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What is a Threaded Pipe?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Images By: Emilian Robert Vicol, n/a
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Threaded pipe is a length of pipe with threading at one or both ends to allow users to screw it into various pipe fittings and attachments. This type of pipe can be easier to work with in some settings, and there are a number of different types available for an assortment of applications. It is important to be aware that threading usually does not provide a seal, unless the pipe's standards specify that it seals. It will be necessary to use pipe dope, tape, and similar equipment to get a tight seal with threaded pipe joints.

The threading may be straight or tapered, depending on design. Pipe that needs to seal will usually be tapered, as this can create a tighter join between pipes and fittings. The width of the threads varies. Many regions have standards all manufacturers use to make sure their pipes will fit with each other as well as pipes from other companies in the same region. The documentation accompanying the pipe will provide information about the measurements and the standard used as the basis for manufacturing.

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Metal and plastic piping can both be made with threading, although metal threaded pipe tends to be more robust. Plumbers can connect pipes with a variety of attachments to meet the needs of plumbing projects, adding sealant as appropriate. In some situations, sealing products might cause contamination or performance issues, and it will be necessary to use threaded pipe with sealing capacity. This threading tightens up as it is screwed down, preventing leaks at the joint.

Hardware and home supply stores usually carry threaded pipe products. They can order custom products as needed by customers. It is also possible to use tap and die equipment to make threaded pipe by adding threads to existing lengths of pipe. This requires some training, as using equipment incorrectly can result in damage to the pipe or injuries to the operator.

To install threaded pipe, plumbers need the pipe, connections, and sealing equipment. They must select pipe of the right width for the application and map out the plumbing before they start so they know how and when the pipe will bend to turn corners, provide offshoots to appliances, and so forth. Plumbing software is available to plot out plumbing plans in the most efficient way possible and generate equipment lists to help a plumber order the necessary supplies for a project.

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