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What Does Plumber’s Putty Usually Do?

Nov 29,2023 | Kitchen, Bathroom, Bathtub, Shower Faucet - Wovier

Plumber's putty is a pliable substance used to create seals around faucets and drains. It is a fundamental tool for plumbers, commonly employed when replacing plumbing fixtures. Plumber's putty should not be confused with Teflon tape, which is utilized for sealing threaded pipe joints.

As is well known, different plumbing brands often use varied ingredients in their putty formulations. Many putties have clay as a base component, with linseed oil being a common additive. Other formulations may include limestone, a blend of fish oils, or talc.

Plumber's putty is primarily employed during the installation of faucets and drains. Due to its long-lasting pliability, it is a suitable choice for situations where a watertight yet reversible seal is preferred. A bead of putty can be placed around the base of a faucet before attaching it to the sink, with excess putty wiped away. The function of the putty is to create a seal between the two, preventing water seepage.

In addition to creating seals for faucets and drains, plumber's putty is sometimes used in sink installations. A line of putty is applied to the area surrounding the insert for the sink body. The sink's lip rests on the edges of the insert after it is slipped into place, forming a tight bond between the countertop and sink that prevents water from seeping beneath the counter. However, not all plumbers recommend using putty to seal sinks, as it may not provide a secure enough seal.

Plumber's putty maintains its soft and pliable consistency for a relatively long period, so it should not be used to seal pipes or fixtures under water pressure. In such cases, Teflon tape or liquid pipe compound is recommended. In some situations, silicone caulk may be a better choice, especially if the sink is made of silicone.

Homeowners can purchase plumber's putty at hardware stores, home improvement stores, and any discount retail store that caters to the needs of professional plumbers as well as homeowners undertaking DIY bathroom or kitchen projects. This inexpensive putty enhances the quality of plumbing work while reducing the potential for leaks.