Why plumbers putty on base of toilet??

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by stash, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. stash

    stash New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I know this may be a strange question but here it goes. Why do you put plumbers putter around the base of the toilet when you install it? I think if there was a leak around the wax ring and the plumbers putty was used it would seal in the water and cause the floor to rot around it. Without the putty the water would come out from the base of the toilet and you can then see the leak and fix it. Comments?? Thanks Stan
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That's why in some areas, the inspectors insist that you don't seal all the way around the bowl.

    Trapped water under the bowl can cause rot.
    I don't use plumbers putty either.
    It has oils that will discolor some floors.

    I prefer something like PolySeamSeal.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2005
  3. PlumberWannabeJr

    PlumberWannabeJr New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I agree with Terry

    Terry is right. I read from books that you may want to leave behind unsealed, just in case there is water leakage down below.
  4. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    grout

    I found that toilet manufacturers don't make toilet bowls that won't wobble and when you couple that with a ceramic floor that's hard to get perfectly level, you do have to shim and grout, not calk, to make the setting of the toilet solid. I prefer to come close to the color of the grout in the tile.
  5. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    can't get the wobble out? I loosen the bolts, jam pennies around different points that can fit them and cinch the toilet down again, works every single time... and I sometimes leave them uncaulked, sometimes the owner specifically asks for none...

    I've never put plumbers putty under there!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2005
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

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    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    plumber1

    Who uses plumbers putty?
  7. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't know, who uses plumbers putty? I might have commented on that from Stan's original post... :eek:
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    wobble

    Pennies are temporary unless you grout right away.
    If you want a good finished job I think you should grout and not calk, unless it's a job that gets inspected and is required.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,623
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    putty

    "Decades" ago plumber's putty was used to set the toilets, like the wax rings are used now. But even then the putty was not used to seal around the base of the toilet. It does not bond to the toilet and floor, nor does it harden up within any reasonable time, so it will not prevent "wiggles". It can stain the floor and will discolor over time.
    [​IMG]
    Here, the inspectors specifically look at the bottom rear of the toilet to be sure that spot was not left uncaulked.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2012
  10. RBrown

    RBrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Putty

    My plumber used putty instead of a wax ring to set my Champion toilet. So far so good.
  11. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    putty

    Putty will do in a pinch.
    But what plumber won't have wax rings on the truck?
    I think that you were short changed.
  12. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    CT
    Often a bead of putty on top of the wax ring will be used to ensure a good seal. This is different from using it to set the base of the toilet.
  13. Snowman

    Snowman New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    FLORIDA
    BINGO!! I learn things everyday on this forum. Never thought of that... Thanks,
    Regards, Tom :)
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,001
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Wax is supposed stick to the bottom of the toilet. That's why they don't glaze the bottom of toilets.
    I don't really see why wax wouldn't be used, since it does such a good job of sticking to the toilet.
  15. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    putty

    Putty certainly won't help and will hinder a good seal.
    I would never do that.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,623
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    seal

    IF the gap between the toilet and flange is the correct distance, then using putty will not accomplish anything and may defeat the purpose of the wax seal. It will not adhere to the toilet and the oil in it will prevent it from sticking to the wax. When the toilet is placed in position, the putty will either spread out if it is soft enough, or indent the wax if it has slightly hardened. But in either case, the amount of material between the flange and toilet will be the same, regardless of what that material is.
  17. Snowman

    Snowman New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    FLORIDA
    OK.............. cancel the tip about using putty on the wax ring. Thanks..... :)
  18. I am constantly pulling up old toilets in my area where plumber's putty was used under the toilet as a rule, not the exception. I always use wax rings without the horn built into the ring.
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    OK, what IS the correct distance?

    Does this "correct distance" vary with the toilet, wax ring, etc.?
  20. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    putty

    If you need more thickness, just reach down and pinch the seal to make it stand a little taller or take a second seal and slice off as much as you need.

    You need some excess wax.............
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