Plumbers putty use

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jzbeaver, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. jzbeaver

    jzbeaver New Member

    Messages:
    3
    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. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    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. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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. jzbeaver

    jzbeaver New Member

    Messages:
    3
    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. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,010
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    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.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  6. jzbeaver

    jzbeaver New Member

    Messages:
    3
    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. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,010
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You got to trust me on Santa one.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Putty is only used on tubular connections by people that don't know any better and are too dumb to ask!

    [​IMG]
  9. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    At least you've got to give them credit for doing a neat job putting that putty on . lol
  10. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Hey that is a candidate for the pig slop thread.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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...:eek:

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

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio

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

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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. bob_555

    bob_555 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    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. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    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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