Made mistake - plumber's putty on ABS tub drain threads - fix advice

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So back in July last year (2022) I installed an American Standard deep soak bath drain. I was in a hurry as we were trying to get walls closed up in the baths. I now realize that the drain assembly was ABS. Don't know why I thought it wasn't as it was black. Anyway I used the Stain-Free Oatey plumber's putty on three threads, one the tailpiece and then the overflow slip joint and drain slip joint. (see pic) I now realize I should've used a silicone product.

Anyway, it's now been a year and I can actually get at the tub drain with a cut in the sheetrock from the room on the other side, luckily hidden by entertainment console. My main question, is it possible for the plumber's putty to have already damaged the threads/ABS and should I get replacement parts? Or can I just clean off the putty thoroughly and reassemble with a silicone caulk?

I'm assuming I should fix this as the rule about ABS and even the stain free putty?

And to go even further, I now see why I should have modified the tub drain to be a glue joint PVC but didn't realize that at the time. Plus getting to the drain in the foundation was a bear. But I could get to it I suppose if I do this whole open up the wall.

Thanks for any advice and I won't make this mistake again as I plan on never doing a tub again, lol.
RH in Austin
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Breplum

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Since Oatey says:
  • Not intended for use on ABS
nobody is gonna say it is fine.
Slip joint waste and overflows should always have permanent access panel as per UPC.
Slip joints need NO sealant of any kind, ever.
If no access panel, use glue joint W/O.
The threaded tailpiece below the tee needs compatible joint compound.
My guess is that you had a tubular black poly w/o, not ABS
 

Eman85

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My disclaimer is I' not a plumber. The joints you have arrows to are slip joints that use a gasket/seal and don't require sealer. The one place I know they don't recommend plumbers putty is the drain to an acrylic tub/shower.
 

Daniel Collick

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My disclaimer is I' not a plumber. The joints you have arrows to are slip joints that use a gasket/seal and don't require sealer. The one place I know they don't recommend plumbers putty is the drain to an acrylic tub/shower.
I know some people still use putty, but my preference is 100% silicone. And, yes, slip-joint type connections, at least in our area, are not allowed unless accessible. “Blind-setting” tubs on a slab is challenging, but we still use glue type waste & overflow kits with silicone applied in between the drain fitting and the tub.
 
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Since Oatey says:
  • Not intended for use on ABS
nobody is gonna say it is fine.
Slip joint waste and overflows should always have permanent access panel as per UPC.
Slip joints need NO sealant of any kind, ever.
If no access panel, use glue joint W/O.
The threaded tailpiece below the tee needs compatible joint compound.
My guess is that you had a tubular black poly w/o, not ABS
It actually is ABS which I later found in the manufacturer cut sheet but it wasn't listed in the install instructions. It kinda sucks that American Standard has this 'deep soak' overflow option and it's a nice looking drain cover but they only sell it in a slip joint style.
I knew slip joints don't need any sealant but I was just trying to 'beef' it up a little. And obviously didn't know about the inaccessible part and just went back with what was there.

I can attempt to get at the drain top in the foundation and rework the connection and I could cut off the slip joint transition and use a Fernco to sch 40 PVC. That'll be a bear now with the tub and working through the wall but guess I should've checked. Really I didn't even think about using a Fernco but now see that would've been easy. Oh well.

My first question is still out there, is there possible damage to the ABS plastic in just a year from the stain-free putty? If I decide to put the access panel in place and clean up the putty, and keep the existing slip joint drain, am I ok?
Thanks!

PXL_20220722_223903395.jpg
 
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Daniel Collick

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It actually is ABS which I later found in the manufacturer cut sheet but it wasn't listed in the install instructions. It kinda sucks that American Standard has this 'deep soak' overflow option and it's a nice looking drain cover but they only sell it in a slip joint style.
I knew slip joints don't need any sealant but I was just trying to 'beef' it up a little. And obviously didn't know about the inaccessible part and just went back with what was there.

I can attempt to get at the drain top in the foundation and rework the connection and I could cut off the slip joint transition and use a Fernco to sch 40 PVC. That'll be a bear now with the tub and working through the wall but guess I should've checked. Really I didn't even think about using a Fernco but now see that would've been easy. Oh well.

My first question is still out there, is there possible damage to the ABS plastic in just a year from the stain-free putty? If I decide to put the access panel in place and clean up the putty, and keep the existing slip joint drain, am I ok?
Thanks!

View attachment 93374
Damage? Probably not. I could see putty really making it hard to get the ideal uniform contact from a tight slip joint seal that we usually achieve with no compounds and just hand tightening, no more than a 1/4 turn if necessary with a wrench because you’ll risk stripping out a plastic slip joint nut.
 
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