Close 1 1/4" Newly Installed Nipples Leaking

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by WCarp, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. WCarp

    WCarp New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Omak, WA
    I have a problem with multiple close (shortest you can get) 1 1/4" OD newly installed galvanized nipples leaking. I used a few wraps of 3/4" wide Teflon tape and tightened the nipples well. Most of the nine I installed are slowing leaking/seeping. Is this a known issue since the threads on the taper don't end or go up completely to the full diameter of the pipe like longer nipples?

    It has been suggested to use both Teflon and pipe tread sealer compound by a professional plumber. Has anyone else had this problem? What do you suggest doing to resolve the leaking problem? To fix the leaks I have to remove the close nipples which I understand could be difficult plus drain and move three 120 gallon water pressure tanks so I would like to not have to do this job again soon.

    Thanks.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,127
    Location:
    IL
    Galvanized, brass, PVC? 1-1/4 ID?
  3. WCarp

    WCarp New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Omak, WA
    The nipple are galvanized. OD is 1 1/4 inches.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,127
    Location:
    IL
    I used 1 inch ID nipples to connect between some Big Blue filter housings. I had leaks. I switched from plastic to galvanized (should maybe have gone to brass, but I was feeling cheap.). I did use the thicker Oatey pink teflon and a nicely reviewed yellow pipe dope. The thicker teflon was much easier to word with than the cheap thin white teflon. It's been leak free.

    I don't think I used close nipples, because the short nipples I used had a small non threaded interval between the threads. No leaks.

    With a close nipple, I wonder if you were able to get enough turns.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,930
    Location:
    New England
    Brass would last much longer than galvanized. Especially since most all of the galvanization was cut into when the threads were made, and most of it is threads!

    But, you'll find that if that stuff was made in China, the threads may not meet specs because of either improper depth, length, or a dull cutter leaving the threads out of spec, and nearly impossible to create a seal with.

    It may be that you just didn't get things tight enough. Since there isn't a lot of room for a wrench on those short nipples, you usually end up using the fitting, and turning it, or multiple sections to get things tight.
  6. WCarp

    WCarp New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Omak, WA
    I used only the regular thin Teflon tape and after tightening everything good and tight there were still some threads left visible between the parts the close nipples threaded into.

    Thanks.
  7. WCarp

    WCarp New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Omak, WA
    I'm not sure where I could get brass close nipples here in a rural area in Eastern Washington but yes, they would be better than galvanized as for corrosion. I believe I saw on at least one nipple package that it was made in China. As for tightness, I have everything good and tight--so much so I'm not looking forward to removing the close nipples and replacing them. Hopefully, there will be enough to get a wrench on to loosen. It would be bad to have the wrench crush the nipple and not be able to remove it.

    Thanks.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Technically, there the tape you used is not teflon, but that's a point for another day. In addition to advice already given, you should understand galvanized is not used in water supply systems now days because it will rust. Brass would be the preferred material. I would also avoid a close nipple because it is difficult to get a wrench on without damaging it. Personally, I hate tape (by any name) and always use pipe dope. So, get a brass nipple, short better than close, use pipe dope, and tighten well. I think that will solve the leak problem and you won't have rust in the future.
  9. WCarp

    WCarp New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Omak, WA
    Where can a person get brass nipples? I haven't seen any in any store in the in Omak WA area.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you are having a problem with that, then tape first, and and then dope.

    1-1/4" OD?
    So maybe 1"?
    brass nipples may be hard to find in Omak.
    They would have them in the Seattle area or Spokane. You may want to have those sent to you if you choose to go with brass.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,127
    Location:
    IL
    I think WCarp is using what are called 1 inch nipples, which would have an OD of 1.315 inches at widest and which tapers smaller at the ends. This 1 inch nipple will be fairly easy to order I would think, but the Ace Hardware would probably not have them stocked.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,930
    Location:
    New England
    Lowes carries them, but you'd have to order them...your (not very close) store has zero in stock. Ace doesn't show them in their catalog. Didn't look to see if your town has an actual plumbing supply house, but they would be more likely to carry them than a big-box store.
  13. WCarp

    WCarp New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Omak, WA
    I was able to purchase some close brass nipples from a plumber in the Omak area but now I need an easy out or nipple remover. No one has one in the area to rent or buy. I checked with the plumber that I got the brass nipple from and he priced a 1-1/4" nipple remover at $112, I believe, from his supplier and it wasn't in stock. I also got a can of Megaloc pipe sealant from the plumber so now, if I can get things apart, I should get things to seal properly.

    I would like to remove the galvanized close nipples from three unions but as you know, there isn't much to grip on, to hold the unions, and when in a pipe vise or regular vise, there isn't enough of the nipple sticking out to grip a pipe wrench on. The only alternative would be to get brand new unions or use a chain vise, it seems. When in a chain vise, hopefully, there will be enough to grip on to remove the nipples since they are quite short (I tightened the 1-1/4" galvanized ones pretty tight to stop leaking but they still leaked).

    Thanks for your input.
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