Plumbers putty on fiberglass tub?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jwray, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. jwray

    jwray New Member

    Oct 25, 2004
    I found an old post on here that said not to use plumbers putty on a plastic tub as the oils would eat the finish and leave cracks. Use silicone instead.

    I installed a tub drain using plumbers putty to seal the strainer about a month ago. The tub is fiberglass w/ (I think) acrylic gel coat finish. Am I going to have a problem down the road?

    If so how can I clean it off and replace w/ silicone? Also, is this just regular silicon caulk or is there a special silicone putty to use in this case?


  2. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Depending on the quality of the finish of the tub usually has a bearing on what plumber's putty does to the finish. Most times it will yellow the surrounding area of the tub.

    The silicone goes on the same exact method the plumber's putty went on, just don't mess with the excess until an hour later so you don't get that all over the tub.
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  4. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    Use G.E. 100% silicone for tub and bath.
  5. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Jun 16, 2007
    NorthWest PA
    I only use 100% silicone. Some plumber's putty does say it is safe for use on fiberglass, but I find it can dissolve in the water and start to leak. I threw away all my plumber's putty and use the silicone on everything including the kitchen sink. Don't just use any kitchen and bath caulk, only the 100% silicone.

  6. molo

    molo Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    Cold New York
    What is the best way to get it (silicone) off a stainless sink if it was smeared on at installation of the faucet? It is dry now.

  7. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Sep 11, 2004
    Plumbing Contractor
    SF Peninsula
    Next time use this:
    Sta Put® Ultra™
    A unique, professional grade non staining plumber’s putty that is safe for most types of plumbing fixtures and surfaces. Unlike all other plumber’s putty Sta Put Ultra is oil-free and can be used without pre-treatment. This includes natural, porous surfaces such as stone, marble, granite, plastics, rubber, and fiberglass, as well as grout and on manufactured sinks, shower bases, countertops, and other surfaces. Molds easily, remains permanently soft, malleable, and flexible. Sta Put Ultra does not melt, rot, crumble, dry out, or shrink. Easy to clean-up. Does not leave a greasy residue on hands or surfaces. Meets or exceeds Federal Specification A-A-3110 (formerly TT-P-1536A).
    U.S. and foreign patents pending.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2008
  8. MattAlexander

    MattAlexander Plumber

    Jul 20, 2007
    Fresno CA.
    Plumbers putty is fine! You will not have any problems down the road. I have installed litteraly hundreds of fiberglass tubs and have never had a problem with using putty. Maybe 50 years from now the putty will be dried up but until
    the actual seal is disturbed deliberately you will not have a leak. By the way, when and if that ever happens all you have to do is loosen the finish drain with a spud wrench and give it a fresh ring of plumbers putty and tighten it back up. VIOLA.
  9. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Dec 30, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Molo -

    Sucks to be you: a razor blade, a very delicate touch, and a whole lot of patience...
  10. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Jun 18, 2007
    Plumber, self employed
    Licensed Grump
    The ONLY thing plumbers putty should NEVER be used on is granite/marble.
  11. bradak

    bradak New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    is this a marketing ploy or liability issue

    Seems to me there is a lot of mixed feelings on using plumber's putty with acrylic tubs. I called up the manufacturer of acri-tec to find out if I could use plumber's putty on the drain. They said it would be fine. Has anyone ever seen a yellow stained acrylic tub from plumber's putty? Can someone post a photo of it? How about a deteriorated mushy eaten drain hole from the putty? Maybe the plumber putty manufacturer just doesn't want a claim due to a lower quality plastic tub staining. The directions say plastic, not acrylic. There are many different types of plastics out there. Many of them hold oil and others hold acid or caustic. What's your motor oil come in? or your cooking oil? Well, I used it on the acrylic tub drain. I also used it between the overflow abs tub side flange and the tub wall. Silly rubber gasket between overflow shoe/elbow and rough tub fiberglass outside wall wouldn't seal.
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Personally it would be an extremely rare situation where I would use silicone...
  13. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

    Dec 24, 2006
    I use putty except on natural stone surfaces, however I use silicone on shower drains as they are prone to work loose over's just the way I was taught frankly and it works as good as anything else...I don't really understand the need for silicone on basket strainers and such and want to choke the sh8t out of someone when I have to go behind them.:D
  14. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Jul 30, 2008
    Tech. Instructor
    S. Maine
    Silicone, 4" sheetrock screws, duct tape, JB Weld. Four of the most mis-used products in history.

    Silicone should never be used under the drain or for that matter on any part of the drain. Nor should it be used under the faucet unless you plan on ripping out the whole fixture next time you need to service it because sure as hell it ain't coming apart without damaging something. I can't count the number of kitchen faucets I've had to sawzall off the deck because someone siliconed the faucet down.
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    I hate it when people glue down drains and faucets with silicone rtv...
    I'd go postal if I saw someone doing it!:mad:
  16. alek

    alek New Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kensington, MD
    Don't use silicone

    I have never had any leak from any plumbing joint whether solder, plumbers putty on a drain, etc. until my shower drain showed evidence of leaking. I installed 6 years ago following directions on the drain flange and utilized a small bead of silicone caulk....big mistake. I'm now ripping out my drywall ceiling below the drain to replace. I will use the plumbers putty to replace. Never a problem with the putty on all of my sinks in other locations.
    Silicone did not work for me.
  17. djarvis8

    djarvis8 New Member

    Apr 22, 2012
    Rochester, NY

    What if you have to remove it? You won't be able to!

    I've always used Plumber's Puddy without a problem. And it can always be re-applied.
  18. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Retired Industrial Automation controls/tech s
    Long Island, NY
    Now we know you are a real New Yorker and especially a lon gye lander:rolleyes:
  19. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Retired Industrial Automation controls/tech s
    Long Island, NY
    American Bath Factory requires you to use 100% silicone on their Acrastone tubs for the drain flange or the warranty will be void if you use anything else and have a problem; go figure.
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