Doing your own home plumbing repairs is a great way to save money. However, if you don't know how to properly connect water supplies and waste lines, you'll just end up with leaks in the future and more repairs. Here are a few tricks for properly connecting pipes the first time that you can use the next time you do a plumbing repair job.
#1 Secure Threaded Joints Twice
Threaded pipes and fitting are especially prone to leaks if they are not sealed correctly. If you are working on a plumbing job that requires you to connect together a threaded pipe, the best way to ensure that it doesn't leak in the future is by taking extra precautions whenever you are working with a threaded pipe.
Take the male threads (the smaller end of the connection what will be going into the larger, or female, part) and wrap it with about three layers of plumbing tape. You want the fitting to be completely covered in Teflon tape, but you don't want it to be too thick. You should apply the layers in a clockwise pattern.
After you have applied the plumbing tape, apply a very thin layer of pipe joint compound over the tape. Make sure the type of pipe joint compound you use is compatible with the type of pipes that you have; there are different types of pipe joint compound for metal and plastic pipes.
Then, start threading the pipes together by hand. Wipe away any joint compound that squeezes out, and tighten up the connection with a wrench.
#2 Lubricate Compression Joints
If you are doing a repair on your shut off value, you'll most likely have to work on some compression joints. Compression joints are generally found on shut off valves, although you might find them in a few other places throughout your plumbing system.
On compression joints, there is a ring on the joint that you tighten the nut onto in order to create a seal. To ensure that you don't have any leaks in the future, apply some pipe joint compound to the ring on the compression joint. This will help seal off everything when you connect the pipe.
You also need to make sure that the pipe you attach to the compression joint slides right on; misalignment is the most common cause of leaks with compression joints.
#3 Line Up Slip Joints
If you are doing a repair job on a trap assembly that uses slip joint washers to seal the job, you need to take a few precautions to avoid leaks in the future.
First, always purchase new nuts and slip joint washers. These two items can get easily damaged, and reusing old washers and nuts can ruin an otherwise perfect repair job with leaks.
When you put the new nuts and washers on, apply some pipe joint compound for some extra lubrication. This will help create a more effective seal.
Tighten all the joints by hand in order to make sure that everything is aligned, and then tighten them up using a wrench.
The next time you do a plumbing repair job, use some of the tricks above to ensure that all the pipes and fittings line up and are secure. If you do it right the first time, you will not have to deal with leaks down the road.
For help from a plumber, contact a company such as Mike Hensley Plumbing Inc.