Effective Pipe Thread Sealants for Leak-Sealing Applications

Threaded pipes, whether made of metal or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are prone to leaks because they are used at plumbing joints or connections. A big mistake several DIYers make when trying to stop leaks at threaded plumbing connections is not using the right sealing products. Often, they reach for a plumber's putty, which does not effectively solve the problem. When threaded pipes are joined and sealed with putty, the material will not effectively seal the space left behind after the threads have been tightened.

If you want to achieve professional results when faced with a leaky threaded plumbing connection in your commercial building, here are a few top quality sealants you should consider using instead of putty.

Thread seal tape

Commonly known as plumber's tape, thread seal tape can be wrapped around the threaded ends of metal or PVC pipes to stop leaks where the pipes join. This thin white-coloured tape fills the small gaps between the male and female threads of the pipes, making plumbing connections watertight. Before applying plumber's tape to any leaky pipe threads, shut off water supply and clean the threads with a rag. When applying tape, start from the male threads located at the farthest end of the pipes, and follow the path of the threads. But make sure the tape does not overlap, as that can loosen the connection. If you wrap the wrong way, the tape could easily unwound as the pipes are tightened.

Pipe dope

Another sealing material you can use is pipe dope. It is also referred to as pipe joint compound. This material comes in paste form, making it easily spreadable. It lubricates and seals, allowing for a more watertight joint. To apply pipe dope, a brush or spatula is used to smear the material onto the threads of the pipes and tighten the pipes together. Once the material has hardened, the resulting seal will effectively resist leaking. Pipe dopes are relatively easy to use. In addition, their chemical composition make them well-suited for both metal and plastic pipes.

None of the two pipe thread sealants mentioned above is better than the other, but both are tried and tested. The effectiveness of the seal provided will depend on how well the sealing product has been applied to the leaking threaded plumbing connection. For best results, it is prudent to ask a professional plumber to fix the problem on your behalf.