It’s one of the handiest tools in the toolbox, but do you really know the proper uses of plumber’s pipe tape, also called pipe leak tape? That’s the stuff you wrap around pipe joints to help them stick together and prevent leaks. In this post, we’ll take a look at the proper way to use pipe leak tape, and discuss some of its functions.


There are two types of pipe leak tape:

  • Pipe thread tape helps create a watertight seal between plumbing joints. It also helps lubricate the connection between the joints, making it easier to assemble and disassemble. This is also called thread seal tape and plumbers tape.
  • Silicone tape is wrapped around a leak to provide a temporary seal but doesn’t actually stick to the pipe, only to itself.


Because there are different types of tape, there are unique uses for each:

  • Joint leaks occur when the connection between two adjoining pipes loosens over time. The thread can wear out at the connection point. Pipe thread tape can be used to solve these issues.
  • Fracture leaks are actual damage to the pipe itself. This could be a crack or corrosion in the midline of a pipe, and not near a joint. Silicone tape will provide a temporary fix while you wait to get a permanent solution.


Pipe thread tape is used directly on the pipe joints. That means to access the area to place the tape, you have to disconnect the pipes. After you’ve turned off the water and disconnected the pipes, be sure to remove any old sealants before applying the new thread tape. Wrap the tape snugly around the pipe threads four or five times, then reconnect!

Pro Tip: wrap the tape around the thread in the opposite direction from how you’ll screw it back into place.

For silicone tape, simply identify the location of the leak, turn off the water, and wrap the tape as tightly as possible all the way around the pipe.

Pro tip: Make sure the area around the leak is completely dry before starting to wrap!


It’s important to remember that pipe thread tape, when used properly, should last for years in keeping your pipe joints from leaking. However, silicon tape on a damaged pipe is only a temporary fix. If you’re experiencing issues with damaged pipes, Trenchless Replacement Specialists is your solution! We can detect leaks, find the origin of the problem, and even replace your pipes without digging! Call us today at 432-580-7693 to make an appointment!