Installing pipes by yourself can be confusing, and even risky, get it wrong and you may accidentally put a stream of harmful chemicals in your water pipelines, you may even get gas leaks if you get it wrong. Installing pipes are always imperfect, there are always microscopic crevices between the threads that can be dangerous.
Using pipe sealants will not only solve those imperfections, but it can also prevent further thread damage if you do it right. In this What Is The Best Pipe Sealant article, we’ll show you the best way to seal pipe threads, and we’ll also show you some of the best pipe sealants you can use.
What is the best way to seal pipe threads?
Pipe threads are always imperfect, there are always microscopic damages and imperfections that can grow over time to become a larger leak. Finding the best way to seal pipe threads is essential with installing pipes. The best way to seal pipes depends on whether you use that pipe for gas or liquid.
In sealing pipe threads, it is important to know to always put the sealants on the male thread as it will keep the insides of the pipe from being contaminated with sealants. It is also worth taking note of putting an ample amount of sealant on a pipe as too much or too little won’t do any good for you.
What do plumbers use to seal pipes?
There are 3 common products plumbers use to seal up pipe threads, those are the Teflon tape, pipe dope, and anaerobic resin compounds, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each method
TEFLON tapes are more common on home use, although plumbers commonly use this to as it is easy and effective to use, and not only does it provide a perfect leak-free fit, it also provides lubrication to the pipe threads for easy installation.
PIPE dope is a term used to generalize chemicals and solvents used to lubricate, protect, adhere, and seal pipe threads together. Using this type of product is easy, although the solvent formulated with the pipe dope tends to make the solution shrink over time.
ANAEROBIC resin compounds got the best properties of the Teflon tape and Pipe dope combined, as this compound gets the sealing advantages of Pipe dope, but like Teflon tape, it also doesn’t shrink over time.
Can you tape a leaking pipe?
While it is possible to seal up a leaking pipe with tape as a quick fix, it is more recommended to uninstall the leaking pipes, then cleaning the threads and inspect for damages, and only then should you tape up or put sealant on a leaking pipe.
With these common questions covered let’s take a look at some of the best pipe sealants out there.
Straight out the can, the Gasoila thread sealant is compatible to be used on brass, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, black pipe, polyethylene, tin, ABS, PVC, and galvanized steel pipe threads, you can also use this on hoses. This Pipe sealant is good for working temperatures of -100° to 600° Fahrenheit, and it is also suitable for pressures of up to 3,000 PSI for gasses, and 10,000 PSI for liquids.
With that capabilities, you can seal up pipe threads of gas lines, water lines, and even high-pressure hydraulic lines, although you need to keep this away from Oxygen lines. Since this thread sealant is soft-set, the seal this provides will be resistant to becoming brittle, shrinking, and it will be easy to take off for resealing after years of use. It is also worth noting that this compound can also resist gasoline and other alcohol and petroleum products under 20% content.
- The formulation is non-toxic making it safe in case of accidental contamination
- Can withstand high pressure and high temperature
- Has a convenient brush in a can container
- Not too messy despite being a bit runny
- The viscosity may be too runny for some applications
This pipe joint also has a non-hardening, soft set formulation so it offers great sealing and lubricating properties. This formulation can withstand up to 3,000 PSI for gasses, and 10,000 PSI for liquids with usable thermal capabilities of -50° to 400° Fahrenheit for gasses, and -50° to 500° Fahrenheit for liquids.
If you are finding a pipe sealant to use with plastic fittings, then avoid this one as this is not plastic friendly, although this can support PVC, CPVC, ABS, cycolac, polypropylene, iron, steel, and copper lines.
The overall quality of this sealant is rather good, but with a few setbacks, for instance, its adhesion properties are not that good, some describe it as “too runny” and “too messy” so think properly if this sealant is for you, on the other hand, despite the messy issue, this will get jobs done quite well if you do things right,
- Non-hardening formulation prevents the formulation from getting brittle, and shrinkage
- The soft set seal works pretty well
- This sealant is a bit messy to use
This may very well be the most convenient and easy fix to leaks on your pipes that are mentioned in this list, this Epoxy Stick is used to cover up leaks, so yes this is not a pipe thread sealant, instead, it is a multipurpose sealant. It is mostly compatible with Iron, Stainless Steel, Copper, Brass, Aluminum, Bronze surfaces, while it can technically work with plastic, it is not recommended.
Unlike pipe thread sealants, you don’t need to uninstall the pipes first before fixing, with this you just need to stick a putty on the leak and its done. This epoxy stick’s setting time is 25 minutes and cures in an hour.
This putty can withstand 350° Fahrenheit, with pressures of up to 1300 PSI, while it might not be the most reliable fix, it still works pretty well. With the convenience, this is one of the best easy to use pipe sealant.
- Convenient and durable
- Easy to use
- Supports most surfaces
- Prone to cracking when not applied properly
- Doesn’t stick to plastics and PVCs well
A list about pipe thread sealants will not be complete without the trusty PTFE tape. PTFE or most commonly known as Teflon tape, has been around for quite some time now and it is trusted and tested with liquid pipes. The Dixon Valve PTFE Industrial sealant tape is available in a 520 inches long roll, ¾ inches wide, and a 3.5mm thickness.
The Dixon Valve PTFE Industrial sealant tape is suitable for an operating temperature range of -212° to 500° Fahrenheit. But the pressure capabilities of Teflon tape may vary from one use to the other, I suggest using only this for low-pressure pipes to ensure that it will deliver the sealing capabilities that it only can.
In conclusion, this product is only recommended for basic applications like showerheads, faucets, sink drains, as you can only do so much with this tape. And you should be familiar with this product before using it as it can cause problems if you didn’t use this properly. But with proper knowledge and application, this should be the best pipe sealant for basic household use.
- Works well for home use
- Tested and trusted by most plumbers
- Can be tricky to use
- Doesn’t handle high temperature and pressure working conditions
The Rectorseal Pipe Thread Sealant is also a soft set pipe thread sealant, meaning it will seal pipe threads well while resisting hardening at the same time. This directly translates to an easier pipe removal after some time. The RectorSeal No. 5 is recommended to be used with threaded galvanized steel, iron, brass, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and polyethylene.
Be careful while tightening – this is the most common problem. If you over tight it, you will mess up the gasket and that will cause leaking. In general good choice, but keep in mind that it is only rated to withstand 100 PSI. The best benefit this has is that it can be immediately used with pressure upon applying, and the 100 PSI rating is usable upon application.
This is great for quick fixes but not so great if you want a durable and reliable fix. But this is indeed one of the best quick fix sealants you can buy.
- Good for immediate pressurization
- Can be removed easily as it also provides lubrication for the pipe thread
- Limited surface compatibility
- Not recommended for a permanent fix
What Is The Best Pipe Sealant – Final Takeaway
There you have our list of the best pipe sealants you can get. Choosing one depends on the temperature, and pressure you are going to use the sealant on, you should also consider your future maintenance as some sealants are harder to remove. And with all that in mind, you should be fine with one of these pipe sealants listed in this list, until then stay safe and smart with plumbing.
And if you want to find more about Sealing Plumbing and Piping check this webpage.
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