How to Use Plumber’s Putty for Everyday Plumbing Fixes

Plumber’s putty is one of those products that can instantly broaden your world of DIY household repairs. It is basically a pliable sealing compound that is designed to provide air-tight seals against water leaks in plumbing pipes and fixtures around the house. If you have some issues with things like dripping faucets, leaky drains, and cracked hose lines, Plumber’s putty might be right for you.

Continue reading to learn the best ways to apply this popular and effective plumber’s product to your everyday plumbing fixes.

Indianapolis Plumbing Installation and Repair 317-784-1870
Indianapolis Plumbing Installation and Repair 317-784-1870

Plumbing Putty Basics

Plumber’s putty is a bit outdated for most plumbing repair applications, and nowadays, is often replaced with caulk. However, there are still many areas of plumbing repair and maintenance that are better suited for putty. In fact, it is still a staple in every plumber’s tool bag. The main difference between Plumber’s putty and caulk is that Plumber’s putty is not adhesive. Silicone and similar plumbing caulks are designed with adhesive properties, while putty is not.


So why do plumbing pros still use it? Plumbers still choose to use plumbing putty because it stays soft, which means it does not dry out and crack prematurely. Also, Plumber’s putty can be easily removed and replaced down the line, while caulk and silicone would require extensive scraping and caulk removal. Furthermore, not only is silicone difficult to work with, it does not retain the same amount of density as plumber’s potty, making it a poor choice for wide gaps and holes. Lastly, caulk products take a long time to dry, whereas Plumber’s putty is instantly ready to go, making it the best choice for certain plumbing applications.

Using Plumber’s Putty

There are many applications for plumber’s putty. It can be used on drains, faucets, sink and bathtub fixtures, garden hoses, and more. Plumber’s putty is often a go-to choice for sealing the undersides of sink strainers and pop-up drain fittings. The general rule of thumb is to apply it along the base of plumbing fixtures before setting them into place so that it remains hidden underneath a flange, lip, or edge. Simply follow manufacturer’s instructions to learn how to use it for your intended repair or installation, or refer to the quick guide below!

STEP 1Scoop out a small, ball-sized quantity of Plumber’s putty with your fingers.

STEP 2 Using your palms, roll the putty back and forth until you create a rope or snake-like shape. The diameter of your putty snake should be slightly bigger than the hole you need to fill.

STEP 3Place the putty in your intended seal, working in a continuous circle until you meet back at your starting point. Then tear off any excess ends.

*Putty rope too short? Better to start all over from the beginning.

STEP 4Very gently press down the putty, but only enough to keep it in place when you flip the component upside down. Be very careful not to deform the shape.

STEP 5Install your desired part or fixture and tighten it down all the way. If excess putty squishes out, that is a good sign that you used enough. Wipe away any excess putty.

If You Need the Help of a Licensed Plumber, Don’t Hesitate to Call…

Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc.

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for professional plumbing service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Owner and Master plumber, Mark Weilhammer, is happy to give you free plumbing advice. Our highly trained and licensed plumbers provide a wide range of residential and commercial plumbing services; and as a family owned and operated company since 1901, you can trust us to deliver outstanding workmanship and customer support. Request a free estimate, today.