Teflon tape & copper

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by hans_idle, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. hans_idle

    hans_idle New Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I am replacing most of the plumbing in my masterbath for a remodel. Today I ran new 1/2" supply lines through the joists (using existing holes from previous plumbing) and then up through the floor under the sinks. I used 1/2" O.D x 1/2" IPS ball valves on top of the supply lines. There are 4 of them. I chose these valves rather than sweat valves for a number of reasons, ease of installation being one of them. The supply lines are topped with 1/2" male threads.

    When I screwed the valves onto the supply lines, I wrapped the threads with teflon tape a couple of times. After screwing on the valves, I turned the water on and checked for leaks. I tighted hand-tight to start with. After seeing a few drops of water, I tighted each valve another 1/4 turn, and then repeated the process until the water stopped.

    What surprised me is the amount I had to tighten the valves. I really had to make them tight (used a 10" crescent wrench). The last time I did plumbing work was over 10 years ago, but I don't recall having to tighten so hard.

    Do I need to use more teflon tape, or did I maybe buy inferior products? Or was it because I was using a 10" wrench and it just FELT hard?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,418
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That's because you are weaker now.


    Just kidding. You might have forgotten.
    I think I would have been doing about 3 wraps and cranking the crud out of them. Then I would have felt good about it.
  3. hans_idle

    hans_idle New Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    LOL. Yes, that could be the case.

    I'll remember 3 wraps for next time. They seem to be holding, at least in the off position.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,418
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If they aren't leaking they should be fine.
    I've also just rubbed a bar of soap on the threads and tightened down too.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I hate threaded connections. I use Teflon tape, plus some of the messiest blue goo I've ever seen -- rated for water, steam, and probably nuclear waste -- tightened to 36.8 ft-lb (approximately) , and never had a leak.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I use the "Belt and Suspenders" method just like Mikey! I wrap the threads with teflon tape then apply Megaloc over the threads. That would be the goop he speaks of! A little bigger wrench would not be a bad idea!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valve

    I have not used IPS valves except for the occassional replacement for decades, but even then I never used a 10" Crescent wrench. 12" was the minimum size. And the sealer was pipe joint compound, not tape.
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