Ever wondered what plumbers putty is or how to use it? If you answered yes to this question, you’re not alone. Once you understand what the putty is, you can learn how to use it and get the greatest benefit from it.
According to Wikipedia, it’s a special type of putty that is used for plumbing and sealant. Since it’s a pliable substance, you can use it to create watertight seals around drains and faucets. You’ll find that most plumbers carry the putty within their standard toolkit.
The putty is commonly used to fix plumbing fixtures but can be used for a variety of other purposes. It can be created in several different varieties, depending on what it’s intended to be used for.
Some formulations might contain powdered clay while others have linseed oil. There are also formulations that contain fish oil, talc or limestone, and it’s not uncommon for epoxy and RTV silicone sealants to be used instead of epoxy.
How to Perform Repairs with Plumbers Putty
Despite the name, this putty isn’t only for plumbers, so you can use it to perform your own DIY plumbing repairs at home. Most homeowners use it to seal the space between countertops and faucets.
However, it might also be used during the setting process for tub and sink drains. Since it’s a watertight material, it works very well for sealing gaps. Keep in mind that it’s also a soft material, so you should avoid using it in areas where high pressure is involved.
Pro Tip: Don’t use the putty on granite or marble surfaces because it will stain the material.
Installing Plumbers Putty
If you’re ready to install the product, go ahead and pinch off a good amount of the material. You can roll and knead it to shape the material in a snake-like design. For faucets, just position the snake-like putty around the base of the faucet.
You can also install it around the drain lip, which should happen before the lip is pushed into the sink. Depending on the size of your sink, there could be a rather large gap in the drain area, so you’ll need to make sure that you roll enough of the putty to fill the void.
Where to Use It
It’s pointless to know how to use the product while not knowing where to use it. In almost every situation, plumbers putty is designed to be used at the base of your sink fixture. The putty should be applied before the sink is set.
It’s also quite common for the putty to be used on pop-up drains and basket strainers. It’s a great product for kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures, and it can even be used for tub drains.
What You Shouldn’t Use Putty On
Now that you know what you CAN use it on – it’s useful to know what applications you should avoid using the putty for. Unfortunately, a lot of people mistake the putty for a different type of plumbing material.
For starters, you should never use the putty for applications that involve high water pressure.
You should avoid using it to seal a space between a wall and sink. It should never be used as a form of cement to hold together plastic thread-less pipes. You also shouldn’t use it to seal joints between plastic and metal threaded pipes.
There are several other products that will work perfectly for these applications. If you don’t already own some plumbers putty, you can find it at almost any hardware store, and it’s an excellent product to keep in the garage.