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Thread: Need help with filter to fitting leak please.

  1. #1

    Default Need help with filter to fitting leak please.

    Hello. My father recommended me to this forum. We actually recently installed a set of GE SmartWater filters on my house, like he did, from a suggestion on this forum (he loves his!). They work great, accept that I have a very small leak on all 4 of the fittings that screw into the filters. It's a small drip, small enough that you have to watch it for quite a while to see one move, but large enough that I put a towel on the ground and it's wet in a matter of days. I'm afraid I either used the wrong sealer (teflon tape) or screwed them in too tight. Can someone possible tell me what I might have done wrong and the best way to solve this? I was going to simply turn off the water while we were gone this weekend and put some silicone around them to dry, but if there's a proper way to fix it please let me know. Thanks! Here are pictures if they can help:

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Plastic fittings present unique problems, and plastic to plastic doubles the issue.

    The procedure is to tighten hand tight as far as it will go, then about 1/2 to one turn max by wrench. Any further risks deforming the soft plastic threads. There should be teflon pipe tape and/or teflon based pipe thread sealant ( dope) on the threads, and I don't see that in your picture.

    Problem, of course, with glue-up is that if you need another 1/2 turn on the threads, you cannot do that without cutting something.

    One other issue which is just a stab in the dark, based on the appearance of your fittings: are you SURE that the fitting screwed into the filter housing is male PIPE THREADS and not male HOSE THREADS ( both fittings are common, and the threads are different)??
    Last edited by jimbo; 12-28-2008 at 02:48 PM.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Probedude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    From my experience, that isn't unusual with plastic threaded fittings and teflon tape. Teflon tape doesn't fill all the voids and you'll still get small weeping drips. Over time the drips stops at least in our very hard water here in So. Cal. (I think within a few days to a week)

    About 6 years ago I found this stuff called White Seal pipe joint compound. It's a paste that has teflon ground up in it. Since having switched over to this, the weeping drips are non existent in metal and plastic fittings. I've been using it on all my threaded connections where the threads are doing the actual sealing. You need to be careful with applying it so that it doesn't get inside the fittings.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.


    Only use Teflon pipe dope made for plastic or the warranty on the parts is voided because the dope will attack the plastic. Tape or most dope is a lubricant, not a sealant, pipe threads make their own seal.

    Over tightening plastic fittings is the primary cause of them leaking.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  5. #5


    Some fittings require more teflon tape than others. Also, a quarter turn with a channel locks past hand-tightened is often needed to get a good connection. Just don't crack anything.

    It would be better to use compression fittings, so you can turn them tighter if you have to. With this type of set-up, you have to cut it out and start over if there's a leak.


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