Acrylic Tubs - Silicone vs Plumbers Putty

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by johnster, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. johnster

    johnster New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    Hello all,

    I have read some people use silicone caulk to seal the top of the waste drain to the tub. To me that sounds kind of crazy. Wouldn't it be impossible to remove that waste drain without ruining the tub? I have seen some so called stainfree plumbers puttys. Do you plumbing pros use silicone or stainfree plumbers putty? I feel like if the tub manufacturer says to use silicone then you will have no warranty on the tub if you use plumbers putty, but I would much rather not glue the drain onto the tub with silicone.

    Also why do we even need to seal the top part of the drain with anything when the bottom part has a rubber washer that is pressed against the bottom of the tub under pressure?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The rubber seal between the tub and shoe is all you need.
    I use stainless putty for the drain.
     
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  4. johnster

    johnster New Member

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    Hi Terry,

    If the tub company claims the warranty will be voided if I used plumbers putty, would I be ok to not use anything at all? Why use plumbers putty if the rubber seal is all that is needed? Thanks!
     
  5. Dayvr

    Dayvr New Member

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    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    I've used both. I like the silicone because sometimes on the one piece integrated sinks and counters i've found that the bottom of the sink outlet isn't always flat. I've had leaks. They are not impossible to get off afterwards. I've used this method in my own house. I think its more personal preference than anything.
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    A bathroom lav with an overflow has large holes below the top part of the drain. Most of the time, when those are leaking, it's the threads where the large rubber washer and nut below the lav are allowing water past. I putty or dope the threads there.
     
  7. johnster

    johnster New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    Hi Terry,

    If the tub company claims the warranty will be voided if I used plumbers putty, would I be ok to not use anything at all? Why use plumbers putty if the rubber seal is all that is needed? Thanks!
     
  8. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    When the newbie overtightens the tub drain, and eggs out the rubber washer underneath, it's good to have a second line of defence.
     
  9. johnster

    johnster New Member

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    Could I install it without the plumbers putty and then fill the tub up and let it drain to test and watch under the tub if it leaks past the rubber washer?
     
  10. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    Of course you can. You can also zip your pants commando in the dark to see if it hurts.
     
  11. Dayvr

    Dayvr New Member

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    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    Believe it or not that face was so far out of plumb and uneven, the rubber washer and nut wouldn't make the seal. I was out of ideas. someone suggested the silicone. It worked and i've been a fan ever since. Any other solutions for that problem? I would have considered an extra washer had i had one.
     
  12. petey999

    petey999 New Member

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  13. petey999

    petey999 New Member

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    Hello all. I went to the oatey website and they have the below posted in their faq section about their stainless plumbers putty and acrylic tubs. Is there another make of stainless putty that is ok to use on acrylic tub drains?



    Can Stain-Free plumber?s putty be used when installing the drain on an Acrylic tub and / or shower unit?
    No. Plumber?s Putties could have an adverse effect on the Acrylic finish similar to the same effect on ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) materials. You should only use 100% silicone for this application.
     

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