Pipe Dope, Plumbers Putty, or Teflon Tape?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by vistaman, May 3, 2008.

  1. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Installed with a slight downward pitch toward the trap, no sharp angles, and as tight by hand as is possible. Sometimes snugged with channel locks if necessary. I have on rare occasions used a little Teflon tape on the female threads to allow the nut threads to tighten better but never on the slip nut.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  2. vistaman

    vistaman New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Good stuff, thanks a lot! :)
     
  3. IAHTraveler

    IAHTraveler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    I'm re-doing my bathroom and did a Google search and stumbled across this site... hopefull you all can help me!

    I'm re-doing my shower and have a question on my seals. I re-plumbed into the new shower valve and there is a copper fitting on the brass valve. I used teflon tape and got the fittings as tight as I could without wanting to strip them. After I got it all together, none of my soldered joints leaked, but the two brass-copper fittings did. When I re-do it, what are your suggestions for the sealant?

    Thanks!!
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I solder the male adapters onto pipe first, let them cool, and then I apply thread sealant and thread them in.
    I normally just use pipe dope on those threads.
    I then make sure the next soldered joint is a couple inches away, and that the threaded joints don't get too hot.

    Teflon Tape doesn't take heat well.
    Pipe dope is a little better.
     
  5. IAHTraveler

    IAHTraveler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Thanks for the response. I actually thought ahead and made sure to solder all of my joints within ~6" of the brass/copper connection first. I let them cool overnight and then used the teflon tape to put the brass/copper connections on, then soldered the pieces furthest from the tape (with a cool rag over the teflon fittings to ensure they didn't get warm/hot). I use teflon on brass fittings at work all the time, but I had never used copper, so I think I was just too worried about over tightening the copper... we'll try again tomorrow with the dope.
     
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    The only fitting in the drain arena that needs something is the fine threaded tailpiece which screw into the bottom of the pop-up body on many lav drains. These threads need a little tape or dope.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2008
  7. IAHTraveler

    IAHTraveler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    jimbo, thanks for the response. Our bathroom has a separate tub and shower, and I'm only tackling the shower so I don't have to worry about the pop-up valve. The only drain I have to worry about is the PVC drain in the center of the shower.
     
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Brass tub waste and overflows have a threaded tailpiece as well that would require thread sealant. The ones I use allow me to back it up with a slip joint washer and nut which go on dry without tape.
     
  9. IAHTraveler

    IAHTraveler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Hopefully someone will be around tonight and can help me again... since I didn't think of this beforehand.

    I've got it all put back together now with the pipe dope. Do I have to let the dope harden/dry for a specific length of time before I turn the water back on? I usually allow all soldered joints a half hour to ensure they've cooled enough, but I wasn't sure if I have to wait any longer with the dope? Thanks again!
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You don't have to wait for pipe dope.
    It's mainly to lubricate the threads so that they thread in easier.
    You could even rub a bar of soap on the threads if you had nothing else.
     
  11. Timster_

    Timster_ New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Location:
    Georgia
    Let me say that pipe dope saved me today. I'm no plumber but I own a RV that sprung a sewer leak under the shower. It was a 1 1/2" ABS P trap with union that was cracked . I found what I thought was the identical ABS P trap online. Turns out everything was identical except the female threaded union was a fraction of a mm off not allowing me to fasten the union to the existing elbow (FRUSTRATING!). I took a chance and went to Lowe's and I could not believe that they had a identical match of my ABS P trap. I was happy that it did fit but that soon ended when I tested the drain only to find that the P trap was leaking at the union. I took it off and re-installed the P trap several times using different tightening strategies only to have the union still leak. Sometimes more, sometimes less. UUUUGGHHH! After reading a bit here I decided to apply pipe dope to the flare part of the union and a bit on the threads and my headaches finally went away. Thanks to plumbers forums like this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; use tape for the faucets, as I always have in the past. I've got a new tailpiece, p-trap, trap-arm, all in chrome pipe, for the new vanity.

    As listed, NONE of those need, or should have, ANYTHING on them. Tape for PVC threads, dope for metal threads.
     
  13. Carine Brexley

    Carine Brexley New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2020
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Teflon tape, also known as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) tape, is a thin film that works as a sealant on threaded pipe joints. While Pipe dope is a chemical sealant with a texture similar to a thick paste.
     
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