Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

Use Snoop, Goop and SWAK to Keep Fluid Systems in Shape

by Luke Wurban, on Fri, Oct 11, 2019 @ 10:10 AM

Swagelok's leak detectors, lubricants and sealants make for strong connections


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A good fluid system may start with high-quality hardware, but there are a few other tools that help you find leaks and make tight seals. For instance...

Snoop

You don't need a trench coat to be a great detective. All you need is Snoop leak detector. 

The old homemade way to detect leaks was to put some soapy water on the potential leak point. When you saw bubbles, you knew you had a leak — if the leak was big enough. Snoop brings that concept into the 21st century, using ionized water and a special surfactant. It reveals small leaks and low-velocity leaks that soapy water won't catch. It has become so popular that you'll sometimes hear people speak of "Snooping a fitting." 

With another Alberta winter just around the corner, it's also worth noting that Swagelok makes a variation of the formula called Real Cool Snoop. We've added ethylene glycol to the basic Snoop formula, so it will work down to –54°C, even on very small leaks and vertical surfaces. Imagine what would happen if you tried soapy water under those conditions.

Another advantage of Snoop is that it dries clean without staining, and contains a corrosion inhibitor.

Goop

If gulling or seizing is an issue, Swagelok also makes Goop thread lubricants. We have several varieties, depending on which metals and alloys you are using. 

  • Oil-based Silver Goop is the right choice for use on stainless steel and high-temperature alloys. 
  • Blue Goop is also oil based, and can be used on stainless steel, steel, titanium, aluminum, and nickel-based alloys. It contains PTFE and resists water washout.
  • Halocarbon-based Pure Goop is the right choice for titanium, stainless steel, steel, and nickel-based alloys (but not on aluminum or magnesium threads).
  • Vac Goop is a Fluorosilicone-based thread lubricant for use on threads, O‑rings, gaskets, glass seals, and metal parts in vacuum systems.

SWAK

If leaks are an issue when you are working with tapered threads, SWAK and PTFE Tape Pipe Thread Sealant are two essential tools. Our SWAK anaerobic pipe thread sealant cures to a bond that resists vibration, shock, and will not tear or shred upon assembly. These features still allow for low breakaway torque that makes it easy to break connections even after it's fully cured.  If you don't want to use PTFE tape as a pipe thread sealant, SWAK is the way to go.

Usually it's a matter of personal preference, as both SWAK and PTFE tape have similar temperature ratings and applications, and can provide a reliable seal. But SWAK is not compatible with some fluids and materials such as halogens, freon, and high concentrations of strong acids or bases. Make sure to get the specifics from Edmonton Valve & Fitting. 

We have a catalogue featuring all of our leak detectors, lubricants and sealants. Just click here.  If you'd prefer, we also offer personalized leak detection services for all fluid system assemblies. Still have questions and want to talk to somebody over the phone about your specific issues and applications? Simply give us a call at 780-437-0640, or send us a message through the link below to learn more about our products and services.

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