Pipe Nipples bought at HD

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by BobL43, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I know this probably sounds silly, but years ago before the big box stores, if I bought a factory made brass or galvanized pipe nipple, a little pipe compound or teflon tape (when was teflon tape introduced?) was enough to prevent any leaks with reasonable torquing up. Each time I buy a pipe nipple now at HD, teflon tape won't do the job by itself unless I torque the crap out of the joint, and I have to worry about breaking something. These nipples happen to be made in China now and I would impagine that their machinery dies should be set correctly, but I have problems. If I use the thick pipe compound with Teflon added, the joint wont leak.
    I don't have any problems with a thread (normally) if it is a custom cut and threaded pipe, but every time I use a HD nipple, I get angry with it.

    I know the pros here buy at the supply house, and I do sometimes as well, but I haven't bought any pipe nipples at the supply house. Am I the only one here having problems like this? :mad:
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,253
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I do buy at HD when necessary, such as after hours, but have never had any problem with them not sealing properly.
  3. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks HJ.
  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    You could go old school and use lamp wicking.It is cotton thread that we used to seal nipples and meter tail pieces.Along with pipe dope.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,302
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Over the years we have been subjected to Chinese made products, we have become very leery of the quality of Chinese made goods of all kinds. However, gradually it seems that the Chinese have begun to learn that if they are going to be successful in the free world market place the quality of their manufactured goods must improve. Today, some of their products are of decent quality, but some is still junk. Certainly we can make a good point out how they exploit their work force, but that is another question. Some of us are old enough to remember when products made in Japan were considered cheap junk. Obviously the Japanese learned their lesson on the importance of quality. I suspect the Big Box Stores buy at the lowest price so they can sell at the lowest price, but without too much concern about the quality of the product.
  6. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I am actually old enough to still have some of that string that was used in the old days along with pipe dope.
  7. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I remember when the Japanese products started coming here. They were such junk, and (only a rumor though) that they made up a city named USA, Japan so they could label the stuff "made in USA". In the 50's they made junk figurines and stuff, and by the 60's they were producing excellent cameras, one of which I bought in '65: the Asahi Pentax SLR.

    Yes Gary, I agree that the problem may just well be because of the low price. But a hunk of steel tube threaded to a standard? should be easy. maybe the exploited labor force doesn't care. China is moving WAY up in the world economy though, and times will change there too, I believe.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The quality of the brass or steel is quite obiously inferior...you notice tears and such on the threads, and they seem to not have the correct number of threads, meaning the threaded portion is short. But the main thing is the metal.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You are placing the blame on the male thread but it could very well be the female thread that is the culprit. Ever since Eve, man has been taking the blame.
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    We have had had the same problem with the foreign-made black gas pipe. We had to chop off the pre-threaded ends and cut new threads.
  11. Rich B

    Rich B DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Anything and everything that comes from H-D is made in China and could possibly be a problem. Lowes is only a little bit better....

    I bought a chromed/brass heavy weight screw together P-trap a few years ago for my bathroom vanity install. Got it all done and ran the water to test for leaks,,,,,,drip...drip....Pulled it apart and added more sealer.....drip....drip....Did it again.....same result. Took the P-trap out and held it in my hands over another sink and added water.....was leaking right thru the casting and thru the chrome...took it back to H-D and TOLD the girl it was defective....she put it right in the restock pile.....so someone else could get aggravated....

    I have a frined who did some black iron pipe work and the pipe had some pin hole leaks....was from H-D

    Yes the threads are terrible.....I've seen how poor they look....


    I have found that teflon tape with white paste over that seems to seal pretty well......I also have used various pipe joint compounds with good results....but the white paste and teflon tape has worked best lately on my home projects....
  12. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    That is cute :D
  13. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Another afterthought I had with my use of galvanized pipe nipples: on my current project, they screw into brass drop ear elbows on one end and into brass (made by Brasscraft) angle stops on the other end. I know that a brass/zinc junction will generate a voltage across it when wet (it always will be wet), but if the voltage generated is not put across a closed loop circuit ( the faucet will be mounted on a china sink, and the drain system is all PVC), will the galvanized nipple corrode the joint? I can easily at this point change the nipples with brass ones probably also made in China, but, but but................ guess I will.
    I found lots of posts on electrolysis here, but not on this exact situation.
  14. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
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    Maybe I should hook up some frog legs to this setup and see if..........LOL!
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,809
    Location:
    New England
    The threads often look like they were made with a die that was way past its useful life (at least without resharpening). A good die on decent metal, and the threads won't be torn. Teflon tape alone is often not able to seal around those rough edges in the torn threads...pipe dope can; unless you really crank it down. THen, they may not have the proper depth which makes it really tough to get it to either start in the socket or seal properly.
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