Silicone or plumbers putty?

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joeriley2005

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I'm installing my new drain kit to my new shower pan and the instructions say to put silicone between the drain and the pan. I've always used plumbers putty but I should I use silicone in this case since the instructions call it out?

What do the plumbers prefer?

thanks
 

Terry

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Putty can dry out over time, and then the drain will be loose.

jackrabbit-07.jpg


A replacement shower drain.

Putty for tub drains. The seal with the rubber washer under the tub anyway.

tub-drain-leak-04.jpg
 
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hj

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For that application, I use silicone, but be sure NOT to get it on the strainer's threads, because it could keep it from tightening properly. Plumber's putty often begins to leak and usually it is difficult to get to the nut to loosen it and reset the drain.
 

Belmondo

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So where do you guys still use putty? I've used it for seating stainless drop in sinks, as per directions, but I think I saw a plumber on a home improvement show use silicone there too. What about the basket on that sink?
 

hj

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Around the sink, I use "tub and tile sealant", NOT putty or silicone. The basket strainers, depending on the brand, I use plumber's putty, although some do NOT require anything other than the rubber seal.
 
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Travis Harrington

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So where do you guys still use putty? I've used it for seating stainless drop in sinks, as per directions, but I think I saw a plumber on a home improvement show use silicone there too. What about the basket on that sink?
So, after doing an insane amount of sink plumbing installs...both in the kitchen and bathrooms, I seemed to gravitate and prefer plumbers putty every time. Until this happened.... I became a project manager for 340 apartment remodels. We installed new granite, sinks, faucets, drains, etc. After numerous issues with the drains sealing correctly and leaking after using putty, we kept training bc we thought it was an issue with installation instead of a material issue: putty/silicone. We kept having leaky sinks. I couldn’t understand and then tried to teach with failures after using putty. Never had this happen. It was discovered that with some poorly manufactured porcelain vanity sinks, either the top part of the sink where the drain was installed was irregular and not flat, or underneath the sink where the lower part of the drain was to be tightened could still have small voids between the cone washer was tighter at some areas and not others. Either drain piece wasn’t flush with the poorly shaped part of the sink where the drain was to be attached. Sometimes the bottom of some sinks were so poorly shaped and no matter how tight you tightened the nut against the cone washer to seal the bottom, the uneven shape still allowed leak issues. I was always a putty advocate until I realized that there may be thicker and thinner areas between the drain and the sink because of irregularity of the surfaces during fabrication. When you use putty and the surfaces are even as you tighten down the putty compresses and squeezes out evenly for a good seal. If the two surfaces are uneven, the putty will be squeezed out unevenly at times as you attempt to tighten leaving larger spaces with too little putty. This happened with my project. The only thing that finally worked. Seal well with silicone. The only downside was having to let it dry before finalizing the drain install. That’s why plumbers prefer putty. You can continue the work with 0 dry time. Besides that benefit, silicone is much better in every other way. Especially a seal between plastics. Hope I helped!
 

DaveC1

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Been having trouble getting my kitchen basket to seal using plumbers putty....I need to redo it about every 3-4 months. Based on this discussion, I will try silicone....please comment if you have any thoughts...best regards, Dave

sink-basket-with-silicone.jpg
 
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