Several plumbing projects include plumber’s putty as a required component. Unfortunately, you might not have a plumber’s putty on hand unless you are a plumber or an obsessive DIYer with a cupboard full of plumbing supplies.
You are halfway through installing your faucet when you suddenly realize that the instructions specifically call for a plumber‘s putty. Yes, you could go to the store, but you wanted to finish this without making another trip to the city.
So, you might be wondering, do I need to use the plumber’s putty, or can I get away without using it? The answer to this issue depends on what you are doing. If you want to know if plumber’s putty is necessary for your project, keep reading.
Is Plumber Putty Necessary?
Technically, there are two options for this question: yes and no. It might be required when installing a faucet, but it also might not be. The reason is that some faucets include a gasket or trim ring made of rubber or plastic that fits over the faucet holes in the sink and is close to the faucet deck plate. But, a plumber’s putty sealant for the sink is not necessary for that situation.
A plumber’s putty on the sink drain is your best option if your new faucet does not arrive with a little rubber gasket. It will aid in forming a watertight barrier around the faucet’s base and prevent any unwanted leaks. You may skip doing it and take a chance, but you might as well do it correctly the first time.
Therefore, pick up some plumber putty from the store if you need equipment, such as a basin wrench (excellent for installing faucets). Thus, the installation process will become simple.
Why Use Plumber Putty
One of the fundamental tools in a plumber’s toolbox is plumber putty. This putty maintains its softness for a long time and creates a watertight seal. However, unlike silicone and other types of caulk, putty is not an adhesive. Thus, making it easier to replace any fixtures or drain parts sealed with it in the future. Additionally, silicone is less solid and workable than a plumber’s putty, making it less effective at filling gaps. It also does not require as much drying time as caulk does.
But, when not to use plumber’s putty? Do not use plumber’s putty where you require a waterproof seal or adhesive strength to bind materials or keep them from moving.
How To Use Plumber Putty?
This putty is simple to work with because of its consistency, which is quite similar. Here is everything you will need for this section of your project:
- Plumber putty
- Damp rag
- Dry towel
- Putty knife
Make Putty Rope
With your fingers, remove a ball of putty from the tub. To make a continuous rope, roll the putty back and forth between your open palms (much like making a snake out of Play-Doh). You can make the strand any length you need. But it should have a constant diameter just a bit larger than the opening you need to fill.
Place Putty Rope
Lay the putty rope on the area you wish to seal, working in a continuous loop that circles the place and returns to the beginning point. It is advisable to start over and roll a long rope if the rope is too short; splicing in putty can cause leaks. At the end of the strand, remove any extra putty.
Press Rope Into Place
Without bending the rope, gently force it into position to prevent it from becoming too slack when you turn the item upside down. As soon as you add the component, it will sag. At this point, pressing the putty flat runs the risk of failing to seal against the mating component.
Install the component as necessary. The plumber’s putty sink drain will probably leak out from the edges when you tighten the part; this is beneficial as it indicates that you applied enough putty. Completely tighten it, then use your finger to remove any extra putty. If the leftover putty is clean, you can re-use it in the tub in the future.
How Long Does it Take for Plumbers Putty to Dry?
Contrary to popular opinion, a plumber’s putty will not dry as you believe it will because it does not need time to set. How long should I wait for my putty seal to dry? It is a common question. If you want it to be dry, you will have to wait a while. It does not truly dry like caulk or glue does. So long as you are through with everything else, the faucet should be ready to use after you seal it.
Is Plumber Putty or Silicone Caulk Better?
Sealing materials create a watertight seal for sink drains, showers, faucets, and fittings like silicone caulk and plumber’s putty. So, plumber putty vs. silicone? Both are the best sealants for sink drain due to their waterproof and flexible nature.
As it is pliable, a plumber putty is simple to use. Peel it off and reapply if the placement is incorrect. When you take whatever is sealing off, it is simple to remove and will last a very long time.
It will not hold pieces together or patch up cracks, though, because it is not adhesive. Furthermore, you will have trouble getting it to focus on a surface where gravity is not working in your favor. Additionally, if you need to shut off a big area, you cannot try it.
However, silicone caulk works well for massive surfaces. It fills cracks or splits and works as an adhesive. It becomes significantly harder as it dries and is not prone to breaking or cracking.
So, you might wonder: how to seal a faucet with silicone. Apply silicone caulk around the faucet’s base or the faucet holes above the sink. You have to place the faucet gasket between the sink and the faucet base over the tailpieces.
It might be challenging to remove silicone caulk. To obtain a good seal on the replacement fixture, you will need to remove all of the little pieces of it, which will require some scraping tools. You have to get it correctly the first time because it is difficult to change once applied.
What Can You Use Instead Of Plumber Putty?
Instead of plumber putty, you can use other substitute materials: silicone, adhesive, aquarium putty, plumber chalk, and more.
Can You Use Too Much Plumber Putty?
It is possible to use too much plumber’s putty But it ought to be quite clear that you have overstepped the mark. But do not worry. If you used too much, peel it off and start over, or use a putty knife to remove part of the extra.
Is Plumber Putty Safe For Drinking Water?
Depending on the exact putty in question, the answer varies. Check the label of your plumber putty if you are unsure if it is safe for drinking water. If it expressly bears the NSF certification, it is safe for drinking water. You probably should not use it if you require it for a location where drinking water will be present, and it does not.
Do you use a Plumber putty behind the faucet?
If your instructions specify it, run a bead of plumber’s putty or silicone caulk around the faucet’s base or the faucet holes above the sink.
Now you know whether you need plumber putty for your project or not. With this knowledge, you can undertake many plumbing-related home renovation and maintenance projects yourself.