How to Use Plumber Tape

Homeowners have a lot to deal with when it comes to home maintenance and repairs, and sometimes the tools and other items needed can be things they may not already have. In some cases, they may be items that the homeowner has never used before. This is actually incredibly common with many plumbing tasks, not only because there are many specialized tools that are needed, but because there is also a considerable knowledge base needed to perform the repairs properly.

One of the items you’ll need for any plumbing task where you’re making threaded connections will require you to use plumbing tape, and it is a crucial step to be careful not to skip. We’re going to look at not only how to use plumber tape, but what exactly it is. We’re also going to look at what might happen if you forget to tape a joint or tape it improperly.

How To Use Plumber Tape

The first step to knowing how to use plumbing tape is knowing that there is a right and a wrong direction to apply it. When you wrap threads in plumbing tape, you want to ensure that the action or movement of screwing the union together will not rub the tape the wrong way and cause it to ball up or unravel, which can make leaks more likely. Now that you know what to expect, let’s get into the process. 

Clean The Pipe

The most important step is to start cleaning your pipe threads with a clean rag. Not only should you do this with anything that’s going to be part of the plumbing system, but it helps the plumber tape to stick much better and promotes a better overall seal. 

Line Up The Tape

Next, you want to take the end of the plumbing tape and put it on the second to last thread at the end of the threaded fitting or pipe nipple. Hold it in place with the thumb of the hand holding the pipe being wrapped. 

Wrap It

Now you’ll need to wrap it to avoid balling up. If you need to turn the pipe clockwise, you’ll want to wrap it in a counter-clockwise direction, so that the action of screwing the pipe in helps wrap the tape tighter.

Pull It Tight

You’ll need to wrap the pipe about 4-6 times, but you need to keep the tape tight while doing so. When you’re pulling it tight enough, it should form itself around the threads cleanly while you wrap.

Break It

Once the threads are wrapped and the tape has been pulled tight, you need to finish, which means breaking the tape. All you need to do is grip it between your thumb and forefinger, and pull the roll & tape away, perpendicular to the pipe. The tape is easy to break, and will usually not unravel if you pulled it tight enough. Smooth any loose bits down, and the fittings are ready to be joined. 

Why Is It Important To Know How To Use Plumbing Tape?

Plumber tape is used to ensure a tight, waterproof seal at threaded unions. Even though many threaded connections are secure, added tape ensures that any voids or thread deformities are covered and that there is no space for leaks.

Emory Is Ready To Be Your Plumbing Partner

If remembering to use plumber tape each time you deal with threaded connections sounds like more than you want to deal with, or if you’d rather just delegate the task to a trusted local professional, Emory is here for you. Reach out today and speak with a member of our team to discuss your needs.