I bought a couple of water timers for my sprinklers and they are leaking. I was wondering if I could put Teflon tape on them and this winter be able to remove the timer to be reused next year.

Thank you.

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    When you are tightening up the compression ring fastening the timer to the faucet you may have to support the timer with your other hand and wobble the timer back and forth to allow tightening enough to stop the leak. I have used these timers before and found significant water hammer when the valve shuts off. Maybe newer or more expensive ones have a more gentle shut-off, but if not you might want to get screw on water hammer arresters. Commented May 18, 2017 at 18:04
  • Even if your timers have washers (they should come with them, but sometimes people pry them out, drop them in their pocket, and walk out of the store, because some people will steal anything, just to prove they can) they may not be seated firmly at the bottom of the female coupling. In the past I've used a broad screwdriver to firmly push the washer down past the threads on a leaking connection, allowing the coupling to seal properly and without leaks. Commented May 20, 2017 at 17:58

5 Answers 5


Teflon tape is easy to remove, but probably won't help in your situation. Garden hoses don't seal via the threads meshing together. They seal via a washer on the female connector. A pack of rubber hose washers is pretty cheap - I'd replace them and see if it helps.


Yes, thread tape allows for easy removal after a period of time. It's made of Teflon for low-friction assembly and disassembly.

I'm surprised that your timers don't have hose washers, though.

  • Teflon tape is remarkably stable - not hardening or congealing over time. And it reduces friction - which makes both attaching and detaching easier. You can usually unwrap T-tape as easily as wrapping, but when stretched very tight it can cling. A wire brush makes short work of tape fragments in threads. (BTW, I agree that the washer on the female fitting is the likely cause, but if you do use T-tape it's definitely removable.)
    – jbbenni
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 19:28

The Teflon tape will not make the joints difficult to disassemble -- quite the opposite, as Teflon can prevent weathered joints from "seizing" and being difficult to get apart.

However, if you have the need to completely remove the tape from both pieces that can be difficult, as bits of the Teflon can become embedded in the threads. Scrubbing with a fine wire brush or some such might be necessary, should you for some reason need to completely remove the stuff. (In general you should not need to do this.)

And, as others have said, hose-style threaded joints are intended to be sealed with a "hose washer", rather than by having the threads fit tightly together. These joints differ from ordinary pipe joints in this regard.

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    +1 I recently used Teflon tape on a showerhead and then learned why it was not recommended but the manufacturer. It make the connection too easy to unscrew and it would come loose on moving the shower head. This was the only time I've ever needed to remove it.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 14:58

Teflon thread tape isn't adhesive. It's just a form of dry lubrication, so that threads don't seize together. It's easy to remove, and you don't have to bother removing all of it. New goes on top of old.

Note that teflon thread tape isn't a gasket. It's the O-rings in the treaded couplings that provide the water-tight seal.

Teflon tape is the plumbing equivalent of greasing the bolts on your car wheel before replacing the lugnuts.

By all means use it, but you will have to investigate and fix the leakage properly.


As others have noted, hoses don’t use the threads to seal! Don’t do that.

Anually remove and replace the washer. Clean the bare connector and make sure there’s no sand or crust inside before seating the new washer. Use a quality O ring rather than the standard hard flat plastic, for better results.

You can also suppliment The washer with silicone sealant, for a hose that will remain attached all season. Apply from a tube being careful to touch the same way the washer does and not clog anything. It peels off easily at the end of the season.

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