing nails in the baseboards and punctured the PEX, which caused a leak that my builder attributed to "condesation on the lines". In fact, because the nail was embedded in the PEX, the leak was VERY slow, and the wood wicked up the moisture. I could give more examples, like nailing the shower membrane on the outside (OK) AND the inside (not OK), but who cares at this point. If you want it done right, do it yourself, and no one to blame later on except yourself.

thanks for the info. I didn't apply enough teflon and/or didn't tighten enough.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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You do not use nipples. They are meant for gas lines. Use the proper fittings, or call a plumber to do the job properly. And yes, you have to either use White Teflon or pipe dope on the threads. Orange & Yellow teflon is not meant for water use, it is meant for use on gas lines.
Confused on the nipples.... brass nipples for gas lines? I see iron pipe in my house.... I've seen galvanized iron fittings in the store....

So if I don't use nipples to get to the finished wall thickness I need, then what do I do? Bend the copper pipe with a pipe bender? How else can I go from female thread (rough-in) to female thread (on the diverter elbow). Instructions that come with my diverter elbow use the term "nipple".

And what about the shower head? That's one big ass curved chromed nipple sticking out from the wall.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:12 PM   #9
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There are two different kinds of threaded nipples. Those that are used for gas lines, and those used for plumbing. If using PEX this is the style to use http://www.lowes.com/pd_130938-61002...r|1&facetInfo= Flare nipples are only used when doing gas. Helps to post a picture of the fitting that you are using, so that the rest of us know that you are using the correct type.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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Confused on the nipples.... brass nipples for gas lines? I see iron pipe in my house.... I've seen galvanized iron fittings in the store....

So if I don't use nipples to get to the finished wall thickness I need, then what do I do? Bend the copper pipe with a pipe bender? How else can I go from female thread (rough-in) to female thread (on the diverter elbow). Instructions that come with my diverter elbow use the term "nipple".

And what about the shower head? That's one big ass curved chromed nipple sticking out from the wall.
The item you're calling, "one big assed curved chrome nipple", is not called a nipple. It's called a shower arm. I think you're confused with the terminology and it does nothing to help you get answers. Post photos of what you're speaking about otherwise this post is a dog chasing his tail.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #11
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The item you're calling, "one big assed curved chrome nipple", is not called a nipple. It's called a shower arm. I think you're confused with the terminology and it does nothing to help you get answers. Post photos of what you're speaking about otherwise this post is a dog chasing his tail.

Sorry for the confusion. Terminology is a problem when you're not in the business of plumbing, I agree.

Thinking outside the box, that shower arm looks to me like an elongated and bent nipple, IMHO. Kind of like sagging t***. Both ends male, same thread. Yeah, stupid way to think, but that's how I think as a non-plumber. I don't care what's in between the connection, I just look at the two ends, which are 1/2" male NPT, 14TPI, or whatever it is. The in between could be a bowtie for all I care. In my case, I'm using a 1/2" brass nipple, 2 1/2" long to get me the finished clearance I need for the wall tile.

No, I'm not trying to use a gas flared nipple. It's definately a plumbing nipple for potable water.

Anyway, thanks for your help, everyone, I appreciate it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #12
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The advice in post 6 still stands.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #13
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bjr72, no the shower arm is just a piece of threaded tubing. Big difference.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #14
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brass end cap on brass nipple leaking


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You do not use nipples. They are meant for gas lines. Use the proper fittings, or call a plumber to do the job properly. And yes, you have to either use White Teflon or pipe dope on the threads. Orange & Yellow teflon is not meant for water use, it is meant for use on gas lines.
Nipples are a generic term for a short length of pipe that is threaded on both ends. Be it gas water or what ever. And yes there are brass nipples in NPT. Pipe dope went the way of oakum and lead. This is a DIY forum so telling him to call a plumber is just plain rude.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:37 PM   #15
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brass end cap on brass nipple leaking


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Originally Posted by bjr72 View Post
Sorry for the confusion. Terminology is a problem when you're not in the business of plumbing, I agree.

Thinking outside the box, that shower arm looks to me like an elongated and bent nipple, IMHO. Kind of like sagging t***. Both ends male, same thread. Yeah, stupid way to think, but that's how I think as a non-plumber. I don't care what's in between the connection, I just look at the two ends, which are 1/2" male NPT, 14TPI, or whatever it is. The in between could be a bowtie for all I care. In my case, I'm using a 1/2" brass nipple, 2 1/2" long to get me the finished clearance I need for the wall tile.

No, I'm not trying to use a gas flared nipple. It's definately a plumbing nipple for potable water.

Anyway, thanks for your help, everyone, I appreciate it.
The pipe for the shower head is threaded with a finer thread at the outside end. For your temporary hookup use a regualar nipple that is NPT on both ends.
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