Do I Need Plumber’s Putty for a Sink Drain?


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Do I Need Plumber’s Putty For A Sink Drain?



Ever wondered how and why the water running through the sink doesn’t leak? Normally most people don’t bother about this because the plumber fixes any issue relating to plumbing when it arises. Water leakage is a common issue in the area of plumbing, the plumber’s putty is one of the most important items in the plumber’s toolkit.

This article tends to enlighten you on the general knowledge of the plumber’s putty, it’s basic importance and how it works. So whenever there is any issue relating to water leaking from the sink, you might just know the cause and possible solution.

What is plumber’s putty?

The plumber’s putty strong material that serves as a sealant in plumbing to make watertight seals around plumbing joints and drains. The plumber putty is soft and always wet, it only gets dry when it is old or out of use. The putty is mostly made of clay and very easy to work with, when the putty is used properly, it can provide 100 percent waterproof sealing. The plumber’s putty could last 10-15 years before it gets dry. Any clay-like material found under an old faucet body is that is dried and old plumber’s putty due for replacement.

The importance of plumber’s putty.

The plumbers work with the putty because it remains soft for a long time in sealing the joints to prevent water from leaking, this makes the putty stand above the silicone and other types of caulk. The silicone is not as strong or solid as the plumber’s putty when it comes to functioning as a sealant. The silicone cannot perform heavy duty like the putty in matters of plumbing. The putty is important to the plumbers because it does not need time to dry, unlike the caulk.

What is the use of plumber’s putty?

Due to the soft nature of the putty, it cannot be used in areas where the water pressure is high. But the soft nature of the putty has an advantage, any person can remove and restructure the putty following his requirements before it dries.

The plumber’s putty is applied to all joints and fittings to improve waterproofing and to stop any leakage. The plumbers basically use the putty to seal the gap between the pipes and the top surface to ensure that all leaks are sealed. 

The plumber’s putty can also be used under the sink strainers, pop up drains and fittings meant for sink, toilets, leakage and, tub. So, this answers the question that the plumber’s putty can be used for a sink drain cleaning.

How to use a plumber putty.

The soft texture of the plumber’s putty makes it easy to be used by a plumber or an enthusiast, the plumber putty is an inexpensive material sold in small plastic tubs from most hardware shops. The putty is always molded or shaped by hand before it can be applied to plumbing parts. 

The basic steps on how to use the plumber putty are highlighted below.

  1. While using putty on the sink, a little bit of the putty should be applied around the sink so that it can act as a watertight barrier for solid performance. 
  2. The putty must be robbed between the palms to create a continuous rope. You can make the rope at any length you want but it must be slightly larger than the gap you want to fill it in.
  3. The putty should be laid on the part you want to seal but if the rope is too small, you will have to start again and roll a longer rope. 
  4. Cut out the excess rope not needed
  5. Now you press the rope gently without changing it forms so that it can seal the mating part completely.
  6. Install the part as required and tighten the part all the way. Wipe away the excess putty that occurred as a result of being squeezed outside the edges.

A plumber must not be applied if the countertop is granite or full of loopholes. If you seal the sink properly it will be impossible for water to escape. The plumber’s putty must always be applied at the bottom of the sink and the sink must be placed with all the pressure on the countertop.


Tips for using plumber’s putty.

Even though the putty is better than the silicone and caulk in several situations, the plumber’s putty cannot stand as a solution in all areas. The plumber’s putty must not be used as a bond to prevent materials from moving.

Below are the basic tips of the plumber’s putty and when a putty should not be applied.

  1. The tub in which the putty is kept must be sealed tightly so that it can last long. Although, the putty in the tub eventually dries it will take years.
  2. The label on the plumber’s putty must be read before applying on any porous surface. The plumber’s putty is petroleum-based and tends to stain some materials like granite. Therefore, the direction on the container of the putty will let you know the right surface to apply it.
  3. Plumber’s putty is generally flexible and easy to roll, once a putty becomes hard to roll or it cracks, it means it is too old or it is dried up.
  4. Plumber’s putty must not be used to seal joints on threaded parts.
  5. Plumber’s putty should not be used to bond plastic pipes without thread.
  6. It must not be used to seal the space between a sink and the wall behind it.



Every plumbing activity must be sealed to prevent any water which could cause damage. The longer drying time of the plumber’s putty simply means that it is waterproof. However, it is impractical to use it in pipes that withstand a large amount of water pressure.

By now, I hope you must have understood the advantage and setbacks of the plumber’s putty and the best way to utilize it.

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