How to Prevent Pipe Leaks With Rubber Gaskets

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

With water supply strain growing each year, businesses and governments face intense pressure to provide this most critical resource. But did you know that over 3.3 billion litres of treated water are lost to leaks each year? 

Whether you’re a business owner or looking to protect your home from damage, preventing leaks is paramount. Read on to find out why rubber gaskets are vital to preventing leaks!

What Are Rubber Gaskets?

Rubber gaskets are pieces of rubber material that fill the gaps between imperfect surfaces, resulting in a strong seal that prevents leaks. Rubber gaskets are made out of a wide range of natural and synthetic rubbers designed to avoid leaks.

There are different types of gaskets for various applications. The gasket needs to be non-reactive for the media it comes into contact with. For example, you wouldn’t use the same gasket in a gas pipe that you would a water pipe.

How Do Rubber Gaskets Work?

Rubbers gaskets work by creating a squishable midsection between two solid surfaces. In this case, between our two pipe flanges. Even if pipes had perfect surfaces sealed upon installation, wear and tear and corrosion will wear away at that seal. Gaskets, when properly installed, ensure a leak-free seal. 

The gasket is placed between the two surfaces, and when those surfaces are pressed together, it fills the gaps. The give of the gasket material creates a tight seal between them so none of the contained media can leak out. 

When it comes to water pipes, plumbing gaskets are designed to have a long life. However, not all gaskets are created equal, so it is vital to use the correct gasket! 

Plumbing Gaskets

Plumbing gaskets are often made of rubber or rubber composites and are suitable for a wide temperature range. Plumbing gaskets are necessary to avoid expensive leaks

Rubber gaskets are the most common due to their flexibility and long service life. EPDM rubber is a synthetic rubber with better qualities and capabilities than plain rubber and is best used when uncompromising performance is required. Plumbing gaskets provide a proper seal between pipes and other objects, preventing water leaks.

How to Prevent Pipe Leaks

Let’s face it: no one likes paying for expensive repairs! And when it comes to plumbing, preventing leaks is paramount. Whether installing new plumbing or fixing old pipes, gaskets are an inexpensive way to provide a long service life. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

The first step to sealing your pipes is to select the right gasket. You’ll need to check the pressure and temperature demands of your plumbing. Once you know these characteristics, it’s time to choose the gasket. Pick a material that meets or exceeds these variables. For household plumbing needs, standard rubber gaskets are often sufficient. 

If you’re dealing with industrial or commercial piping, you may have higher temperatures or pressures. In these cases, natural rubber is often insufficient. EPDM rubber gaskets offer far greater performance and withstand a higher range of adverse conditions. 

Installing Rubber Gaskets

Once you’ve selected the best gasket material for your project, it’s time to install it! You’ll need to prepare the two ends of the pipes first, cleaning them and making sure they are ready to be mated. If you’re working with flanged pipes, you’ll need to carefully stretch the gasket over the male pipe. Double-check to make sure the gasket is equally fitted and has no bunching.

Once you’ve prepared the gasket, it’s time to insert it into the female pipe. A good practice is to coat the outer edge of the gasket with a small amount of lube to prevent bunching or tearing. Make sure the gasket remains even as you insert it into the male pipe. 

Anytime you’re working with water pipes and their fixtures, like toilets or sinks, you’ll need water gaskets. Without them, the connections are prone to leakage, causing damage. 

Do I Need Rubber Gaskets?

Not all plumbing and commercial applications require gaskets. For example, PVC piping often uses threading, tape, and sealant to secure connections. Flanged piping needs gaskets, unlike PVC. It is essential to double-check your project to make sure a gasket is the right fit. 

Are you resealing a leaky faucet to the counter? A gasket is your best choice! Whenever you’re pressing two objects together and need a seal between them, a gasket is the right choice. 

Rubber Gasket Materials

Below is a list of Munsch and Co’s rubber gaskets. Use this list to determine the best choice for your project!

  • Butyl gaskets for corrosive alkalines and minerals, with good ageing properties.
  • WRAS approved EPDM rubber gaskets, suitable for potable water sources and seals.
  • EPDM rubber gaskets, suitable for commercial use and have high resistance against phosphate ethers and acids. 
  • White Food Quality EPDM gaskets, FDA-approved for use in food and beverage applications.  
  • Hypalon gaskets provide resistance to inorganic chemicals.
  • Neoprene gaskets are resistant to inorganic chemicals and ozone and weathering effects. 
  • Nitrile gaskets are suitable for use with various oils and withstand high temperatures. 
  • Silicone gaskets have remarkable resistance to various chemicals and applications and resist heat while being safe for food and pharmaceutical industries.

WC Munsch & CO

Munsch and Co have provided quality rubber gaskets and pipe supplies for 45 years! We have a product for every application, from the oil and gas industry to the private homeowner. No matter your project, we have suitable materials at the right price!

Unsure of which product is right for you? Seeking professional advice on your next project or looking for a commercial provider? You’ve come to the right place! Contact us anytime to learn more about our services. We’ll be glad to help you, no matter your project!

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