Bathroom p-trap nut with plumbers putty?

Users who are viewing this thread

Dermochelys

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
I've a very novice DIYer, but trying to make some home improvements were and when I can. Thinking about putting in a new faucet and stopper for the bathroom sink, I discovered what looks to be plumbers putty around the compression nut on the p-trap. There's no leak, but this doesn't look right to me and I know the previous owner probably did this when they installed the vanity back in 2009. Not knowing, I was curious if the nut is attaching the p-trap to a type of waste pipe fitting the p-trap nut is not supposed to be used with. Is that the case?

Is this a ticking time bomb that's just bound to fail?
Is this a proper thing to do (perhaps an outdated method)?
Should I fix this ASAP?

Searching online I couldn't find anything similar.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you for reading.

Note: The other bathroom's drain is done in exactly the same way, making me think both were installed like this at the same time by the same person.
 

Attachments

  • 0818212222.jpg
    0818212222.jpg
    46.8 KB · Views: 601

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,942
Reaction score
3,462
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
Plumbers putty does nothing for that. It's a compression seal at the swivel and a slip joint seal for the others.
Not hurting anything, but also not helping anything.
 

Dermochelys

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Plumbers putty does nothing for that. It's a compression seal at the swivel and a slip joint seal for the others.
Not hurting anything, but also not helping anything.

Wow, that was fast, thank you so much!

So, if I have to remove the p-trap for any reason, I won't have to totally rebuild this? Just tighten up the swivel like normal and call it good (assuming no leaks)?

Thanks so much!
 

Dermochelys

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
More than likely the putty will have"welded the nut so it will NOT unscrew.

Hmm, I hope that's not the case. Luckily I have no urgent need to remove the p-trap. If it ends up that I do replace anything, I'll be sure to test the nut before starting up a project. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Hightechburrito

New Member
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Points
3
Location
Fremont CA
Is everything else glued but the connection between the waste arm and the trap?

With no way to adjust the position of the waste arm, it might not be well aligned to the trap, which could result in the seal between those parts not mating correctly, which would result in a slow drip, drip, drip of water through that joint. Rather than fixing the cause, the previous owner stuffed some plumber's putty in there to stop the leak.

I've found that tightening the joint between the waste arm and trap first ensures that the seal there is properly aligned. The other seals usually have a nylon or rubber washer that's more forgiving of any misalignment.
 

Dermochelys

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Is everything else glued but the connection between the waste arm and the trap?

With no way to adjust the position of the waste arm, it might not be well aligned to the trap, which could result in the seal between those parts not mating correctly, which would result in a slow drip, drip, drip of water through that joint. Rather than fixing the cause, the previous owner stuffed some plumber's putty in there to stop the leak.

I've found that tightening the joint between the waste arm and trap first ensures that the seal there is properly aligned. The other seals usually have a nylon or rubber washer that's more forgiving of any misalignment.

It appears that all of the waste arm section is glued together, than everything going upstream from the start of the p-trap has the compression fittings.

I haven't had any leaks so far, but then again I haven't messed with this at all. I was just curious as if I go to replace the sink drains / stoppers when I put in new faucets if I'd be in a world of hurt trying to get the p-trap out and putting everything back together again.

I will say everything at least appears from the outside to be well lined up in both bathrooms, other than the control arm for the stopper...that's off to the side because the water valve is directly in line below the hole for it in the faucet. It works, but is a little wonky.

I wouldn't be surprised if the putty was put in as a way to stop a small leak, or the thought was it might prevent future leaking.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,259
Reaction score
4,533
Points
113
Location
IL
Plumber's putty should stay soft within limits. If you can't readily dent that stuff with a screwdriver, it is probably something other than plumber's putty.

I am wondering if you could, if the need arises, cut that area of pipe as close to the wall as practical, and glue on a trap adapter. Then get a 1-1/2 inch slip joint p-trap.

If that is a 2 inch pipe, you would leave at least 2.4 inches for the trap adapter to glue onto. If nominal 1.5 pipe, then leave 1.95 inches to cement onto.

So yellow ring represents where you would cut (not to scale).
 

Attachments

  • img_2.jpg
    img_2.jpg
    13.6 KB · Views: 515
Last edited:

Dermochelys

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Plumber's putty should stay soft within limits. If you can't readily dent that stuff with a screwdriver, it is probably something other than plumber's putty.

I am wondering if you could, if the need arises, cut that area of pipe as close to the wall as practical, and glue on a trap adapter. Then get a 1-1/2 inch slip joint p-trap.

If that is a 2 inch pipe, you would leave at least 2.4 inches for the trap adapter to glue onto. If nominal 1.5 pipe, then leave 1.95 inches to cement onto.

So yellow ring represents where you would cut (not to scale).

Pretty sure it's putty, I can press my fingernail into it and it leaves a little mark / I can chip a little away with my fingernail. It's for sure not glue or silicone.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,259
Reaction score
4,533
Points
113
Location
IL
Pretty sure it's putty, I can press my fingernail into it and it leaves a little mark / I can chip a little away with my fingernail. It's for sure not glue or silicone.
In that case, I suspect you could unscrew that nut with persistence and a big water-pump (Channellock) pliers.

But leave it for now, as you said.
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
4,543
Reaction score
1,445
Points
113
Location
Iowa
The washers on ptrap assemblies are to be replaced every time the ptrap is taken apart. Take this opportunity to get some newer silicone based washers they make much better seals and are more forgiving. I just installed 96 ptrap's using them and not one drip.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks