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Should I Use Teflon on Brass Fittings?

Can you use Teflon tape on brass fitting?

Can you use Teflon tape in brass fittings? If so, how do you ensure it offers a leak-free connection or joint? Read on to know more. You will learn the following: what Teflon tape is, why it’s an important product, and if you can use it on fittings made of brass. Let’s start with the meaning of both Teflon tape and brass fittings.

Teflon Tape and Brass Fittings

This is what you need to know about Teflon tape and brass fittings: Teflon tape is a type of strong tape made from PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene. PTFE is a synthetic polymer that offers unique properties. It repels water (is hydrophobic), offers reduced friction, and can resist corrosion by different media.

On the other hand, brass fittings are fittings made from an alloy that contains copper and zinc in these ratios: 57% to 63% for copper and 35% to 40% zinc. They are hard and long-lasting, good at resisting corrosion, malleable, and safe to use in plumbing systems, including those that carry potable water.

What is Teflon Tape Used for?

Teflon tape, which is also known as plumber’s tape by another name, is commonly used as thread sealant and lubricant for fittings with tapered threads. When wrapped around the threaded parts of these fittings and pipes, it provides a seating that effectively prevents leaks, while also lubricating the joint to protect it from seizing.

Teflon tape finds useful application in many plumbing installations such as water pipes and gas or air. Being toxin-free and resistant to corrosion, it makes a good sealant for plumbing and gas or fuel lines. Standard Teflon is white, sold encased in spools, and often used in plumbing lines.

Other specialized tapes are also available, and normally color-coded for easier identification. For example, yellow Teflon tape is meant gas lines while gray tape is for use with stainless steel fittings. Industrial Teflon tape is also a heavier duty tape, wider and thicker than standard tape.

Should I Use Teflon Tape on Brass Fittings

Or rather, can you use Teflon tape on brass a fittings? The answer yes, is you can. But should you? Again, you should, especially if you’re not using any other type of sealant such as thread compound, which comes in liquid or paste form.

Teflon tape on brass fittings offers a leak-free joint and fittings that will not seize over time. Teflon is also a non-toxic material and will not contaminate potable water, in addition to being resistant to the corrosion that different media and other materials may cause.

Using Teflon tape on brass fitting
Using Teflon tape on brass fitting
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T94ZWgvHvns

Using Teflon Tape on Brass Fittings

While you can use Teflon tape on brass fittings, there are cases where the tape is not a necessity. There are also situations where its use can cause more problems than solutions and isn’t recommended. So, when should you use Teflon tape and when should you not?

When to Use Teflon Tape on Brass Fittings

It’s generally recommended to use Teflon tape on brass fittings when working with tapered thread fittings. On the other hand, you do not need tape to seal a compression fitting. That’s because the nut, when tightened against the compression sleeve or ferule, squeezes the pipe to create a leak-tight connection.

Avoid using Teflon tape on brass fittings that carry gas and contain valves with very tight clearances, too. That’s because the tape may prevent the valves for working as they should. In such situations, you may want to use Teflon in liquid or paste form instead.

How Many Wraps of Teflon Tape on Brass Fittings?

Only a few wraps! Too many and your connection may not work or parts may get damaged; too few and the joint will not seal. While the exact number depends on the specific situation, you will generally need 2-3 wraps if the tape is thick and 4 to 5 wraps if using thinner tape.

The amount of tape to use is one of the most common mistakes when using Teflon on, not only brass, but other fittings as well. To learn how to use Teflon on brass fittings, continue reading below.

Using Teflon tape on brass fitting (1)
Using Teflon tape on brass fittingResource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biYhExmXXRk

How to Use Teflon Tape on Brass Fittings

When using Teflon tape on brass fittings, it’s important that you follow a few guidelines. These include guidelines on the direction of tape, the amount of tape to use or wraps, and other rules when it comes to using Teflon.

Step 1: Ensure the thread you intend to wrap with Teflon tape is clean and free from any debris by wiping it with a clean rag, especially if using an old fitting.

Step 2: Unravel and place the tape’s end on the end of the fitting, on the male threads. Hold it in place with your finger or thumb.

Step 3: Begin wrapping the Teflon tape in the direction that the fitting will turn. This is usually a clockwise direction. Be sure to keep it adequately tensioned.

Step 4: Continue wrapping the tape around the fitting, overlapping it to ensure coverage. As to how much Teflon tape to use on brass fittings, consider using between 2 and 5 wraps. It mostly depends on the tapes thickness.

Step 5: Break the tape when you’ve finished wrapping by pulling it hard and pressing it down. Then, carefully connect and turn the fitting until tight enough to form a seal without causing damage to the thread.

Sometime, the manufacturer recommends using both Teflon tape and dope to seal your plumbing. You will also need both tape and liquid or paste sealant if working on gas carrying lines. Should you need to use both, start by wrapping the tape first.

Conclusion

Teflon tape is a versatile sealing material for the fittings of plumbing lines, both domestic and industrial. As we have explained in this guide, you can safely use Teflon tape on brass fittings. You only need to ensure that you’re following its applications rules. It’s also important that you understand when and when not to use the tape, as that can also lead to issues in your plumbing and other lines.

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