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MEGALOCK FAIL!!

ALNYALNY Member Posts: 37
I did a new boiler, and did some new header, and i have been piping for years (15+), and rarely had connection issues. So my story, here it goes...

A guy recommended MEGALOK, and said it was the best ever, and for whatever reason, i had 4 leaks everywhere, near a boiler header now i know how to tighten fittings, and no need to overcrank, however, i have never gotten this many leaks, usually its none....out of nearly maybe a thousand + connections, if that.

I usually pipe with a product called Thick Dope and usually get no leaks if ever...sometimes i may use a teflon tape with the thick dope, however i had no leaks at the unions which had no megalock, only the threads that used the MEGALOCK....i kinda tightened the pipe a litle extra more than i would and still no luck.....and the megalock looked like it was sputtering out a bit of steam.  Is this product supposed to do this, heat up, and then slightly harden?

Now i have used Chinese and domestic pipe all the time, and the only problem i have with it is when i thread, domestic threads better. These were pre purchased nipples (chinese), and the only thing i can think of is maybe i had the product in the truck , and it was exposed to cold weather/ near freezing for the night as i forgot to take out, and that was it..

Well i am gonna let the boiler run for a day or two, as i have other jobs as no leaking, just some slight steam hissing out of three joints (barely visible).  The weather here in NYC area is very cold, and i have other jobs to get to, as i will go back on the weekend and use my old method..any of u guys have any feedback, whats your preferred method, or quick fixes without opening it up and re-doing the connections?  I have also heard that teflon with Blue Monster works, but seems more like what i was doing....

Anyway worse case i have to shut off boiler, and go back and re-assemble...
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Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 7,823
    Steam leaking

    What is the pressure on this system? These joints shouldn't leak even with peanut butter on the threads at under 2 psi! Clean the pigtail, and get a good gauge to verify the pressuretrol settings.--NBC
  • ALNYALNY Member Posts: 37
    THE SYSTEM PRESSURE

    The system actual pressure was at 6-7 PSI, and the pressuretrol was set at 2...both are brand new units on a new boiler...gonna see if pressuretrol is no good, but i will get another gauge to use as a control.

    So what i will do is lower the pressure, and see if any leaks...but i have had pipes at higher pressures, and no leaks. I will lower the pressure, and see if that curtails the issue...

    The pigtail is a brand new brass pigtail...any suggestions.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 7,823
    Pressuretrol failure out of the box!

    I had that problem on a new boiler. I dialed down the pressuretrol, and it went wild up to 10 psi. Apparently the linkage can become disconnected.

    I replaced mine with a vaporstat, and no problems. A low pressure gauge is a must (0-3 psi, gauge store.com).--NBC
  • ALNYALNY Member Posts: 37
    Leaks?

    So if i crank it down to 3PSI and no leaks, i should leave as is, or just re-do  as piping new, and easier to pull apart....cause who wants to deal with a leak a year down the road..lol....
  • ALNYALNY Member Posts: 37
    Leaks?

    So if i crank it down to 3PSI and no leaks, i should leave as is, or just re-do  as piping new, and easier to pull apart....cause who wants to deal with a leak a year down the road..lol....
  • GordoGordo Member Posts: 665
    Unless You Are Steaming Crabs

    or trying to move the building, 8oz/in2 pressure should be enough to heat the building on the coldest day of the year.



    Why does this system need so much pressure? 



    I think you may have other issues besides the leaks.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,349
    edited January 2013
    Once it has started leaking,

    there is a leak path that needs to be fixed. Fix the pressure, then take apart the leaky joints, clean the threads, then use a good joint compound with PTFE tape--that's what most of the pros here use.



    BTW, Megaloc is recommended for steam. I couldn't find any warnings about keeping from freezing. No idea what the problem might be, but I had a pretty bad experience with Rectorseal's PTFE pipe joint compound. I use a similar product made by Oatey and swear by it, but the Rectorseal product was terrible.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 9,661
    edited January 2013
    Megaloc

    When I installed my boiler and gas piping I used 90% Megaloc alone.  Only places I had problems on the gas pipe was where I had to go and buy a fitting, which ended up being a cheap chinese fitting.  Solution was to really crank down on it and it held 40PSI for a week, of course I had to redope it before tightening again.  Yeah I know, who tests a gas line at 40PSI, I'm a homeowner and never did it before and decided if its going to leak I want to know now and I want to hear it.



    On the boiler, all quality threads and WARD fittings got Megaloc alone.  Fittings going into the boiler block as well as into 80+ yr old original fittings I used Megaloc + blue monster tape.  I was originally going to do the Megaloc + tape on every fitting, but we decided the fittings and threads looked so good why bother. 

    Only weird thing I noticed with Megaloc was it seemed to cook and seep from the fittings. Over time this stopped as I guess all of the oil, or whatever was cooked out of it.  No leaks on any steam pipes.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668
    Megaloc

    Megaloc needs to be mixed very well, too. It will separate and get very thin on top when it's new or sits for a while. Using that top skim only will allow leaks.
  • KniggitKniggit Member Posts: 123
    40PSI

    less than 3 years ago my municipality REQUIRED gas tests at 40 PSI, they have backed it down to 20 for now.
  • KniggitKniggit Member Posts: 123
    use it a lot

    The company I work for uses Megalock almost exclusively, we do use the blue monster tape on a few things, but as Jstar said,  the dope needs to be stirred as it separates easily when it sits for a little while.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 9,661
    40PSI

    Really? Thats interesting I had just got frustrated and pumped it up to 40 so I could find a leak by listening. After that I pumped it back up to 40 and left it just for my own piece of mind.



    In this area I was told the inspector wanted to see around 10psi or so and he was happy with that.



    Funny thing was the inspector didn't realize everything was installed by a homeowner (me) until he went to sign the paperwork. I spent a lot of time reading books on code and talked to pros as well to see what was expected.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,349
    Their spec sheet claims otherwise.

    From the product spec sheet (my emphasis):



    "Multi-purpose thread sealant made with DuPontTM KEVLAR® for use on metals including steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, and on plastics including PVC, CPVC and ABS. Leak-free joints can be tested and put into service at once. MEGALOC wipes clean from hands and tools with a dry rag, is odor-free, grit-free, and will not separate or settle. MEGALOC does not harden, crack or become brittle; joints can be disassembled without damage to pipe, fittings, or threads years after the joint was made."
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JeanJean Member Posts: 1
    Megaloc Fail

    I just did 2 jobs , both shower rough valve using Megaloc

    All fail .

    I'm used Megaloc in the past and loved it. It is very easy to use. A kid game.



    The only factors that I can see why it fail:

    -The pot is 12+ month old

    -It stays in my garage in Colorado where temps go below 0



    I'm going to call the company
  • gerry gillgerry gill Member Posts: 2,910
    i use megaloc

    and i like it. i'm thinking something else is at play.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • ALNYALNY Member Posts: 37
    I have gone back to regular good old Grey Pipe Dope, stuff never let me down....
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 11,367
    frustrating, no doubt. Really the thread compound is not much more than a lubrication to keep friction down, the threads "binding" make the seal.

    But with the quality and poor tolerances of todays fittings, more and more the thread compound plays a roll.

    Be careful not to over-tighten, that pulls the thread and compounds the crappy thread issue.

    I've gone back to just teflon tape. I like the Blue Monster, from the same company.

    I have been down this same road with solder flux, a rash of leaks and I switch brands :) Next batch I go back to the previous brand and it works?? must be something in the air.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    I've used Meglock for years. I always used Teflon tape also. Never had any leaks. I've seen some quality guys that didn't like Teflon Tape so they doped both the make and female ends of the fittings.

    I've seen guys tighten up 1/2" Malleable gas fittings until the pig squealed. They crank it up with two 18" pipe wrenches to the shoulder and stretch the fittings. You allow 1/2" for make in, which the malleable fitting is designed for, and crank to the shoulder, which is 3/4" and stretch the fitting so it leaks. Just because you can tighten to the shoulder, doesn't mean that you should. You can tighten a 1/2: Malleable gas ell with Blue Monster and paste by hand, no wrench, and it won't leak.

    Post photo's of those leakers and I'll bet you they are cranked to the shoulder. Try that on a Cast Iron screw fitting, and it will suddenly loosen. And never tighten up. Because its cracked and will leak. With Malleable, they just stretch and leak.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 11,367

    hot rod said:

    frustrating, no doubt. Really the thread compound is not much more than a lubrication to keep friction down, the threads "binding" make the seal.

    There is a tiny passage above the major diameter of the male thread where the fluid can pass. It must make 360 degree circles several times (depending on the thread engagement) before it can escape.

    This is the purpose of the sealant.

    You can be completely in contact on the pitch diameter and properly torqued and it can leak via the aforementioned passage without sealant. A gas will certainly leak. A liquid may or may not leak.
    Different opinions on NPT threads, it really has a lot to do with thread quality related to the tap and die. I think we have all seen npt connections that were made dry or just a lube and they hold fine for years. It a cheap DIYer trick :)

    I agree a sealant is good insurance, and should be used on hydronic and fuel piping NPT connections.

    We still cut NPTF on some of our components. that is a thread commonly used where sealants and not allowed, like hydraulics, for example.
    NPTF thread.png
    989 x 963 - 355K
    Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.36.06 AM.png
    725 x 290 - 83K
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • AlCorelliNYAlCorelliNY Member Posts: 63
    Pro Dope and regular Teflon tape on pipe.
    Blue tape only on pigtails and control piping.
    Pro Dope or Leak Lock on gas and gas controls.
    Al Corelli

  • Larry_52Larry_52 Member Posts: 181
    The best thread sealant for steam is Copaltite, and that is NOT an opinion.
  • Larry_52Larry_52 Member Posts: 181
    edited January 2015
    Off course for wallet conscience indivuals I have always had great luck with permatex #2, gasolia soft set or Tite Seal sealing compound for low pressure steam. Copaltite is to expensive to stock as it goes bad, costs too much and smells like sh%$. But if the thread joint is a disaster and you can't cut new this stuff will absolutelty "seal the deal".
  • JAdamsJAdams Member Posts: 23
    I've not had a problem with Megaloc on any threads. I use Teflon Tape on all water threads, leaving at least the first three threads not taped, then megaloc on the entire fitting. Megaloc only on gas fittings.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Here's how they have said to do it for the last 40 years.

    http://norcal.swagelok.com/blog/bid/88017/Skill-Applying-PTFE-tape-to-tapered-pipe-threads

    Any other form of pipe joint compound put on the tape or inside the threads if the fitting is usually a very fine thing. I've never met the unusual situation where it wasn't.
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,357
    On anything wet, I use tape and dope with great results for decades now. I can even back up a fitting without worry.

    I've read a lot of really good posts from very knowledgeable guys who have proven track records with this or that but I'm reluctant to change because my track record is clean too.

    "If it ain't broke..." applies, at times.
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    On anything wet, I use tape and dope with great results for decades now. I can even back up a fitting without worry.

    I've read a lot of really good posts from very knowledgeable guys who have proven track records with this or that but I'm reluctant to change because my track record is clean too.

    "If it ain't broke..." applies, at times.

    How many "leakers" have you found that you fixed with a few wraps of properly applied tape and joint compound?

  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,357
    I can only remember one leaker that baffled me for too long. It was on an indirect with Euro fitting. Not going to mention brand names but I never used it again.
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 9,661
    I'm still using the can of Megaloc I bought back in 2011. It's stirred thoroughly before each use. Wrap blue monster tape on male threads 3-4 times pulled tight and a small smear of Megaloc = no leaks every time. My opinion is the PTFE tape works better as a sealer but the Megaloc works better as a lubricant. Put the two together and it's guaranteed on steam pipes and water pipes. For gas lines Megaloc alone.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • RobGRobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Larry said:

    The best thread sealant for steam is Copaltite, and that is NOT an opinion.


    That's funny! Of course it's an opinion.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I can only remember one leaker that baffled me for too long. It was on an indirect with Euro fitting. Not going to mention brand names but I never used it again.

    I put in a big blue tank with a boiler on top. The European straight thread fittings leaked like a dried out wooden boat before you soaked it for the season and put it on the water. They had been wrapped with Teflon Tape and Meglock. Doubling up on the tape stopped the leaks for as long as I was around.
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,357
    edited January 2015
    Yeah, that description sounds very similar to my experience : /
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 11,367
    Yeah, straight threads aren't going away. They really are the best, and only connection for a lot of applications.

    The best trick I have learned is to use Loctite. A few drops is all you need, even on ugly ripped threads it generally seals.

    You can get single serving sizes, we send this small tube along with some products.

    The thread needs to be clean and petroleum free, no wrenches need either.

    To disassemble a Loctite joint, carefully warm the connection with a torch and un-screw. See the ball valve disassembly below.

    Before I learned the Loctite method on brass to brass or brass to copper straight pipe connections I used flux, torch, and solder :)

    I recall the very early Spriovents had a tough thread to seal, odd taper and a shallow depth, some modified NPT / Euro attempt perhaps. They seem to work fine now.
    Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 1.27.18 PM.png
    480 x 616 - 478K
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,357
    Do you mean the Euro threads are the best in some applications? Or the best, period? If it's the latter, I hope they share some secrets with us. :) On the above problem job I mentioned, I think they recommended rope and that didn't work.
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 11,367
    In most, how's that for a compromise.

    It does take some time to learn the proper assembly of straight threads for piping, a bit different from assembling a ball valve joint.

    But the NPT throws Euro installers for a loop also. When do you stop turning they ask. With straight thread they stop when the tube is into the fitting and they get the length they need between the fittings.

    When you visit the mechanical supply and hardware stores in Europe it looks like wigs hanging on the wall. It's gobs of hemp for pipe and fitting assembly!

    Maybe in our lifetime press, fusion, who knows what's next for joining pipes.

    I'll also add the union connections for circ pumps is a much nicer method compared to flanges with rusty bolts and nuts.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    "" I'll also add the union connections for circ pumps is a much nicer method compared to flanges with rusty bolts and nuts. ""

    You mean where some throw away the black gaskets provided by the manufacturer in favor of one of those red rubber ones that they stock in every size from 3/4" to 1 1/2" but the only size they have on hand is for 1 1/2" and the rubber doesn't cover the groove where the black gaskets go? And if you need a black gasket for a Taco wet rotor circulator, its a special order to get a minimum of 6?

    Or, why I switched to Wilo. Red rubber gaskets won't fit on a Wilo circulator.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Red Gasket Failures:
    240.JPG
    3648 x 2736 - 3M
    241.JPG
    3648 x 2736 - 2M
  • Larry_52Larry_52 Member Posts: 181
    RobG said:

    Larry said:

    The best thread sealant for steam is Copaltite, and that is NOT an opinion.


    That's funny! Of course it's an opinion.
    Yeah the way its written it is an opinion.

    I would be pretty confident that no one in the residential heating industry even knows what it is. I could go into paragraphs of details & proof, the result being nothing in steam sealants is better than Copaltite. Do your own research and prove me wrong.

  • AlCorelliNYAlCorelliNY Member Posts: 63
    I forgot Expando!
    Make sure you have it the way you want it for the next 100 years!
    Al Corelli

  • RobGRobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Larry said:

    RobG said:

    Larry said:

    The best thread sealant for steam is Copaltite, and that is NOT an opinion.


    That's funny! Of course it's an opinion.
    Yeah the way its written it is an opinion.

    I would be pretty confident that no one in the residential heating industry even knows what it is. I could go into paragraphs of details & proof, the result being nothing in steam sealants is better than Copaltite. Do your own research and prove me wrong.

    At $191.00 a quart I don't think I'll be trying it in this lifetime.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 9,661

    Larry said:

    .

    I would be pretty confident that no one in the residential heating industry even knows what it is.

    I would be pretty confident that no one in the residential heating industry is the slightest bit interested in what it is.
    That wasn't very nice.

    I'm not in the industry, but I'm curious.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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