Thats a darn good question; I don't think there is much you can do except
This time wrap with yellow teflon tape and put some dope over that.
If you have trouble with your joints leaking, good luck with unions.
I used 10 foot pipe sections (sold by Loews and Home Depot) and needed 6 of
them. These alone account for 12 joints (2 per pipe end). I actually have
another 12 or so joints since there are vertical risers at the meter, going
through the foundation to the outdoor generator, and then over to the
generator itself. The total number of joints being prepared will probably
come out to a lot more like 30 or so. I am counting actual joints but I
suspect you may be counting fittings !! (:8
In my building code, unions are only allowed "adjacent to accessible
equipment". That is, if you hard pipe an appliance, you can use a
union for the final connection. Otherwise, unions are out. You can
use a left/right coupling, though.
Unions are much more likely to leak than other fittings. That is why codes
and inspectors require minimizing them. The key is to have good clean
threads, sealed with tape, dope, or both. Your inspector likely has a
preference for sealers. Many novices do not adequately tighten the joints.
If you are considering re-tightening one, then you probably did not tighten
it enough the first time. Tighten them really tight and never back one up.
Especially if you have several joints in line, you can always go whatever
additional part of a turn is needed for alignment. Unless you have a really
long wrench you generally cannot break the pipe or fitting by tightening it.
If you do break it, it is usually easy to replace at that time. Try it on a
few fittings to see just how much they can be tightened before breaking. If
you are unsure of your skills, you can seal off and test sections of pipe as
I made a test rig using a cap fitting, and tapped a hole through it for a
schrader (air) valve so you can connect any air compressor, tire pump,
whatever. When a tee or elbow is added on a run, I cap it off and
pressurize the piping to that point, leak test, etc. The idea is that an
elbow or tee can't be rotated later. When you know the run is good to that
point, you can add another segment.
Really high amounts of torque aren't a guarantee that the joint will be
tight. I'm thinking it has more to do with getting the pipe dope pressed
thoroughly into the (clean) male threads, so it is drawn into the joint
I don't go all that tight, but one of your posts
mentions, I believe, using a 14" wrench on 1" pipe, which seems a little
light. I would maybe use an 18".
Dope vs tape.
Both work fine IF applied properly. The difference is that dope can just be
slathered on until it fills the threads, more or less. As you assemble &
tighten, it moves around to fill voids.
Tape must be applied using enough turns to acheive a tight seal and "...how
much is that?" you may ask. Two turns...maybe four turns...maybe ?? The
answer comes with experience and experience is what you don't have much of,
yet. This is why dope is better for you, for now.
Now, for 1" pipe you gonna need some bigger wrenches and some muscle. I'm
thinkin 20" ones. They'll also be OK for the smaller pipes. Don't be too
concerned about too tight. Pipe can take quite a bit of torque. You've
never seen a skinny plumber.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.