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Plumbers tape should be one of the things that you have in your home at all times. This handy type of adhesive can prevent all manner of plumbing issues and can be very handy if you have a plumbing emergency. In fact, plumbers tape has many different uses, chiefly that it can help reduce the mess and damage that a burst or leaking pipe can cause. This helps when you have a plumbing emergency and you’re waiting for your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain tech to arrive at your house.
What Is Plumbers Tape?
Plumbers Tape is the casual name for PTFE Tape, a thread seal tape that’s used in many different applications. It’s a simple, versatile adhesive, sealant, and lubricating material, mainly used on commercial and residential duct work and plumbing applications. Plumbers tape comes in different widths, pre-cut onto a spool.
PTFE is an acronym for polytetrafluoroethylene, which is a long word for “synthetic polymer film.” The key difference between plumbers’ tape and other kinds of construction types of tape is that PTFE is low-friction and water repellent, which is important then you’re dealing with pipes! Thread sealing tape is one of the more important things in a plumber’s tool kit.
Should You Always Use Plumbers Tape?
When you’re deciding whether or not to use plumbers’ tape, it’s important to note that there are several uses, which means that you’ll want to select the right kind of tape for the job. For example, the thread sealing properties of plumbers’ tape help minimize the leaks from pipe joining’s and offer an additional barrier to leakage both in plumbing and ductwork. This tape also fills in small gaps between threads and counts. Other uses for plumbers’ tape include:
- Sealing Leaks – using plumbers’ tape to prevent or stop leaks is one of the most common practices. This is sometimes a preventative measure, sealing around couplings and joints. Using plumbers’ tape in piping tightens the joint from the inside and gives added protection against leaks.
- Short-term leak blocking. While plumbers’ tape can work effectively in the short term, as a temporary measure against leaks, it’s important to have a plumber come out fast, to completely fix your plumbing emergency. It’s generally applied to the outside of the pipe, as a stop-gap until a plumber can address the cause for the plumbing emergency and fix it.
- Sealing gas fittings. This is common use to prevent natural gas from escaping piping, but it’s important to select the right type. The PTFE tape should be graded to work in these kinds of situations, as its thicker and denser than standard plumbers’ tape.
Characteristics of Plumbers Tape
The most notable characteristic of plumbers’ tape is its hydrophobic nature. Being water repellent makes this kind of tape ideal for many different types of plumbing work. The low friction of plumber’s tape makes it god for lubricating the joint threads in plumbing and piping. Placing a layer of plumbers’ tape around the threads of pipe joints can make it easier to screw them tightly together and, if needed, uncouple the joining later, for repairs or replacement.
Plumbers tape has a few different types, with the qualities of each specific one making them best suited for different tasks. Depending on the brand and the purpose of the plumbers’ tape, the tape can have several key features.
- Being chemically inert. This is important because it means that the tape won’t interact with other elements, especially copper, which plumbing pipes are made out of. Plus, chemically inert tape is good for environments where these are solvents, gases, or acids present. Such as industrial or commercial applications.
- Very resistant to pressure. This means that even if the pipe is clogged, the plumbers’ tape will help hold the joining’s in place.
- Malleable and non-hardening, which means it can be easily wrapped around pipes, curves, compression joints, threads, taps, and other types of fittings.
- Able to withstand high temperatures, which makes it good for high-temperature coil and capacitors.
- Non-stick backing allows the tape to be easily removed or reapplied later, without leaving messy, sticky adhesive behind on the pipes.
How Can Plumbers Tape Help in an Emergency?
If you have a plumbing emergency, it can quickly get out of hand, damaging your house, cabinets, floors, or landscaping, if the emergency is outdoors. Once you’ve shut off the main water valve or the water to the affected area, it’s important to seal the pipe or drain to prevent more damage. Just because the water is shut off doesn’t mean that more water won’t come out for the pie, water that was already in the system before you turned it off. Wrapping the plumber’s tape around where the pipe has burst can help mitigate the damage in a plumbing emergency until the plumber arrives.
The plumber’s tape forms a tight seal around the affected area and can hold a loose joining in place or cover a hole until the plumber can replace the broken pipes. Because you never know when you’ll have a plumbing emergency, having plumbers’ tape in your house at all times can help you be prepared when the worst-case scenario happens.
Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain for a Plumbing Emergency
Even if you have plumbers’ tape to help in a plumbing emergency, the tape doesn’t replace the service of a professional plumber. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we offer 24-7 after-hours service for any type of plumbing emergency, from a clogged pipe to an overflowing toilet to a burst pipe. Visit us online to find a service provider near you and save our phone number in your phone so you have it ready. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we cover both a plumbing emergency and preventative maintenance and repairs to help you avoid one!