What to Do – And Not Do – When Installing A Gasket

When you order gaskets from a custom gasket manufacturer or any other source, they’re only going to perform as well as the installation job that puts them in place. Even the best-designed custom gasket will fail if it’s improperly installed – and a gasket failure can be very costly indeed. This is a situation where the installation simply needs to be done right the first time, every time.

So, here are some important tips on how to properly install a gasket – and what not to do, even if it seems tempting.

Three Must-Dos When Installing A Custom Gasket

1 – Always thoroughly clean the mating faces.

To get the best seal from your gasket, it should be applied to surfaces that are as clean as reasonably possible. Unless the mating faces are fresh off the assembly line, they should always get an appropriate cleaning to ensure a strong seal.

2 – Check flange condition

Flanges should be flat and parallel. Large nicks, deformations, and other major surface imperfections cannot be overcome by any gasket. Poor flanges should be either resurfaced or replaced.

3 – Tighten any bolts in a sequence.

For best fit, the bolts holding the gasket shouldn’t merely be each tightened in turn. Instead, work with opposite pairs – for example, top/bottom then left/right. Do at least three passes, tightening each bolt a bit more with each pass. This creates the best seal.

Three Gasket Installation Mistakes to Avoid

1 – Never reuse old gaskets.

An old gasket can never be relied on.  It’s already compromised and guaranteed to fail in an unpredictable fashion.  Remember, new gaskets are less costly than leaks.

2 – Never stack multiple gaskets together.

Never put two or more gaskets stacked together to try to correct poorly aligned flanges. Gaskets are not spacers, and overly thick gaskets are not the answer to correcting this problem. Contact your gasket specialist for help with this situation.

3 – Don’t over-tighten rubber gaskets.

Rubber gaskets that are over-tightened are more likely to fail, as this increases the pressure, they’re under.  This is one reason that you should tighten the bolts in sequence, as mentioned above, to avoid putting too much pressure on any part of the gasket.

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