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Thread: Plumbers putty use

  1. #1

    Default Plumbers putty use

    I need to attach a PVC trap line to threaded metal fittings at either end,
    and want to use couplings with tighten ing bands.

    Is there any reason not to put a bead of plumbers putty at either end of the
    trap, to create a better seal?

  2. #2
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Plumbers putty is for setting fixtures such as sink drains, water closets, and so on. I would use some "pipe dope" which is a Teflon based paste.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Just to clarify terms. Plumbers' Putty is a clay like product which is used to seal under sink drains and the like. There is a Plumbers' Pipe Dope which is a thick, gooey product that is used to seal threaded joints. Note the different names. Putty vs Dope. Some plumbers use both Teflon tape and dope, others just use one or the other alone.

  4. #4

    Default Plumbers Putty use

    To SewerRatz & Gary Swart--

    Thanks for your replies. I should have explained by issue better. I do know
    the difference between plumbers' putty and dope, and was planning to use
    dope on the threaded metal pipe sections. What I wanted to know was
    whether there was any reason not to use putty on the PVC ends, which are
    not threaded, and will go into the rubber couplings at either end of the trap.

    Thanks in advance for any further advice.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Is there any reason not to use putty on the PVC ends, which are
    not threaded, and will go into the rubber couplings at either end of the trap?
    Yes, it will prevent the rubber coupling from sealing with the pipe.
    When you add clay, it really only dirties the joint.
    Joints should be made with clean pipe.

    The only place I use putty, is for a sink basket or for a sink drain popup drain where it drops down from the bowl, and on the threads just below that on the underside.

    If you have a coupling with a rubber seal, let the rubber do it's job.
    If you are reading on the net about plumbers putty to wash your teeth, find pipes below ground and locating Santa at the North Pole, Don't believe it.

    Last edited by Terry; 01-08-2009 at 01:26 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Plumbers putty use

    Thanks, Terry, for the useful advice, which I will follow.

    I haven't heard about brushing my teeth with plumbers' putty-- but I'm keeping
    my mind open about Santa at the N. Pole-- at least for my childrens' sake.

    Best wishes,

    jzbeaver

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You got to trust me on Santa one.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Putty is only used on tubular connections by people that don't know any better and are too dumb to ask!


  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member WV Hillbilly's Avatar
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    At least you've got to give them credit for doing a neat job putting that putty on . lol

  10. #10
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Putty is only used on tubular connections by people that don't know any better and are too dumb to ask!

    Hey that is a candidate for the pig slop thread.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99k View Post
    Hey that is a candidate for the pig slop thread.
    Not really! It was found on the net posted in a blog by someone that just could not understand why the condo association was demanding that he call a licensed plumber to fix a kitchen sink drain that was leaking into the unit below when he could do such a fine job of fixing it himself.

    I suspect that the fix was short lived and they once again asked him to call a licensed plumber...

    Net photos of pig slop are not eligible for the contest!

  12. #12
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Plumbers putty is for setting fixtures such as sink drains, water closets, and so on. I would use some "pipe dope" which is a Teflon based paste.

    I'm curious what part of a water closet you would use plumbers putty on...

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default putty

    In the 50's and 60's, before wax rings, it was used to set the toilets. The oil in plumber's putty will deteriorate the rubber gaskets, AND the plastic drain pipes. DO NOT use it, or anything else on the joints. If it did anything other than damage them, it would be to make them slipprier and thus more prone to fall apart.

  14. #14

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    I've used plumber's putty in the joins of aluminum eaves troughing with some success. Always wondered how it would hold up in freezing climates.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member gardner's Avatar
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    I can remember learning -- I'm not sure where, probably from my dad or grandfather -- to make a worm of plumbers putty and stick it to the bottom of a toilet where it will rest on the floor to help make it conform to an uneven floor to prevent rocking.

    To date my personal experience with trying this has been that it works only temporarily and that if the forces are there the putty will wind up being displaced and the toilet will rock in the end. I am now a shim convert.

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