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Old 03-30-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
andy777
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Default Overtightening of threaded couplers? Or am I just Paranoid.

So I just got my new kettles back from the welder (pics will come later), and screwed in all the dial thermometers, thermowells, ball valves, etc. In a couple instances, in order to get the handle of the ball valve right side up, or the dial thermometer facing the right direction, I really tightened the nipple connecting the two. I didn't do anything extreme, but I'm a big guy and I really put my shoulder into it. Nothing broke and everything's fine, but I'm worried about long term issues.

Should I take them out and put them back in with normal force or am I just being an obsessive homebrewer. Thanks!!

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Take them out and re-install with normal force which is just a 1/2 turn beyond snug if you get my drift. Beware of SS thread gauling when mating SS parts. They can "cold weld" under certain conditions and are near impossible to separate without damaging the fittings. Teflon tape or sealant helps prevent this. I don't overly tighten any of my fittings. There's really no need to at the pressures we are dealing with. I use both tape and goo on most stuff and never have leak issues.

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Old 03-30-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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Thanks. I've always taken "snug" to mean not loose, but still easy to remove. Sort of how tight you'd put a weldless fitting to slightly compress the o-ring but not squeeze it tight.

Sound right to you?

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Old 03-30-2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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The snug term is admittedly vague. I use it to mean somewhat more than finger tight, but also considerably less than double wrench tight. Over tightening can deform pipe and fittings making them impossible to seal. One approach is to tighten the fitting to the low side and if it leaks, tighten some more until leak stops plus a bit. I can rotate my weldless fittings in the port without them leaking, that's how loose they are.

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