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.
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  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.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  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 Master Plumber

    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.
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  14. Susan Bickel

    Susan Bickel Plumbing Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2020
    Occupation:
    Business Analyst
    Location:
    Sheboygan WI
    Pipe Dope is also known as pipe joint compound and is a plumbing sealant designed to prevent leaks from plumbing fixtures, pipes, and fittings. Using the wrong sealant could cause leaks and water damage, so you have to know which product is best for your project. Pipe dope is an adhesive that seals the thread in your pipes. It’s a thick liquid that comes in a variety of colors and can be applied in hot or cold temperatures making it an ideal sealant for water pipes. It can provide a stronger sealant than Teflon tape, but is messier to apply. Pipe dope is used for pressurized pipes.

    Plumber’s Putty is an oil-based plumbing sealant used to seal areas not under pressure. It feels like silly putty. Plumbers often use it under kitchen sinks, and on sink and tub drains. While pipe dope is used on pipe threads under pressure, plumber's putty is generally used to fill gaps in sinks and drains. It can be used to temporarily stop an emergency leak, such as a cracked slip joint nut. But again, it only works in places without pressurized water, and it is not used as a permanent replacement for pipe dope or sealant tape.

    Teflon Tape, like pipe dope, also seals threaded pipe joints for liquids and gasses under pressure. Also known as plumber’s tape, Teflon tape is harder to apply, but less messy. It’s a stretchy film that comes in spools. It can come in a variety of colors denoting oxygen-carrying lines (green), gas lines (yellow), or water lines (pink and white).
     
  15. Jarniscipus

    Jarniscipus Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    Location:
    Prior Lake, Minnesota
    I use megaloc on everything and it never leaks and wipes off clean with a rag so you can't see anything, except air or sensitive stuff where I can't have dope I use blue monster teflon - the monster works great, no air leaks for me...the white roll thin stuff when i see it gets trashed. I am a monster addict and use tons of it
     
    PlumblessInSeattle and DIYorBust like this.
  16. PlumblessInSeattle

    PlumblessInSeattle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2020
    Location:
    Seattle
    When in doubt atleast use Teflon enriched dope. I tell my guys Teflon and Dope or atleast dope everything except Flare fitting on gas appliance connectors and Csst.

    We dope every thread under a sink. NO Leaks.
     
  17. Skeezix

    Skeezix New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2020
    Location:
    Colorado
    Just sayin'...
    When I recently replaced the expansion tank on my water heater, I used white teflon tape on the 3/4-inch male threads. The connection leaked, and tightening it at first slowed the leak but further tightening eventually caused it to leak more. So I removed the tape and slopped some 20-year-old Rector pipe dope on the male threads to seal the fitting properly.
     
  18. PlumblessInSeattle

    PlumblessInSeattle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2020
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah there is definetly a learned skill to making up Joints properly to have no leaks. We don't use the white Teflon hardly anymore. We use Blue Monster or Grey Mega. Also depending the material (copper, black, brass, SS or plastic) you put different levels of Teflon wrap. There is a proper and Improper way to apply Teflon aswell.
     
  19. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    You know, I have a lav that was done with dope. I'm pretty sure the water tastes funny, but I can't prove obviously that it was the potable safe dope. Am I crazy?
     
  20. Oldman Ludicrous

    Oldman Ludicrous New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2021
    Occupation:
    retired (sorta)
    Location:
    Elgin, QC, Canada
    Pursuant to some of the comments above re the use of teflon tape on pvc and cpvc joints, I'm in the process of replacing some ¼" CPVC piping, in an unused 2nd bathroom in a "far-corner" of the house - this winter, someone (me?) accidentally turned off the electric heat - usually set to 3 or 4 degrees C in the winter in that area.
    When the water pump came on last week, and didn't turn off after the usual 45 seconds, I smelled a problem and quickly manually turned it off. Luckily I was home during this late winter thaw.
    Don't ask about the basement floor. Anyhow it was soon sucked up with a big shop-vac. And the drywall ceiling UNDER that bathroom? Well, I'll replace it with some wood ceiling someday.
    So- As a newbie here-
    Never mind the cracked ½" cpvc in the back of the shower and tub stall. or the cracked toilet bowl. This will fixed at my leisure...
    BUT- First thing:
    I'm adding a coupla ball valves for hot&cold upstream from that bathroom. Why? because the main shower stall is ALSO downstream from the last valve on the circuit.**
    So I hafta get this done before I wanna take a shower or bath!
    I'm tired of washing up in the bathroom or kitchen sink!
    The line is ¾" cpvc, so I'm adding a PVC valve to the cold, and since I couldn't see any cpvc valves sold locally, for the hot I bought a brass ball valve.
    To the point :
    Doing my homework, I found there's a lot of professional plumbing sites that advise you to never use teflon tape on cpvc or pvc threads. They will leak due to the shape of the thread groove. And they tend to let you overtighten the thread, causing the female part to crack.
    So I'm using (specifically) Oatey white dope on both the cold - cpvc (male) to a pvc valve, and also on the cpvc thread going into the brass valve. Think it's good enough? AND any arguments about these guys that advise to NEVER to use teflon tape on pvc threads? - and NEVER overtighten!
    thanx- but I never wish to solder copper again- especially with that silver stuff!

    ** I DID NOT INSTALL THIS MADNESS!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
Similar Threads: Pipe Dope
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Pipe dope on all threads for gas valve? Jan 13, 2021
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Do I use pipe dope or other selant on this brass valve fitting? Oct 23, 2020
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Oatey Great White Pipe Dope May 13, 2020
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Pipe dope on main water lines? Feb 16, 2020
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Gas re pipe- PICS- Would you allow this work in your house? Pipe dope inside pipes, etc Aug 3, 2019

Share This Page