Plumbers use different types of sealants. Plumber’s tape is used on the threads of plumbing pipes and other types of plumbing connections. Other sealants that Plumber Salt Lake City will use are silicone caulking, O-ring, and putty compounds. The type they use depends on the type of repair job. Putty compounds and silicone caulk are other sealants plumbers need.
Plumber’s putty is a pliable substance used to create watertight seals around faucets and drains. The putty is considered one of the basic plumber tools and is often used any time plumbing fixtures are replaced. Plumber’s putty should not be confused with Teflon® tape, which is used to seal pipe joints that are threaded.
Different brands of plumber’s putty often contain different ingredients. Many products make use of some type of clay as a base ingredient. Linseed oil is also a common additive. Other formulas include limestone, a blend of fish oils, or talc.
Plumber’s putty is used primarily during the installation of faucets and drains. The putty remains soft for a long time, making it a good choice for situations where a watertight, but reversible, seal is preferred. A bead of putty can be placed around the base of a faucet before it is attached to the sink, and the excess wiped off. The putty will seal the join between the two, preventing water from seeping in.
Plumber’s putty remains soft and pliable for a relatively long period of time, so it should not be used to seal pipes or fixtures that will be under pressure from water. In such cases, the seal will not hold. Pipes should be sealed using Teflon® tape or a liquid pipe compound. In some cases, plumber’s putty can stain the material the sink is made out of; in such instances, silicone caulk may be a better option.
Plumber Salt Lake City often use bars of solder, much thicker than the wire used for electrical applications. Solder is an alloy of two or more metals used for joining other metals together. The most common solder is called half and half, or plumber’s solder, and is composed of equal parts of lead and tin. Other metals used in solder are aluminum, cadmium, zinc, nickel, gold, silver, palladium, bismuth, copper and antimony. Various melting points to suit the work are obtained by varying the proportions of the metals. The pasty state of a non-eutectic solder can be exploited in plumbing as it allows molding of the solder during cooling, e.g. for ensuring watertight joint of pipes, resulting in a so called ‘wiped joint’.
In plumbing, a higher proportion of lead was used, commonly 50/50. This had the advantage of making the alloy solidify more slowly, so that it could be wiped over the joint to ensure water tightness, the pipes being physically fitted together before soldering. Although lead water pipes were displaced by copper when the significance of lead poisoning began to be fully appreciated, lead solder was still used until the 1980s because it was thought that the amount of lead that could leach into water from the solder was negligible from a properly soldered joint. The electrochemical couple of copper and lead promotes corrosion of the lead and tin, however tin is protected by insoluble oxide. Since even small amounts of lead have been found detrimental to health, lead in plumbing solder was replaced by silver (food grade applications) or antimony, with copper often added, and the proportion of tin was increased. Lead-free solders in commercial use may contain tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, antimony, and traces of other metals.
The tape grade you use will be determined in part by the function of the pipe you will be sealing. The main types of pipe will carry hot or cold water, fuel oil or natural gas. For oxygen lines, the thread tape must be grease-free to avoid combustion. Thread tape is not suitable for vacuum or compressed-air systems.
Plumber Salt Lake City choice of tape grade will also be determined by the nature of the junction. A permanent joint will be part of the infrastructure of the house or building, such as a water main or gas line, and will require little or no maintenance. A semi-permanent joint will for joints that require routine maintenance, such as kitchen or bathroom plumbing. Thread tape works well for semi-permanent joints, while pipe sealant would be a better choice on permanent joints.
There are actually two different kinds of tapes that are commonly referred to as plumber’s tape. One type of tape should be more appropriately called Teflon tape. The other type of plumber’s tape, on the other hand, should be called metal strapping instead. In either case, each type of tape is more commonly called plumber’s tape because plumbers are the professionals who most commonly use them.
Both the teflon tape and the metal strapping can be readily purchased from any hardware store or plumbing supply store. When buying plumber’s tape, make sure that you know specifically what kind of tape is needed. But this is an easy thing to do because both “tapes” are so different from each other.
Thread tape comes in different colors for different uses.
[Please note that these tape colors refer to specifications in the United States only.]
O-rings are another type of sealing tool that plumbers can use to seal joints. Most attachments come with their own o-rings, but often they are the wrong size or low quality. Having a good selection of o-rings will help plumbers complete quality jobs. An O-ring, also known as a packing, or a toric joint, is a mechanical gasket in the shape of a torus; it is a loop of elastomer with a disc-shaped cross-section, designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.
The O-ring may be used in static applications or in dynamic applications where there is relative motion between the parts and the O-ring. Dynamic examples include rotating pump shafts and hydraulic cylinder pistons. Kitchen faucets have one or more O-rings to prevent water from oozing out around the spout. If the ring wears out, you’ll see water at the base of the spout every time you turn on the water. Tackling plumbing problems in the home can be quite daunting. Don’t dismay call a professional plumber like Plumber Salt Lake City.