Teflon Tape vs Joint Compound

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by PaulHG, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. PaulHG

    PaulHG New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Just a curiosity question from a total novice.
    What little pipe work I have had to do I have always preferred teflon tape just because it was less messy --
    But the guy at the Orange box recommende joint compound (RectorSeal 5) so I gave it a try.
    Pretty much every joint I made with joint compound - leaked - and I went back and used teflon tape -- leak gone.
    I am SURE part of the issue is user error --
    But -- is one generally considered superior in making leak free connections?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,273
    Location:
    New England
    Some plumbers use both. If applied properly and the connection is tightened enough and you (may have to) wait a little, either should work. With the tape, you should be able to open things up right away, I'm not sure about the pipe dope; have to read the instructions carefully.
  3. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    i use teflon tape for small joints (up too 1"). teflon paste on larger joints. It essentially does the same, but past is more practical on large joints.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,387
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I used to use tape and had little problem, but to me, pipe dope is easier. True, it is a bit messy, but tape has to be wrapped just right or it doesn't seal. I know some use both, and that's their choice, but I like the dope alone.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    compound

    I have used dope alone for over 50 years and it has served faithfully. If you had problems it was user error. I only use tape for PVC threaded connections.
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    hj- what compound do you like. Gasoila is my favorite but is a little pricy. It sticks to everything. Even hard to get off hands.
  7. PaulHG

    PaulHG New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Re HJ
    Readily acknowledged - plumbing NOT my strong suit - :eek:
    My guess is Jad is right - I didn't let it set enough.

    Computer geek by trade -- cabinet maker by hobby.
    General remodeler by necessity -
    This particular project - kinda got backed into this project -
    Started when my semi-significant other wanted a new tub surround
    which became a new tub
    which became reorient the tub -- TWICE
    which became - how about a new tile floor.

    Remind me again what I thought was so bad about living alone in an apartment.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    There is no "set" time for 99% of most pipe dope.

    The joint was not tight enough, too little or lousy pipe dope, bad threads or some combination of the 4.

    Teflon tape has more bulk and fills the threads more.

    My guess is not tight enough, thats why the teflon tape worked.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2006
  9. PaulHG

    PaulHG New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Thanks Cass - that is a possibility too -
    I had been warned - also by the guy at the orange box --not to OVERtighten and strip threads -
    So I stopped at about a turn and a half past hand tight
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    joint

  11. PaulHG

    PaulHG New Member

    Messages:
    35
    TOTALLY agree on the level of 'expertise' in big box stores (orange or blue or any other color)
    I USUALLY ask straight out - if they have had exprience plumbing (or flooring or whatever I am asking help on) - RARELY some do -- most are honest enough to admit when they don't.
    This time I took what he said at face value - although it DID sound kinda squirelly to me.
    Sometimes its best to go with your gut -
    Thanks for letting me know that this time -- I should have.
  12. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Dope on some , tape on others . If I'm going to be heating a joint,ONLY DOPE.

    Things like shower arm threads or pvc tape.

    My boring 2 cents

    Cal
  13. gtfisher

    gtfisher New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Question from a newbie here - does one use glue, putty, or nothing when fastening a toilet flange (4") to a 4" PVC pipe?

    George
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,273
    Location:
    New England
    A PVC flange must be glued to the pipe...prime it first to prepare the plastic (it cleans and etches it). It really is more of a solvent as it melts the surface, allowing the two pieces to mate, then when the solvent evaporates (really quick), the pieces are more welded together than merely glued. Sort of like putting together a plastic model from your youth...remember how messy that got and the fingerprints you left in the surface if you touched it with glue on your fingers?
  15. gtfisher

    gtfisher New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Jim:
    A follow up question - when my plumber roughed in an upstairs bathroom for us, he provided what appears to be a 4" ID elbow for me to fasten my 4" (PVC-1 NIBCO) flange into. I find that fitting the flange into the elbow is a very tight fit that might not accomodate solvent glue very well. A force fit isn't good, huh?

    George
  16. PaulHG

    PaulHG New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Leaking Flange seal

    As mentioned earlier - my old outside sealing flange came off very easily
    -It left a fairly rough surface on the pipe so I did my best to scrape off old solvent and sand it clean with some 100 grit -- before priming and cementing as described earlier. Replaced the flange with another of the same kind, filled the tank and flushed. -----
    You guessed it --water sprayed all under the floor --
    Apparently from around what should have been the flange seal -
    - obviously not sealed.

    Am hoping to get this flange I just put on - off without causing damage. --- -- and replacing it with a flange that seals to the INSIDE of the pipe where it is smoother hoping for a better seal.

    Have also considered leaving it alone - and usig the Fluidmaster waxless seal that basicly lines the pipe and seals inside.

    Question -
    Any thoughts on the above ideas would be welcome
    As would any suggestions to a better options than those I have in mind.
    other suggestions on how to deal with a flange that is leaking where it seals to the pvc drain pipe?

    Thank you again
  17. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    I use both or existing pipe fittings that may have slightly damaged threads from years of use. Medium thick coating of paste, followed by a few wraps of tape.

    For new fittings which I have installed, I use several wraps of tape.

    Agree that for larger (over 2") fittings, paste is more practical. But for almost all homeowner type projects, tape is an option. I spent a summer as a pipefitter's helper. We threaded and welded all manner of black pipe from 3" to 8". All we used was paste. Welding rod works good too! ;)
Similar Threads: Teflon Tape
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Leaking Threads using Teflon Tape Sep 16, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Teflon Tape Containers Mar 27, 2012
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice 3/4" Copper UNION - Use Teflon Tape or Pipe Dope? Feb 29, 2012
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Can Teflon tape (PTFE) cause leaks on compression fittings? Feb 27, 2012
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Soldering copper fitting with teflon tape on the thread end of it Nov 26, 2011

Share This Page