Appendix A of ANSI/AWWA C151/A21.51, Ductile Iron Pipe, Centrifugally Cast, for Water, contains the minimum metal wall thickness required for 2, 3, and 4 threads for different diameter threaded outlets and different diameter pipe. Information is given for both threads conforming to Standard ANSI/ASME B1.20.1 (a.k.a. National Pipe Thread (NPT), Iron Pipe Thread (IP), or Standard Taper Pipe Thread) and AWWA C800 (a.k.a. Mueller Thread, cc thread, Corp Stop Thread). To assure adequate metal thickness for a particular pipe diameter and Pressure or Thickness Class, it is necessary to subtract the casting tolerance found in the Table in Section 4.4.2 from the Nominal Metal Wall thickness found in Table 1 of ANSI/AWWA C151/A21.51.
Concerning the security of a two engaged threads engagement, the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) conducted a study of ¾-inch and 1-inch corporation stops direct tapped into 6" Pressure Class 350 pipe. The tests were conducted on pipe sections with less than nominal metal wall thickness. After multiple corporation stops were installed in each piece of pipe under city line pressure, the installations were observed for leakage through the threads. The water pressure was then raised to 1,000 psi in an effort to fail the 6" pipe and threaded connection. Leakage was not observed at the threaded connection. These tests were conducted with and without 3-mil thread sealing tape applied to the threads of the corporation stop. The installed corporation stops were then subjected to pull-out and cantilever load tests. In the pull-out tests, the corporation stop failed at loads in excess of 6,500 pounds of force. The pipe threads were undamaged in each of the three tests. In the cantilever load tests, the corporation stops failed at bending moments in excess of 385 foot-pounds of force. Again the threads in the ductile iron pipe wall were undamaged.
It can be clearly seen that work crews can direct tap service connections into Pressure Class Ductile Iron pipe under pressure, effecting structurally secure, watertight seals. It is recommended that two layers of 3-mil thread sealant tape be applied to the corporation stop threads to achieve a watertight service connection using a minimal tightening torque.
The results of this study have been published by the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association under the title Direct Tapping of 6-inch Pressure Class 350 Ductile Iron Pipe and is available through the Web Site http://www.dipra.org.