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Tips and tricks you can use to avoid leaks


The best time to fix a pipe leak is before it happens, by Properly connect your water supply and fittings for drainage lines. Learn the tricks the pros use to make leak-proof joints.

Tools Needed

Required materials


Use two types of Teflon pipe joint compound on threaded connections

Wrap the threads with plumbing tape

Wrap the plumbing tape clockwise around the pipe.



Smear some pipe joint compound on the installation tape.



Tighten the connection

Connections that rely on threaded pipe and fittings are prone to leaking unless sealed with Teflon tape or Teflon pipe joint compound. Careful plumbers use pipe joint compound and Teflon at each joint for added security. You won't want to come back.

Start by wrapping the male threads with Teflon tape (Photo 1).

Wrap the tape clockwise with the end of the threaded tube facing you as shown. Usually, three layers are enough. Every once in a while, you will come across a loose accessory that requires four or five turns. Stretch and tear the tape to complete the wrap.



Clean pipe joint compound

Lubricate ferrule and brass ring with pipe joint compound.


Thread the valve's pipe joint compound

The pipe joint compound helps the sleeve to seal the valve.


Tighten the compression fitting. Pipe joint mass provides a greater margin of safety. Compression seals are most commonly used on gate valves, although they can also be found on other fittings.

They have a brass or plastic ring (ferrule) that compresses into a hole when you tighten the nut, forming a seal. Lubricating the pipe and ferrule with some Teflon pipe joint compound will help the ferrule slide along the pipe and be tightened securely in the recessed fitting with less wrenching pressure. Tighten the compression fittings with two wrenches to crimp the ferrule onto the tube. Also, make sure the pipe goes straight into the fitting. Misalignment will result in a

If the connection loosens after turning on the water, try tightening the nut an additional 1/4 turn. This usually stops the leak.



Align slip sleeves precisely for a tight seal

Lubricate pipe

Pipe joint compound helps lubricate drain and seal pipe connections.


Assemble and align

Tighten all connections hand tight, then align and lock the tubes Position with slip joint pliers

The pivots in chrome trap assemblies rely on rubber slip joint washers for sealing, which often leak. If you are reassembling a chrome trap, purchase new slip joint washers and nuts. However, new washers sometimes stick to the pipe, causing them to twist or warp when you push on them with the sleeve nut. To prevent this, lubricate the drain pipe and slip joint with some pipe joint paste (Photo 1).

The compound helps the washer slide smoothly and creates a tighter seal.

Start with the slip joint nut by hand and turn until the threads engage properly. First hand tightens all joints. Then adjust the siphon pieces until they are flush and slightly angled for drainage. That's the key; A misaligned gasket will leak even with new washers.

Finally, use large slip-joint pliers to tighten the nuts an additional 1/2 turn.

Plastic catches use hard plastic slip-joint washers for sealing. Make sure the flat side is against the nut and the tapered side is facing the fitting.



Choose flexible umbilicals

Solid copper umbilicals

Avoid solid copper or chrome-plated umbilicals. They're hard to find unless you're very experienced with them.



Flexible lines

Flexible, braided umbilicals are nearly foolproof and require no measuring or cutting.


Close-up of gasket

Flexible umbilicals use rubber gaskets to seal connections, and
s usually only need to be hand-tight plus a half-turn with a wrench

The thin umbilicals are made of copper or Chrome used to connect faucets and toilets (Photo 1) are difficult to cut, bend and align. But you don't have to put up with it.

When replacing a faucet or toilet, use flexible supply hoses with a braided cover (Photo 2). They have rubber grommets on each end and don't require much force to seal. They are available in many lengths and are flexible enough to adapt to almost any configuration. The only trick is to buy a plug with the right size nuts on the ends. Take your old pipe and the nuts on each end to the store to make sure they fit together exactly.

Carefully position the nuts and hand-tighten. Then tighten another half turn (Photo 2). Avoid over tightening. It's easy to overtighten the nuts if the gasket is leaking.

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