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Old 07-04-2015, 21:30   #1
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Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

I am reassembling a circulating water system for A/C. March pump has a 1/2 inch threaded male discharge, that I attached a 90 degree Speer PVC1 fitting with hose barb. I wrapped the discharge fitting with Teflon tape, and screwed on the Speer fitting, but overtightened and cracked the fitting. It's a fine balance between putting enough tape on the threads, but not so much that it cracks the fitting. Anyway, a marine A/C guy recommended using pipe dope instead of Teflon pipe. He said the dope is the only thing that allows you to back off a fitting (to get the orientation right), but still seal. Anyone using a product like this? Am hoping something available that is not as messy as traditional pipe dope, and I really don't want to deal with grease on everything. And it needs to stay pliable so that it can be disconnected when the pump needs maintenance. Recommendations?

My backup plan is that I have purchased several of the Speer replacement fittings, so can Teflon tape it, and hopefully not break again! I am fighting a PTF code issue and don't want to admit how many times I have reassembled the system.
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Old 07-04-2015, 21:51   #2
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

My preference is to use pipe dope. It just seems easier to use plus a small tube goes a very long way.
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Old 07-04-2015, 22:02   #3
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

Pipe dope is the way to go but it is extremely easy to make a mess.
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Old 07-04-2015, 22:16   #4
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

Pipe dope is all I use, after my propane mgr friend of mine hooked me up with a large bottle of it. It's like Loctite, a small amount goes a long way. I figure if it's all they use on propane bottle valves, it must be good for other threaded fittings as well.
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Old 07-04-2015, 22:36   #5
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

Take that roll of Teflon tape and throw it as far as you can. Horrible stuff

Get a can of Masters or other pipe dope, it'll last a long while and is the only thing to use. Works for oil, water, fuels and gases (except Oxygen). Good on all metals and plastic.
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Old 07-04-2015, 22:42   #6
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

My go to pipe sealant is Leak Lock. You can use it to seal any of the fluids normally found on a boat except the gin tank. It doesn't like alcohol. It is similar in consistency to Locktite. It can be messy.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:02   #7
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

all depends on whether you ever plan to want to disassemble it again
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:06   #8
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
all depends on whether you ever plan to want to disassemble it again
And I do plan to disassemble again. I have a strainer in front of the March pump, but have also experienced a large algae bloom once that allowed some of the material to get by the strainer and plug the electric motor cooling pipes on the March pump. So I am looking for something that does not dry hard. Ideally would also not be the black grease type that gets on everything. Someone has to make something like a Teflon-based pipe dope that works?
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:20   #9
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

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My go to pipe sealant is Leak Lock. You can use it to seal any of the fluids normally found on a boat except the gin tank. It doesn't like alcohol. It is similar in consistency to Locktite. It can be messy.
Is that Masters Pro Dope?

Also read a recommendation for plastic water pipes to both tape and dope the threads. Anyone doing that? My concern is that I got too much tape on it the first time, which cracked the fitting when I tightened it. I guess one very light layer would be recommended (minimal overlap).
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:31   #10
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

Pipe dope was around for decades before teflon tape was invented, It works fine. Don't try to use both pipe dope and teflon tape on the same fitting. It's pointless.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:30   #11
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

My Dad used pipe dope that came in the form of a big crayon. You'd rub it across the threads and it would fill the valleys. Worked fine and wasn't messy. I haven't seen that type in a long time.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:31   #12
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

Pipe Dope is definitely the answer. The operative words here, however, are "Metal and Plastic." Be certain your Pipe Dope says this on the label, because Metal Only Pipe Dope tends to erode most plastic fittings and they always seem to fail at the worst possible moment.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:40   #13
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

I used "Hercules Tff Stuff" a Teflon based pipe dope that does not harden and is easy to apply on PVC. No tape. It is working fine. Plumbing supply house recommended it. See my thread "holding tank connections" for various input.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:56   #14
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

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I am reassembling a circulating water system for A/C. March pump has a 1/2 inch threaded male discharge, that I attached a 90 degree Speer PVC1 fitting with hose barb. I wrapped the discharge fitting with Teflon tape, and screwed on the Speer fitting, but overtightened and cracked the fitting. It's a fine balance between putting enough tape on the threads, but not so much that it cracks the fitting. Anyway, a marine A/C guy recommended using pipe dope instead of Teflon pipe. He said the dope is the only thing that allows you to back off a fitting (to get the orientation right), but still seal. Anyone using a product like this? Am hoping something available that is not as messy as traditional pipe dope, and I really don't want to deal with grease on everything. And it needs to stay pliable so that it can be disconnected when the pump needs maintenance. Recommendations?

My backup plan is that I have purchased several of the Speer replacement fittings, so can Teflon tape it, and hopefully not break again! I am fighting a PTF code issue and don't want to admit how many times I have reassembled the system.
You wont crack the fitting or housing using tape or dope. You either overtightened or the components had a defect or where not made to spec. (Thin wall or casting design issue) You tighten tapered threads by feel.

With tape two full turns is sufficient. Ensure the tape doesnt unwind during assembly. Wrapping direction is the key here.

Make sure no tape will end up inside the assembled joint. Same with dope. I prefer tape for small jobs because smearing the goop is messy. Goop is preferred if i'm doing lots of joints as its quicker.

If you have poor quality threads they can tear up the tape and goop. A trial assembly or running over the threads with a stainless wire brush or dremel and wirre wheel is good practice. Cleanliness is key.

The tape versus goop argument always makes me laugh. A good tradesman will use both effectively. Some codified joints will exclude tape. Only because of assembler errors and subsequent quality assurance issues of assembled joints.

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Old 08-04-2015, 09:39   #15
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Re: Pipe Dope Instead of Teflon Tape

Having done plumbing professionally, Leftbrainstuff"s comments and instructions are spot on.
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