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Is duct tape an acceptable plumbing repair?


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Apparently, some plumbers (handyman homeowner more likely) thinks it is. I sure see plenty of it.

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Plumbing connections are being held together with duct tape. Duct tape is not generally considered an acceptable plumbing repair. Have a plumber remove the duct tape and fix the piping.

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That's because when you think "duct" tape you are thinking about the silver gray stuff that everyone uses for everything and Red Greene uses on his show. That isn't really "duct" tape at all, it was invented in WWII and back then it was originally called "duck" tape because it was used to help waterproof stuff.

ASHRAE came out with a finding at least a decade ago that essentially said that the widespread use of ordinary duct tape - meaning "duck" tape - to seal heating equipment was stupid 'cuz the stuff doesn't work, and said that it shouldn't be used. They were not referring to the UL 181 tape.

UL 181 tape looks essentially the same but it's got better adhesives and is designed specifically for the HVAC business. It is clearly printed so that you know that you are not using duck tape. It is a good start but I think one should follow up by coating it with latex mastic to ensure a good seal.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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That's because when you think "duct" tape you are thinking about the silver gray stuff that everyone uses for everything and Red Greene uses on his show. That isn't really "duct" tape at all, it was invented in WWII and back then it was originally called "duck" tape because it was used to help waterproof stuff.

ASHRAE came out with a finding at least a decade ago that essentially said that the widespread use of ordinary duct tape - meaning "duck" tape - to seal heating equipment was stupid 'cuz the stuff doesn't work, and said that it shouldn't be used. They were not referring to the UL 181 tape.

UL 181 tape looks essentially the same but it's got better adhesives and is designed specifically for the HVAC business. It is clearly printed so that you know that you are not using duck tape. It is a good start but I think one should follow up by coating it with latex mastic to ensure a good seal.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Yea, I know from experience it doesn't work. It also doesn't work to seal up those places where squirrels or Norwegian roof beavers chew on lead flashings. Apparently duck tape is not UV resistant.

Does the WWII reference have anything to do with the DUCK vehicle?

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Gorilla Tape.

Get past the $20 a roll price, and you'll agree it might even be good for plumbing repairs.

I've used it to stick together freezing boat canvas, hold on the fender(s) of my truck, etc.

It's damn near structural.

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I just heard Holmes say that duct tape isn't even good for ducts! What is it good for, NASCAR body work only?

No offense to my Mississippi brethren, but when I was in Louisiana last year, a friend referred to duct tape as "Mississippi chrome" when it's used to secure deteriorated auto body parts.
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Did you all see the movie Apollo 13? While in space their CO2 scrubber became overloaded and they had to configure a new one. The solution, as devised by the engineers on the ground, included ordinary gray "duct" tape.

Duct tape is great stuff, provided that

1) it only has to last for a couple of weeks, and

2) you need it right NOW or you might die (think astronauts in space or soldiers in war)

Steve

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Did you all see the movie Apollo 13? While in space their CO2 scrubber became overloaded and they had to configure a new one. The solution, as devised by the engineers on the ground, included ordinary gray "duct" tape.

Duct tape is great stuff, provided that

1) it only has to last for a couple of weeks, and

2) you need it right NOW or you might die (think astronauts in space or soldiers in war)

Steve

Well, it is a movie. Do you know that the real story used duct tape?

I've read "Apollo" a few times, and I don't recall any reference to duct tape.

Richard's post says how well duct tape works. It doesn't.

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Oh Kurt, you're killing me man!

From my copy of "Lost Moon", personally autographed by Jim Lovell -- "To Steve -- Best Wishes", Chapter 10, page 251:

In order to make the oversized command module cartridges work in the inhospitable LEM, what Smylie envisioned doing was inserting the back half -- the outflow half -- of the bulky lithium hydroxide box into a plastic bag and taping the bag in place with heavy, airtight duct tape. An arched piece of cardboard taped inside the bag would hold it rigid and prevent it from collapsing against the outflow vents. Smylie would then punch a small hole in the bag and insert the loose end of one of the pressure-suit hoses into it, making this connection airtight with tape as well.

From page 256:

Swigert swam back up into Odyssey and collected a pair of scissors, two of the command module's oversized lithium hydroxide canisters, and a roll of gray duct tape that was supposed to be used for securing bags of refuse to the ship's bulkhead in the final days of the mission.

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Well, I'll defer to Steve that has cut and pasted authoritative reference about the use of duct tape in outer space. If it was, in fact, the same grey stuff we're talking about, I'd be surprised.

If it is, I'm sorry if our space program has to resort to stuff that doesn't work worth a damn in any project I've ever used it, or seen it used.

The myth of duct tape is kept alive by folks that apparently don't use it much.

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