I have a gas plumbing fitting that was properly installed with tape and/or pipe dope and has sat for two years, pressurized, with no leaks.

Now we are building an assembly over the pipe and a ball valve handle is just barely sticking out too far ... we need to turn the valve 10-15 degrees tighter.

So we did this ... turned the ball valve tighter by 10 degrees ... but neither the ball valve nor the reducer it was attached to turned - they were too tight. The joint that turned was under the ground.

So ... a properly taped and doped fitting, which was not leaking, sat underground for two years and then was tightened another 10 degrees.

Is this a problem ? Did we disrupt, or break up, the tape and dope and potentially have a leak now ?

Or can you tighten taped and doped fittings (a bit) after the fact ?

  • 2
    You use two wrenches to tighten or loosen any plumbing fitting. If you do not, you risk twisting the pipe. If done right and testing after, turning a fitting that little should be okay.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 20:04
  • 2
    Are you 100% certain that it was a fitting that turned underground where you can't see it, and it wasn't a pipe that twisted?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 20:36
  • Well .. the pipe that turned was a 1-1/2" galvanized steel pipe and I wasn't using much force ... it seems very unlikely that without any real exertion I twisted a pipe like that but I am open to hearing otherwise ?
    – user227963
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


You can tighten things later, but you can't tighten things (when new, or later) and assume that all is well without repeating a leakdown test on a gas line.

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