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Old 04-29-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


I'm installing a new vanity and sink and had to move over the hot water supply to allow for the drawer of the new vanity. (Pipes are original, 1963 house) The original plumbing had a 3/8" female threaded galvanized connection for me to screw into, so I used some elbows and pipe nipples to move over where it would enter the back of the vanity. First, I used teflon tape on all of the connections and when I turned on the water everything was fine except a very slow leak (1 drip every 10 seconds or so) where the new pipe screwed into the old threaded fitting. So, I took it all apart, wiped it down, and tried pipe dope (Rectorseal 5) and the exact thing happened, except that as I got to the end of the tightening I saw a small shard coming out of the threads. I turned on the water and same thing, very slow drip.

I had read about some people using both teflon tape and pipe dope and had read others discouraging it. I figured I'd give it a try and see what happened. So, I took it back apart, wrapped in teflon tape, and then applied the pipe dope. As I screwed in, as it got really tight (14" pipe wrench, grown man pushing pretty darn hard) a few more shards of metal came out. I know it wasn't cross threaded, so I assume I was getting into metal that hadn't been threaded yet. (?)

But, no leak!

So, my question is this: If it's holding now, am I good to go? Can I trust it to hold? I don't want to install the vanity and have it leak sometime down the road.

Thanks in advance for your help.

-Collin

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Old 04-29-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Sounds to me like you'll be fine. I use tape + dope all the time when I join steel pipe. One question I have is did you clean the 3/8" female connection prior to tying in the new pipe?

P.S. - Galvanized pipe is notorious for filling up with sludge and becoming brittle, esp. after almost 50 years in service, so you might want to start planning to replace it. Soon.


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Old 04-29-2011, 08:41 PM   #3
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Thanks VIPlumber for your reply.

The pipe nipple that exited the female connection was full of sludge, but the connection itself was quite clean. I cleaned out what I could with my hand. It's all copper until that connection and it looked pretty clean to me.

So I don't need to be worried about where the shards came out as I reached the end of the threads?

Thanks.

Last edited by nilloc; 04-29-2011 at 08:56 PM. Reason: clarify wording
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


I tape and dope all galv. threads. Doesn't make any difference, but I put the dope on first
If you used a 14" wrench on 3/8 you probably got it a little too tight. But if the fitting didn't split or drip you're good to go. BTW, rectorseal 5 is good stuff
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:06 AM   #5
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Great. Thanks to both of you.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:48 AM   #6
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Yep. I use both and have done high pressure water with 2" galvanized in a hospital that way. Galvanized always seems to need both.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


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Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
I tape and dope all galv. threads. Doesn't make any difference, but I put the dope on first
If you used a 14" wrench on 3/8 you probably got it a little too tight. But if the fitting didn't split or drip you're good to go. BTW, rectorseal 5 is good stuff
I put the tape on first, then the dope. This is a common debate between all plumbers, gasfitters, steam fitters and sprinklerfitters.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Too messy the other way. I like to get the metal threads to bite into the tape (pull on the tape to get it seated) and add the dope. Always use the thicker pink Pro teflon tape. The white stuff is too light duty and for wusses.
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Last edited by yuri; 04-30-2011 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


I love "Blue Monster" teflon tape - they only sell it at the plumbing supply house around here. It's great, so easy to work with, and probably 3x as thick as the standard white stuff.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CGsQ8wIwAA#
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


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Too messy the other way. I like to get the metal threads to bite into the tape (pull on the tape to get it seated) and add the dope. Always use the thicker pink Pro teflon tape. The white stuff is too light duty and for wusses.
Blue Monster tape for me. And it goes on top the dope!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:39 AM   #11
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


I'm not a plumber...but I find it too messy to put the dope first! I put tape first!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Plumbers are messy, I have 5 of them at work. One leg covered in white silicone, the other in pipe dope.

Furnace installers, One leg covered in PVC glue, the other with silicone.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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Pipe dope and teflon tape: if it's holding now, can I trust it?


Dope, tape and dope only on the male threads. Works really well for me. Putting dope on female threads forces dope into the water pipe when the pipe is screwed in.

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