The Perfect Wrap
Threading a Shoulder/Close Nipple
Broken Fittings Removal

The Perfect Wrap

Putting Teflon tape on pipe threads is a very basic task for a plumber. This can be difficult when the threads are close to adjacent objects, such as walls or other pipes. A simple way to do this is to first wrap the Teflon tape around the end of a Phillips screwdriver so the edge of the tape is flush with the tip of the screwdriver.

While facing the tip of the screwdriver, the tape should be wrapped counter clockwise, approximately 20 to 30 revolutions for smaller-diameter pipes. You may need more for larger pipes. For instance, 21 wraps on the screwdriver is enough for approximately seven wraps on a 3/4-inch pipe. Then apply the tape clockwise to the pipe as if the tape was on its roll.  

Tibor Buza
Bell Plumbing & Heating
Aurora, Colo.

Threading A Shoulder/Close Nipple

A nipple under 6 inches in length can be very tricky to thread. I found this method to be cost-effective and efficient when nipple chucks are not available on the jobsite. Using a Ridgid 300 pipe threader, take a piece of pipe the same size as your nipple, thread one end of it and put a coupling on it; this is the nipple holder.

Thread one end of your nipple and then cut it to the desired length. Connect your nipple with the nipple holder and start threading the other side of the nipple. This method allows shoulder/close nipples to be threaded correctly at any length.

Joseph Friesenhahn
Bracken Plumbing
Schertz, Texas

Broken Fittings Removal

To remove a broken nipple from shower riser elbow or toilet supply fitting in wall, use a sharpened awl. Carefully tap the pointed end between threads and the fitting, and the piece will come out. I have used this method every time and it always works. It saves you from having to open the wall and causing more work and agravation for your customer.

Sal Cutrona
Water Works Plumbing
Westwood, N.J.