How to Seal a Leaky Teflon Tape Joint


Correctly sealing plumbing pipe joints with Teflon tape takes some practice. You could easily use too much or not enough, or wind it the wrong direction. Or you could get the fitting cross-threaded as you when tightening the pipe. Any of those mistakes could cause leaking. But if you know how to do it, you should be able to avoid causing leaks.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe wrench
  • Roll of Teflon tape
  • Turn off the water to the pipe. Use your pipe wrench to loosen and remove the fitting from the leaky joint, turning counterclockwise.

  • Remove the old Teflon tape from the male threads of the pipe by running your fingers over the threads in a counterclockwise direction and pulling it off. Make sure to get any straggling pieces that are down in the threads.

  • Wrap the pipe end in new Teflon tape by pressing the end of the tape to the base of the threads and pulling the roll of tape around the pipe in a clockwise direction. Keep tension down on the tape as you wrap it, so it takes on the shape of the threads.

  • Wrap the full length of the threads, slightly overlapping the tape if there's more than one course. When the entire thread is covered with one layer of tape, rip the tape and smooth it into the threads with your fingers in a clockwise direction.

  • Connect the original fitting back onto the pipe, lining it up carefully, twisting without forcing it. If it doesn't twist on easily, then the threads might not be lined up, and you should unscrew it and try again. Once it's threaded correctly, tighten it with the pipe wrench.


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