how do u apply teflon tape for leaks? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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how do u apply teflon tape for leaks?

My diy co2 system is leaking. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but how do u apply the tape? I assumed it was just wrapping it around the "joints" where the tubing meets the bottle caps. But when I google it people are using the tape to wrap it around the threading. What's the proper way?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 10:50 PM
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Wrap it around the threads. Wrap it specifically the opisite way the threads are going. Haven't seen anyone use it for tubing though.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure how this applies to airline tubing though as there are no threads. Would the equivalent be to wrap it around the tubing tips before inserting them through the bottle caps/connectors?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 11:16 PM
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I've used Teflon tape to "seal" little plastic vials for mailing by wrapping around the outside, overlapping the seam between the lid and vial. This was more of a non-stick friction creator to keep the lid on snug temporarily, and not the internal thread-seal the tape was intended for. Worked ok for small amounts of fluid already contained by a lid, but I don't know that it's gas-tight, and I think it would loosen over time. I'd think it would do better on the interior, but I guess you could experiment and try it both ways!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 11:18 PM
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From what I understand, the teflon tape just serves as a lubricant, and allows you to screw a joint together tighter then you would otherwise.

It's really only useful on threaded fittings.

Maybe get one of those metal hose clamps? the type with a little screw in them and a slotted metal band.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 11:33 PM
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I have not used it in non-threaded applications, but for threaded (like PVC or other pipe)

1) Hold pipe in left hand, with threads toward the right.
2) Start the tape nearest you and wrap it by going up, over and away from you.
3) Pull the tape snug, not really enough to stretch it out of shape, but close.
4) Do at least 3 wraps.
By starting in this way the tape stays on the pipe when you start putting the parts together.

There is a different sort of teflon tape for gas (like natural gas appliances). It is thicker than the stuff for water pipes, and light yellow in color.
If you are using this for bulking up a barbed fitting this heavier tape might be helpful.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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K thanks for the replies guys. Didn't realize teflon tape was for the threads. I still used it to cover up the joint like Pika suggested and it seems to be doing a reasonable job.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 12:55 AM
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I may be able to supply a solution if I could look at pictures of the actual fitting both together and apart.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 01:06 AM
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The teflon isn't going to hold up to any amount of pressure like that. You are much better off getting some silicone and putting it on the underside and on top of the cap where the tube goes in. Make sure the cap is good and stuffed up so that the silicone has something to adhere too so you can get a good seal. Once its all nice and gooped up around the tube pull the tube in and out of the cap a little bit so you can get some silicone between the cap and the tube. Let it completely cure and you should be good. Put teflon around the threads for the cap and screw it on good and tight and your in the co2 business my friend

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 01:49 AM
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Teflon seals the void between the threads. It's metal on metal otherwise so wears away eventually causing the leaks. That's why it's needed and stops leaks

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:11 AM
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Assuming you are trying to connect the tubing to 2L bottle cap, you can pick up a barb to pipe thread fitting (see pic) to fit your tubing, at any home improvement or hardware store. Then, drill a hole in the cap a little smaller than the threaded side of the fitting. Now you can wrap the thread with the Teflon, as described above, and then thread the fitting into the hole. With a little force, it will form threads into the plastic cap. Now you should be able to just slide the tubing over the barbed side, and as long as you have the correct size to fit your tubing, you should be leak free.
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