What Are Pipe Plugs and How Do They Work?

Pipes often require sealing. If you no longer need water or other fluids to flow to the end of a pipe, for instance, you should seal it. Maybe the fixture at the end of the pipe was removed, or perhaps the fixture is already connected to a different pipe. With pipe plugs, you can seal the end of pipes. Pipe plugs offer a simple and effective sealing solution for unused pipes.

What Are Pipe Plugs?

Pipe plugs are fasteners that are designed to seal the end of a threaded pipe. They consist of cylindrical pieces of metal with external threading. When inserted into the end of a threaded pipe, they will seal it. A single pipe plug is all it takes to seal the end of a threaded pipe.

How Pipe Plugs Work

Pipe plugs work by creating an obstruction at the end of a threaded pipe, thus sealing the pipe. With the water or fluid to the pipe turned off, you can insert a pipe plug. This will require the use of a driver, such as a hex socket or hex wrench. As you turn the pipe plug with the appropriate driver, it will recede into the pipe.

All pipe plugs have exterior threading, which allows them to seal threaded pipes. Assuming a pipe has internal threading, you can seal the end of it with a pipe plug. The external threading of the pipe plug will connect to the internal threading of the pipe.

How to Choose Pipe Plugs

If you’re looking to seal the end of a threaded pipe, you’ll need to choose a pipe plug in the right size. It will only provide a water- and fluid-proof fluid if it fits. If the pipe plug is too big, it may leak. Alternatively, it may not fit at all. Measure the size of the pipe with which you intend to use it, and choose a pipe plug to match it.

Different types of pipe plugs have different drive types. The drive type, of course, will determine the type of driver that you must use to install and remove a given pipe plug. Some pipe plugs have a hex socket drive type. Other pipe plugs have a hex wrench drive type.

You should consider the material when choosing pipe plugs as well. Since they are designed for use inside of pipes — typically water- or fluid-filled popes — pipe plugs must be corrosion resistant.

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