Plumber’s Putty: What Is It and When Can I Use It?

Plumber Installing Bathtub Drain | Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey

The Ultimate Guide to Plumber’s Putty Use

Do you know what a plumber's secret weapon is? It's the plumber’s putty! Whether you're a seasoned plumber, an enthusiastic DIYer, or just someone needing to fix a minor leak, understanding the magic of plumber’s putty can be a game-changer.

What is Plumber’s Putty?

Plumber’s putty, a staple in the toolbox of every plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey, is a soft, pliable substance primarily used to create watertight seals in areas exposed to unpressurized water. This typically includes parts of sink drains, faucets, and other fixtures where water flows freely but doesn't exert significant pressure on the seal.

Benefits and When to Use Plumber’s Putty

Plumber’s putty is an incredibly useful material in the world of plumbing. Its unique combination of softness, malleability, water resistance, and durability makes it an ideal choice for sealing areas exposed to unpressurized water. Whether you're a professional plumber or a DIY enthusiast, it's a product that deserves a place in your toolbox.


Its remarkable malleability sets plumber’s putty apart from other sealing materials. It can be easily manipulated into any shape or size, allowing it to fit perfectly into various nooks and crannies often encountered in plumbing jobs. This makes it invaluable when dealing with irregular gaps or spaces that standard gaskets or washers cannot adequately seal.

Water Resistant

Another key characteristic of plumber’s putty is its impressive water resistance. Once applied, it forms an effective barrier that prevents water seepage, thereby helping to prevent leaks and potential water damage. Despite this, it remains flexible even after setting. This means that if adjustments need to be made or if the putty needs to be removed, it can be done with relative ease.

Long Lasting

In addition to its functional properties, plumber’s putty is also long-lasting. Unlike other sealants, it doesn't dry out or shrink over time, ensuring that it provides a robust seal for many years.

However, while plumber’s putty is undeniably versatile, it's important to note that it's not suitable for all applications. For instance, it should not be used on porous materials like granite or marble as it can leave stains. Similarly, it's not intended for use in areas exposed to pressurized water, as the pressure can cause the seal to fail.

Properties and Uses of Plumber’s Putty

The beauty of plumber’s putty lies in its properties. It's waterproof and long-lasting, yet remains flexible even after being set, which is crucial for areas with constant vibration or movement like sinks or toilets.

Typically, plumber's putty is used on:

  • Sink strainers
  • Bathtub drains
  • Faucets
  • Toilet bases

If there's a minor leak in your sink drain or the seal around your faucet isn't watertight, plumber's putty can come to the rescue. However, it's always best to contact professionals like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey for major plumbing repairs to ensure a job well done.

Plumber’s Putty for DIY Projects

Plumber's putty is an essential tool for DIY enthusiasts and Vineland homeowners interested in performing minor plumbing tasks. Its primary advantage is its simplicity and ease of use, making it a reliable choice even for those with minimal experience. The putty can be used effectively to seal small leaks, providing a temporary fix until professional help can be sought.

Despite its ease of use, safety precautions must be taken when using plumber's putty. Always wear gloves while handling it to prevent direct contact with the skin, as it may cause irritation. After completing the task, ensure you clean your hands thoroughly to remove any residual putty.

Safety Precautions & Practical Use

When using plumber’s putty, always store it in a cool, dry place out of children's reach. Dispose of any unused material properly. Remember, safety comes first!

Here are some simple steps on how to use plumber’s putty:

Take a small amount of putty and roll it into a thin snake shape.

  • Apply it around the area that needs sealing (like the base of a faucet).
  • Press it firmly into place.
  • Wipe away any excess putty.
  • Let it set before running water.

Plumber’s putty is indeed a handy tool in the plumbing world. But remember, while it's great for minor fixes, nothing beats professional help when it comes to significant plumbing issues. So, next time you have a leaky faucet or a loose sink drain, you'll know what to reach for! Still, for complex tasks or if you're unsure, don't hesitate to call our emergency plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey.

Contact us today and get support for everything from clogged drains to emergency plumbing issues.