Oatey Great White Pipe Dope

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Sam M

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Hello All. New to the forum and new to house projects. I am a weekend automotive DIY'er and typically take my time, research, and make sure the job is done right the first time(hate doing it twice). Recently purchased our first home and have been slowly learning how to do things around the house. I've found just about all of my plumbing answers on this forum so figured I'd join.

On our 4th night, the 20 year old water heater decided to start leaking, which is not unexpected as we knew it needed to be done but sooner than expected. Originally we were going to convert to tankless, but due to time constraint, replaced it with a standard one for now.

Now with the little backstory out of the way, our water heater is ran on natural gas. I picked up some Oatey Great White pipe dope from my local Lowes to use on the gas lines. I tried to do some quick research online and couldn't find anything that was specific to NG. After installing everything, I have no leaks and everything functions as it should but I still had some doubt in the Oatey Great White. So now I came across the specification sheet on Oatey website and they don't list NG as an application but rather recommend Great Blue or other Hercules products.

So the question is, do I need to go back and redo all of my connections, cleaning out the old(new) dope and apply a dope that specifically says NG on the bottle? Or am I ok? It is my understanding that dope is used more as a thread lubricant than a sealer, but does have some sealing capabilities. I've read countless threads of people saying that regular ole dope works just fine, but just want to be certain.

Thank you!
 

DIYorBust

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I think your best bet is email the manufacturer, in this case Oatey, which you can do here: https://www.oatey.com/contact

I have asked them this type of question, though usually before I applied the product. If they say the product is not recommended, it may still work. To recommend it for gas, they probably need to do a certain amount of testing in gas piping which they may not do depending on how the product will be marketed. But for a gas line, personally I wouldn't be comfortable knowing I had used a questionable technique. I'd take it apart and redo it. I keep a can of megaloc around, it's listed for so many things including, Propane, NG, Potable Water, and compressed air, which is most of what I see as a DIYer. Also it cleans up with soap and water which is really nice compared to walking around with blue arms after the job.
 

Sam M

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I have reached out to Oatey to get confirmation. I probably should have done more research prior to using it but was in a bit of a time crunch. If I have to clean out the dope from the threads, are there any safe solvents to use (like rubbing alcohol,etc)? Cleaning the female threads will be the annoying part.

Johnny, that FAQ sheet states the thread tape is safe for NG lines but I dont see it stating anything related to the compound.

Edit: Technical team from Oatey recommended using the Hercules Megaloc or the Oatey Great Blue. So now my weekend project is going to be cleaning out the female threads on the water heater regulator and shut off valve of all the great white dope. Hopefully this thread saves someone the trouble in the future and learns from my mistake.
 
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Reach4

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Johnny, that FAQ sheet states the thread tape is safe for NG lines but I dont see it stating anything related to the compound.
It's there on the first page of that FAQ PDF:
Q What pipe joint compounds are recommended for use in an approved piping system filled with natural gas?
A The following Oatey pipe joint compound products are approved for use in this application: Oatey Great Blue, Hercules Block, Hercules Grrip, Hercules Megaloc, Hercules Pipe Joint Compound, Hercules Pro Dope or Hercules Real-Tuff are all safe for this application.
I am not a pro. I would leave it, but if I were a pro, I would be held to a higher standard and I would recommend you change it.
 

Sam M

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I don't see it listing Great White on there which is where my confusion is.
 

johnnycom

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My bad, Sam. I see the FAQ linked from the great white page joint compound page on the Oatey site was referring to the white tape, not the white joint compound.
 

Jeff H Young

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Not to worry not one bit. You got a few joints in a exposed location. If it doesn't leak now you'll be fine. don't call anyone or check all the chemical compounds. I've been through this for years . for future use pipe dope compatible with the pipe material and the gas or whatever running thru it. You'll hear all this BS the gas is going to dissolve the dope or tape. or plug up the orifice of the appliance .All bs just use the right stuff in future not a big deal at all> Enjoy your new home!
 

Sam M

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Not to worry not one bit. You got a few joints in a exposed location. If it dosent leak now youll be fine. dont call anyone or check all the chemical compounds. Ive been through this for years . for future use pipe dope compatible with the pipe material and the gas or watever running thru it. Youll hear all this BS the gas is going to disolve the dope or tape. or plug up the orofice of the appliance .All bs just use the right stuff in future not a big deal at all> Enjoy your new home!


I have a plumber coming out to do some work on the main water line into the house that I do not trust myself with and he mentioned that just about all dopes are good for gas lines but he will take a look for piece of mind. My wife thinks I am crazy and over paranoid about digging into this but better be safe than sorry right?

Thanks for all the info all!
 

Sam M

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I received a follow up email for Oatey technical team.


"Please see the following from our chemist on the Great White compound.


To be recommended for natural gas, you have to pay to have it tested and listed. We have chosen not to do this and instead point people who want a listed Natural Gas product to Oatey Great Blue.



Natural gas does not negatively affect Oatey Great White."

So in theory it should be ok but no testing was done to prove it. I ended up grabbing Hercules Megaloc and redoing my joints. I was surprised how easy it was to clean up the white dope. Now I can sleep better knowing it's done correct.

On another note, is this amount of thread into the fitting ok? I didnt want to over do it and crack the brass fittings. I could get another turn out of it if need be but again dont want to split the brass.
 

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Jeff H Young

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of course they have to pay its like having hot dogs that are Kosher, if you want kosher you gotta pay the man its not free. So you took apart a good job cuz you want kosher . pretty simple really
 

Oldman Ludicrous

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Just a note- you COULD periodically test your gas joints to see if there are any leaks by "painting" or spraying a mild (diluted of course) dishwasher liquid onto them.
If a little froth develops around the seal, tighten slightly. If it still froths, plan a re-do!
If the joint starts to look like BIG MAD DOGGY hydrophobia, then fix it immediately! (Don't bother calling the vet.)
 
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