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How Do I Stop My Plumbing Joints From Leaking?

Nov 18, 2016

The best way to tackle an issue it to prevent it from ever happening, so we’ve put together a list of tips you can use to make sure that your plumbing stays leak-free. Before you roll up your sleeves, make sure that you have the necessary supplies.

What You Need:

  • Teflon pipe joint compound
  • Teflon tape
  • Wrench set
  • Slip joint pliers
  • Adjustable wrench

Not all pipes are exactly the same, and we’ve made sure to include tips for all three types – threaded, compression, and slip joints.

Threaded Joints

You’ll want to use two different types of Teflon to make sure your threaded joints don’t start leaking. First, you’ll want to wrap the male threads of the pipe with Teflon tape – make sure to wrap it clockwise with the threaded end facing you. Three layers should be enough, but every so often you may need to wrap up to five times if the fitting is especially loose. Once you’ve applied the tape, spread a little bit of Teflon pipe joint compound on top of it and wipe away any extra compound before you reattach it to the joint.

Compression Joints

Compression joints are most often used to connect shutoff valves, though they can be used in any number of plumbing connections. You’ll want to use a little bit of Teflon pie joint compound to lubricate the plastic or brass ring – also called the ferrule – and pipe itself to help the ferrule slide down and form a tight seal. Use two wrenches to crimp the ferrule in order to tighten the compression fittings, and make sure the tube or pipe goes straight into the fitting, or else it runs a risk of causing a leak. If it’s still leaking after you’ve made these adjustments, try tightening the nut an extra quarter turn.

Slip Joints

Rubber slip joint washers are often used to seal chrome trap assemblies, but they have a tendency to leak. Whenever you reassemble these fixtures, make sure to buy a new set of nuts and washers. In order to prevent these new washers from sticking to the pipe, use a bit of pipe joint compound to lubricate the slip joint and drain tubing. As you reassemble the parts, you’ll want to start screwing the nut onto the slip joint by hand until the threads are properly engaged. Once it’s tightened, adjust the trap parts to make sure they’re slightly pitched for drainage and properly aligned – misaligned joints have a tendency to leak, no matter how new the washers are. Use your slip joint pliers to tighten the nuts another half turn once you can’t tighten them by hand anymore.

Whether you need some professional assistance making sure your plumbing joints are properly taken care of or if you need someone to come in to stop already leaking pipes from causing additional damage, our team of plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain are ready and waiting to lend a hand. Our teams are available any time of the day, day of the year. Give us a call at 888-794-0341 to set up a free home consultation today, or find your nearest bluefrog Plumbing + Drain location by entering your address in our ‘Find My Location’ map.

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