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Can Teflon Tape Used on Water Lines be Used to Seal Gas Fittings?

September 8, 2021

Mitchel Plumbing Gas

Can Teflon Tape Used on Water Lines be Used to Seal Gas Fittings?

You are working on a project at your home, connecting a new gas grill in an outdoor kitchen near the pool. As you consider your grill's connection to the natural gas supply line, you wonder, "Can Teflon tape be used on gas fittings?"

Teflon tape can do wonders for those small projects at your home, and you remember you have some left over from that time when you connected a new shower head in the main bathroom. But it is important to use the right tool for the job. If you are connecting gas lines and their fittings to an outdoor grill or inside stove, you should make sure to use the right Teflon tape. There is Teflon tape made to seal the threads on gas fittings and to prevent leaks in those connections. And there is a separate Teflon tape designed for water pipes that helps prevent water leaks in those connections to showers, hot water heaters, refrigerator water lines and other items.

So the answer is yes to your question, "Can Teflon tape be used on gas fittings?" But only the right type designed specifically for gas fittings. That Teflon tape can be found at hardware, home improvement and plumbing supply stores. 

What type of Teflon tape works best for gas fittings?

The correct type of Teflon tape for gas fittings has a yellow color and is identified in the packaging as manufactured specifically for gas pipes and connecting gas lines. This type of tape is known as gas-rated Teflon tape. It is designed to accommodate all gas lines, including natural gas, propane and butane. The Teflon tape for gas lines is thicker and cuts easily with a knife or scissors. It is specifically manufactured to handle temperatures up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, and as cold as negative 450 degrees.

What type of Teflon tape works best for water lines?

The difference between plumber's Teflon tape used on water lines and gas lines is that the tape used on water lines is thinner and a white color. While that tape will work well on water pipes to prevent water leaks, the plumber's Teflon tape for water connections will not work well on gas pipe fittings. Over time, the thinner tape will degrade on the gas line and vapors will leak from the fitting. This can create a dangerous situation in your home and could lead to an unexpected explosion or some other dangerous outcome. That's why it's important to select the proper Teflon tape for gas fittings.

How to use Teflon tape on gas fittings

There is more to the answer to the question, Can Teflon tape be used on gas fittings? You also must ensure that the proper tape is used the correct way. When applying gas-rated Teflon tape to a gas connection, make sure the tape is applied only to the fittings' threads. You should not apply the tape to the nuts and bolts used to connect gas pipes together, or the gas compression connections. You will find the gas fittings on the end of gas lines and they are not removable, unlike the gas compression connections. Before working on the gas connections, make sure to turn off the gas supply to your home. You can shut it down at the gas meter located outside your home. 

How to check for gas leaks in your connections

After applying the gas-rated Teflon tape to the fitting threads, connect the two gas lines and then turn the gas back on to your home. You can now check for leaks in the gas line. An easy home recipe to check for gas leak uses dishwashing liquid and water. Mix several teaspoons of dishwashing liquid with one cup of water in a bowl. Use a cloth rag to apply the soapy solution to the gas line connection. Look for bubbles forming at that connection. If you do, you've identified a gas leak. If you are unable to tighten the connection properly to stop the leak, make sure to call a professional with experience working with gas to properly seal the connection. 

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