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Supreme Member


Wednesday, May 19th 2004, 6:44pm

Leaking Threaded Connections


I seem to consistantly get leaking threaded connections on 2-3 out of 5 connections I make.

I can not find ANY consistancy. It has happened with cheap tape (the thin white stuff you pick up at Home Depot and Lowe's), more expensive thick pink tape (made by Oakly I believe), it's happened with threaded fittings from Lowe's/Home Depot as well as fittings from Rain Bird purchased at the local Ewing. It happens with just a couple of turns of the tape, or LOTS of turns of the tape, it happens with tight connections, and even VERY TIGHT (over tight) connections.

Now granted some of these "leaks" amount to a couple of drops per minute. That wouldn't be so bag for lateral, but on a Main Line constantly under pressure, ANY leak is unacceptable.


Advanced Member

Posts: 101

Location: Canada


Thursday, May 20th 2004, 5:23am

Couple of thoughts....

1) Why are you using any threaded connections on a mainline? The only threaded fittings I use on the mainline are nipples at the manifold to Dura fittings... no taping required.

2) How much tape are you putting on the fitting? I usually use 8-10 wraps

3) Sometimes less is more.... properly taped, you don't have to go crazy on tightening the fittings together. Over tight fittings do leak.


Supreme Member


Thursday, May 20th 2004, 9:09am

1) I'm using threaded connections on the mainline because that's how some components come. I didn't have a choise for the backflow preventer, the compression Tee, the RBY filter, and the automatic valve.

2) I've now heard numbers on the number of wraps at anywhere from 1-1/2 to 10 wraps. I've been using about 7 wraps is the tape is thin and 4-5 wraps for pink Oatey tape.

3) I am tighening the fittings pretty good, but nothing tighter than I can do by hand, but given that some of these components have good hand holds, that still allows for some pretty tight connections.

I know it might be more of a mess, but it paste more reliable than tape?


Advanced Member

Posts: 101

Location: Canada


Thursday, May 20th 2004, 2:27pm

OK... got ya. I don't normally think of backflow and what not as being on the mainline; I just think of that as plumbing. By all means, use some pipe dope if you like. In fact, I know several people that use dope and teflon tape on the plumbing.


Starting Member

Posts: 1

Location: USA


Wednesday, June 9th 2004, 10:45pm

I finally got fed up plumbing pipe assemblies (steel, copper, brass) only to have one joint leak even with dope or teflon tape carefully applied and fittings properly tightened. I used to lay blame on the inconsistent quality from countries that made the components usually found in the home supply centers; China, Thailand,Mexico, etc., but it would happen even with USA made stuff from my wholesale plumbing vendors. What works for me 100% is: 1. clean the threads 2. pipe dope 3. two wraps of teflon tape 4. pipe dope again. Make sure to wrap the tape clock-wise as seen when looking at the end of the pipe/fitting. This is a little more work and messier than just tape or just pipe dope, but it eliminates redoing your plumbing because of joint leaks. This is a really neat web site and forum; I'll be back.


Supreme Member


Thursday, June 10th 2004, 10:54am

I've been warned against the use of pipe dope because pieces can break of and then foul up sprinkler heads (and I'm sure would be murder on drip systems).

However, one of the things I've tried and had better success has been to apply a thin amount of pipe dope (just enough to fill the groves) starting at the 2nd thread "valley", then cover the dope with tape starting at the 1st thread "valley". That way you get the benefits of both, and the tape (if it's not getting cut by the threads) seems like it should contain the pipe dope to prevent it from ever comming lose within the pipe.

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