It can be confusing to know when to use pipe dope vs teflon tape.
Firstly lets compare the two different products and see which one is better for what.
Pipe dope is also known as pipe joint compound.
It often looks like putty and is clear or white in color. It is generally applied with a brush which normally comes as part of the can.
Tip: Never put pipe dope on the female threads, only put it on the male thread.
The best thing about Pipe dope is that it won’t crumble and can be used with most types of pipe materials.
It creates a medium to strong seal and is quick to harden.
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Some people get confused and think that you should use the two together. Although that is possible and if you do you should put on the tape before the pipe dope, the reality is that they suit different applications.
Teflon tape is not actually a sealant and is more of a thread protecting lubricant. Although it can be used for standard water pipes it should never be used for high pressure systems.
One advantage that Teflon tape has over pipe dope is that is not as messy to use and clean up after.
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Here’s the thing, sometimes talking about it never really drives home the right answer. Watch this video to fully understand what we are talking about here.
Video on Teflon Tape vs Pipe Joint Compound
Most plumbers tend to prefer pipe joint compound over teflon tape and that is as good of an indication as anything as to what you should use for your next project.