Gasket Requirements for Potable Water Supply

13 December 2019

Let’s talk about the importance of potable water. Safe to drink, even for infants, clean water supplies keep nations hydrated. The livestock on farms, the vegetables in fields, the taps in your home, they’re all categorized as potable water. This life-sustaining fluid is conditioned, often recycled and filtered, and it’s rarely squandered. Accordingly, it’s imperative that a water-sealing gasket functions as intended, with plenty of leak proofing strength.

Qualities to Look For In Potable Water Gaskets

Consider the nature of the liquid that’s flowing in a utility pipe. To be perfectly honest, the conditioned water isn’t wholly natural, not anymore. Additives have been introduced into the water supply. There’s chlorine in the line, with its disinfecting properties acting as a germ killer. In some communities, they also add fluoride to drinkable water supplies. The chemical additive protects the general public from tooth decay. For that latter additive, there’s some debate over whether the chemicals work, but that’s a matter for those who study such issues. Back with a potable water line, gaskets are installed that won’t weaken when a chlorine-mixed water supply flows.

Leach-Immune Water Fitting Sealants

So far, so good, the chosen gaskets in a potable water supply line can’t be damaged by abrasive water additives. If there are chloramines or ammonia, fluoride or some orthophosphate compound in a hydration line that’s meant for human consumption, then the applied rubber, fibre, or plastic gasketing medium cannot be sensitive to such moderately abrasive chemicals. Next, there’s another issue that can cause consumer concern. Briefly, if the sealing medium contains a chemical base that can be “leached” out of the rubber by a fast-flowing stream or one that’s hot, then this substance is clearly unworkable. To be clear, safe water supplies adhere to the AS/NZ4020 national standards, the NSF/ANSI 61 regulations, and Australia’s own WaterMark certification scheme. All of these rules are rigidly observed by pipe installers and gasket manufacturers.

Unstable elastomers with leach-sensitive plasticizers are clearly not utilizable in water lines or their fittings, not when those chemicals could prove hazardous to someone’s health. Having clarified that point, a few gasket labels are needed to close out this post. EPDM seals are chloramine resistant and hydrolytically stable. Durlon 7910, a branded gasket material, is another likely candidate. Nitriles and elastomers that satisfy the NSF/ANSI 61 standards also fall tidily into this category. Remember, people, livestock, crops, food preparation areas, and general potable water mains supplies all require leach-immune gaskets. To retain that key quality, they also must resist abrasive water supply additives, including chlorine and ammonia.

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