I been trying to install an exterior water spigot for the past few hours. I bought a new 1/2 inch frost proof lawn faucet from arrowhead brass and plumbing llc and the salesperson recommended that I get a shark bite 1/2" x 1/2" FNPT female adapter to slide over my existing copper piping inside the basement of my house. The shark bite slide over my copper tubing no problem at all. The problem I am having with my spigot is that it is consistently leaking at the threads when I connect it to the shark bite no matter how much or little teflon tape I put on it. When the tap is turned all the way on and I turn on the water supply second, it does not leak from the threads of the spigot, however as soon as I turn the spigot off, it starts to drip rather quickly.

I saw that the threads on the on the spigot seem to be quite pronounced and they are fairly sharp too. I also noticed that when I take the spigot out from the shark bite, almost without fail the teflon tape is shredded. I made sure to put the teflon tape on clockwise so that it would not unravel when I screw it on to the shark bite and it still does not seem to work.

I was wondering is there anything I am doing wrong? Is there anything else I could try before attempting to bring these items back if possible? Thank you all so much.

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    Pipe threads rely on the taper of the threads and need to be tightened up well. Use two wrenches, one to hold the sharkbite fitting and the other to tighten the spigot, and when I say "tighten" I mean really tighten it, crank it. – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 24 '19 at 2:02
  • I just bought bigger channel pliers and a pipe wrench. An i right in using plumbers tape or is there a better alternative? – Justin Todd Apr 24 '19 at 11:44
  • Yup, 3 (minimum) clean wraps of PTFE is standard... – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 25 '19 at 4:52
  • Wow 3 wraps. My experience is that these fittings are sometimes quite difficult to seal with teflon tape. I typically go with way more than 3 probably more like 8 as long as you can still thread it on the female attachment I figure you can't add too much. When I've gone with 3 I sometimes find that I get the smallest drip of water that comes through... so small that a single drop can take hours to form but small enough that some comes through. There are also at least two widths of teflon tape so on some applications I go for the wide tape to cover more of the thread. – Fresh Codemonger Jan 19 '20 at 22:34

You can try wrapping the male threads with Teflon tape, and then putting thread sealant on top of the Teflon tape and also a little on the female threads.

It's not the correct way to do it, but it's the only way that I was able to seal the NPT threads on my sister's water softener.


Teflon pipe tape works by essentially "liquefying" under the pressure of the mating threads, so it will ALWAYS look shredded when you unscrew a fitting. You also cannot re-use it, you must wrap it again, minimum two full wraps the entire length of the thread. All the tape (or joint compound) is for is to seal any small gaps and spaces that happen when threads are made. it's really the jamming of one set of tapered threads against the other that does the majority of the sealing. So getting it tight enough is the most important part of the process.

  • The full width of the thread? So if the thread is more than the width (usually the case) of the teflon tape are you doing 3 wraps around one portion and then starting again? – Fresh Codemonger Jan 19 '20 at 22:36

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