When embarking on a plumbing project, be sure that you seal the pipes and hoses well. It might be harder than you think. Do read up on how it can be done. However, it is also very important to make sure you have the appropriate tools.
Never use a sealant that is not designed for what you are doing. Use plumber's putty to seal the sink flanges of a garbage disposal unit. There are types of special wax or grease sealants that are suitable to be used on the base of the toilet. Shower pipes and spouts should be sealed with caulking, and the list goes on from there.
Most will learn from their mistake of utilizing the wrong sealant for certain jobs. Do not substitute PVC Pipe glue when instructions ask for plumber's putty. If you use these things rather than Teflon plumber's tape on hoses, you will never be able to remove it should you ever decide to replace the hoses.
Be sparing but not stingy. It's also important to use the right amounts. For example, a ¼ inch bead of plumber's putty is sufficient to seal around a sink. Too much of it will certainly mean that more cleaning up is needed. If insufficient amounts are used, water will leak under the sink.
Remove the excess but make sure not too much is removed. Too much sealant will tend to crack and tear after it hardens. Using your finger or a damp sponge, lightly wipe away any extra and you should be fine. In addition, ascertain that all smears are removed before they are dry.
Do not stingy about the use of Teflon plumber's tape. It is uncommon to use too much, but in some cases, it can create gaps for water to seep through. Because it is relatively malleable it can be difficult even if you want to overdo it. You want to ensure that not too much is being used as it can make it near to impossible to fit the new pipes or hose back on.
Wind it in the proper direction. If you are handling hoses, the direction is not a problem, however if you are threading pipes, direction will matter. If it's not done correctly, the tape will twist off. The tail of the tape should be facing the direction you will be threading onto it. It will create a seal that us tight as the tape will extend in the similar direction as the pipe while the pipe is being threaded. If the tape is facing the opposite direction, the seal will not be tight.
Avoid torn ends. Do not tear or bite the tape off using your teeth. It can seem like a good idea if you are working in a cramped space that is hard for you to move around. This can lead to stretching and tearing of the ends. If the tape is stretched too much before it is threaded on the pipe, it will not seal correctly.
If the tape is cut cleanly, it will set in the threads better and not leave any ridges that could cause leaks. This should be done on the front and back of the tape. If you have ridges, you will create small openings for water to escape from.
If you utilize the appropriate sealant for the job and follow instructions faithfully, your project should be free from leaks.