Plumbing tape is a type of fabric tape that is used for plumbing and is available in different grades and types. It’s usually made from cotton, polyester or other materials. The purpose of the tape is to seal any leaks or holes in pipes and joints. For less serious leaks, you can use a self-adhesive type of tape rather than hot-melt glue. All this ensures that the pipe will remain leak-free for longer.
Plumbing tape is usually categorized by the way it’s applied and also according to its strength. For instance, you have the wet-applied type which is smooth when dry. Once applied, however, it forms a seal on the pipe wall once it dries out. This type of tape is usually used for joints that may leak or become loose. Another type of plumbing tape is called volumetric tube wrap where the length of the tube is wrapped around a pipe or joint using polyurethane. This ensures that there are no leaks in your piping system and is ideal for areas where there’s high pressure and temperature such as in boilers.
Teflon Tape vs Ptfe Tape
There are two important materials that are used to make plumbing tape which is Teflon and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The choice of the material that is used for a specific application depends on the environment.
Teflon Tape is most often used in irregularly shaped joints or for sealing electric conduits where PTFE tape is more commonly used because it has high strength and temperature resistance. Both materials however are equally effective when it comes to sealing joints so you can apply Teflon tape as necessary with the help of a licensed tradesman.
Plumbing tape manufacturers usually provide their own instructions on how best to use the type of plumbing tape that they manufacture. For instance, you may find that some of them specifically say not to touch the adhesive side once you’ve torn off the protective layer. This is because if you do so, it will leave traces on the surface and make the seal weaker which could lead to leakage in your piping system. In general, however, almost all types of plumbing tapes should be used by following these steps:
How to Use Plumbing Tape?
Note: be careful when operating in higher temperatures and ensure that you get the assistance of a licensed plumber or professional tradesman. Below is a guide only and should not be taken literally…
1) The first step is cleaning off any dirt or dust from the pipe with water and soap or detergent applied with a cloth or brush. You then need to dry off the pipe surface to remove any moisture.
2) Now you need to measure the length of tape that you’ll be using on the surface of the pipe joint or leak. This should be done from a mark at least one inch away from where you’re going to apply the tape, till another point above and below this line as well as across it. You can also include measurements for dimensions at either end in case it’s necessary. After taking these measurements, cut lengths of tape that are equal to these values with scissors.
3) Since heat may damage your PVC plumbing system, you have to ensure that it isn’t too hot before applying tape since it melts easily under high temperatures. In case the PVC piping surface is hot, you can wait for it to cool off before applying tape to wrap the tape around the pipe.
4) The next step is smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles on the adhesive side of the tape. You can use your fingers for this activity if you’re using wet-applied tape while you have to use a smooth tool such as a flat piece of wood when working with self-adhesive tapes. Make sure that there are no gaps in between which may allow liquid to escape and lead to leakage in your piping system. After doing so, make sure that you don’t touch the adhesive side again since this will leave behind residue that could weaken the seal and cause leaks later on.
5) Now you can apply the tape on top of the pipe joint or leak and make sure that you press it down firmly to eliminate any air pockets that may allow liquid to escape. You can use a flat piece of wood in order to do this effectively.
6) After that, you need to heat up the adhesive by placing the hot iron directly over it for about ten seconds. This ensures complete bonding between the two materials even when there are high temperatures involved while also making sure that no moisture gets into your piping system and causes leakage later on. In case you’re using self-adhesive tape, simply wait for around three minutes after applying it before heating it with an iron in order to let it dry out completely before using water
Plumbing Tape as a Preventative Measure
If you’re planning on doing any plumbing work at your house or office, it’s best to use plumbing tape as a preventative measure. That way, any holes or leaks in the pipes and joints will be sealed off before they get worse and start causing problems with the pipes. We don’t recommend using tape yourself for any major application such as gas lines or water pipes, you should consult a professional here
In addition, if any plumbers come round to do work for you later on but don’t have enough tape, then you can give them some of yours so they won’t need to go out looking for some themselves.