Polytetrafluoroethylene tape is a highly versatile thread sealant that's used quite often in pipe and ductwork applications. Commonly referred to as plumber's tape, or PTFE tape (it's no mystery why the name was shortened), this product is really just a long strip of synthetic polymer film that comes wrapped around a spool for ease of use.
It's used extensively in pipe sealing and ductwork and usually comes pre-cut to a range of specified predetermined widths.
Some of the qualities that make plumber's tape, or PTFE, appealing to use includes the fact that it repels water (obviously very important to plumbers) and that it exhibits a very low rate of friction.
That makes this type of tape very popular for all kinds of different plumbing and pipe jobs, which is why you should have no trouble finding it in your favorite plumbing supply store.
Is PTFE tape the same as Teflon tape?
These two types of tapes have nearly identical qualities, but Teflon is a brand name and PTFE is a type of tape that's readily available just about everywhere.
So while the two names are interchangeable by many who use them, it's not technically correct to say "Teflon tapes" or "Tape Teflon" when referring to plumbers tape and PTFE tape.
How does PTFE Tape work?
PTFE tape is used extensively in the plumbing industry and is great to use for sealing pipe threads. But it's also helpful in several other plumbing applications.
It's easily wound around pipe threads and is often used as a lubricant that allows for a deeper sealing of the threads.
This type of plumber's tape works very well for what it was designed for and that's as a deformable filler and a lubricant for pipe threads. It's also great for sealing joints without hardening, thus making it easier to tighten.
As with any other tape product, it works very well if you're using it for the purpose for which it was created. Every different type of tape has its own pros and cons, but if you do your homework and choose the right type of tape for the task at hand, you should have no problems and come out of the job feeling pretty good about things.
Does PTFE Tape stop leaks?
If you're talking about connections that rely on threaded pipes and fittings, then yes it certainly does! That's what this type of sealing tape is designed to do.
These kinds of pipes and fittings are very prone to leaks, especially if the pipe threads are not sealed with PTFE tape in the correct way.
If you're not familiar with the process, we recommend doing some research online or even watching a YouTube video or two to learn exactly how to apply plumber tape around pipes and fittings in the proper way.
You'll want to make sure that PTFE tapes are used in the correct manner, as your sealant tape won't keep your pipe or pipes from leaking if it's applied improperly.
When should I not use PTFE tape?
While PTFE tape is great when used for its intended purpose, it doesn't work in any and all circumstances. Nothing does, right?
So while using PTFE tape, or plumber's tape, or thread seal tape, or sealant tape, or whatever else you call this type of product these days, is great on areas like showers, bathtubs, and sinks, there are many instances when you'll want to use a different type of tape product altogether.
This includes items like pumps, pressure tanks, gas lines, air-fluid hoses, and spray guns, among others. These types of items can be much better served by other kinds of tape that are designed for those specific tasks.
When you're talking about piping and ductwork applications, there's no better choice to seal any potential leaks than by the use of a thread sealant tape like PTFE thread tape.
That's what this type of thread sealant tape is designed to do, and it does it very well. Just be sure to use each type of tape for its designated task and you'll almost certainly be happy with the results.