Help my fittings line up
January 27, 2009 1:12 PM   Subscribe

How does one get various threaded pipe fittings and plumbing parts to line up properly?

So I'm in the process of upgrading my home brewery to something semi-automated and easy to use. One little annoyance I have is with threaded pipe fittings like elbows or ball valves - is there any way to control which way they face when they're finally screwed in? For example, look at this picture. See how the handles to his valves all face nicely toward the user? If I attempted this, I'm sure I would end up with the handles facing every which way. How does one control this? Is it even possible with threaded fittings (maybe by layering in more or less teflon tape), or is the key to just solder everything together? P.S., is it ever appropriate to solder a threaded connection?
posted by jclovebrew to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
 
Is it even possible with threaded fittings (maybe by layering in more or less teflon tape)

That's precisely how I do it. You don't need to go 'until you can no longer turn it' with teflon tape for it to seal. Just put loads on and you'll get a feel for 'tight enough' and then keep turning until the orientation is correct. You need enough teflon tape on there to give you a bigger tolerance between 'won't leak' and 'can't move it'.
posted by Brockles at 1:21 PM on January 27, 2009


is it ever appropriate to solder a threaded connection?

Only if you want the next person who has to deal with the connection to curse you repeatedly.

If you need to solder a connection, use a soldered connection.
posted by Solomon at 2:28 PM on January 27, 2009


Liquid or paste thread-joint compounds can take the place of the teflon tape.

Loctite liquid thread locking compounds can seal joints, but they may require heat to undo the joint.

Paste compounds are more often used. (That one's from Loctite, but there are many brands.)
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:01 AM on January 28, 2009


If you use any kind of liquid sealants, be sure to check they are food safe (may also want to check for such a teflon tape).
posted by kenbennedy at 11:27 AM on January 28, 2009


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