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Can Plumber’s Putty Stop a Leak?

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Have you ever come across a leak in the bathroom or kitchen and freaked out because you have no idea how to fix it? Well, this is the right place to learn.

Plumber’s putty is the most common sealant used in plumbing, but can it really stop a leak?

Plumber’s putty is commonly used for making watertight seals in the sink drains and flanges. However, there are certain areas where putty may not be able to work effectively.

It’s one of those circumstances where the plumber’s putty becomes insufficient to stop the leak and you need something else. Therefore, it’s important to know how and where to use the plumber’s putty.

Before we move on to where and how to use the plumber’s putty, let’s find out whether or not the it can stop a leak.

Can Plumber’s Putty Stop a Leak?

Plumber’s putty is an excellent sealant for waterproofing faucets, sink drains, and bathtubs. It can stop a leak; however, there are a few limitations that are necessary to understand before the application.

Since a single type of sealant doesn’t work for every type of leak in the plumbing fixtures it’s important to understand what plumber’s putty is and how it works.

If you’re concerned about fixing the leak in the kitchen or bathroom, it surely could help in this regard depending upon the nature of the problem. All you need is to know whether or not the plumber’s putty is the right sealant for the job.

We’ll dig deep into the details to help educate you on using plumber’s putty so that you can learn where and how to use it effectively.

Where to Use Plumber’s Putty

You may know there are various sealants out there and every sealant isn’t ideal for all the plumbing issues.

Plumber’s putty is an excellent waterproofing sealant for bathtubs, faucets, sinks, and flanges. It comes in handy when there is a leak in the bathroom or kitchen. However, it doesn’t work in every situation. Instead, it’s only effective when used internally.

It’s essential to knead and rolled the putty before the installation for fixing the leak in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.

One of the perks of using the plumber’s putty to seal the leaking sink or faucet is that it’s easily removable. If something goes wrong with the plumbing fixture installation and you need to do some alteration or adjustment in the installation, it won’t be a problem. The putty remains soft for several weeks and comes off easily due to its pliability.

Where Not to Use Plumber’s Putty

You might not want to apply the putty in the bathtub or swimming pool since it doesn’t work underwater. Instead, go for one of these 5 plumber’s putty alternatives.

The experts don’t recommend using a plumber’s putty on the exposed parts or areas. It works best when applied internally. Unlike silicone which works fine underwater or in exposed areas.

Furthermore, if you need to make a seal that has to be pressure-resistant, then putty might not be an ideal sealant for this. You must know that the plumber’s putty doesn’t have a strong adhesive power to withstand pressure.

How to Use Plumber’s Putty Correctly

Have you ever wondered how to use plumber’s putty? It’s okay if you haven’t had a chance to learn how to use the putty. Here is the step-by-step guide!

1. Clean the surface before the application

Once you get your hands on the plumber’s putty jar, don’t rush to apply it right away. Instead, start with cleaning the surface where you’re going to apply the putty. You don’t need any fancy chemical to scrub the surface. All you need is a wet paper towel or a wet cloth to clean the surface.

If you ignore this step and start applying the putty, then debris or previously applied putty might be buried under the fresh putty, which isn’t the best way to do this. After a little bit of groundwork, the surface would be all set for the putty application.

2. Roll the putty with your palms

Before grabbing the putty jar, try warming your hands by rubbing them together. The friction would warm up your palms. Now take a small chunk of putty from its jar and roll it between your palms to soften it.

Keep rolling the putty until it becomes a thin rope after a few minutes or so. The plumber’s putty would become soft. Thus, it’s pretty much ready for the application.

3. Apply the putty rope on the fixture

The next up is a putty application on the plumbing fixture. Grab that putty rope and press it gently into the ring similar to the size of the fixture where putty is being applied.

Make sure that you’ve pressed the plumber’s putty ring against the faucet or pipe joint (or wherever it’s being applied) so that the air doesn’t remain in it and the putty sits firmly around the fitting.

4. Install the part to seal the joint

After the putty rope application, install the part to complete the sealing process. This process doesn’t finish without assembling the parts. You have to make sure that the fixture is tightly screwed in so that there is no room for any further leak.

5. Wipe off the excess putty

Once you tightly screw the fixture after waterproofing it with the putty, the excess putty might squeeze out from the fixture. There is no need to worry about it because the fixture has already been tightly screwed.

Therefore, don’t hesitate to remove the excess putty that popped out. Once you’re done with wiping off the excess putty from the fixture, you can start using the bathroom or kitchen. 


What is the best sealant for leaking pipes?

A plumber’s putty is the most common sealant for leaking pipes. However, we can’t rule out other sealants such as silicone and Teflon tape. There are various sealants out there that come in handy in different circumstances.

For instance, Teflon tape works best for threaded pipes, and silicone is applied on the exposed areas; whereas, putty is best for internal use. The best sealant would be the one that suits best for your situation.

How long after using plumber’s putty can it get wet?

If you’re concerned about using the pipe or flange after the putty application and wondering how long you should wait before starting to use the fixture, then you should wait at least an hour or so before starting to run the water.

Furthermore, the plumber’s putty doesn’t dry out quickly, but instead, it could months before it gets completely hardened.

Does the plumber’s putty need to dry before getting wet?

Most plumbing experts advise waiting at least an hour before starting using the area where putty was applied. The plumber’s putty doesn’t dry out quickly. However, you could start using the area after an hour or so.


Plumber’s putty can surely stop a leak, but one must know both the capabilities and limitations of this sealant. As you may already be aware of the fact that there are several sealants available on the market, every sealant works differently and a plumber’s putty is no exception.

If you have a leak under the flange or in the sink drain pipe and you’re curious whether or not you should apply the plumber’s putty, then you can go ahead with it.

The plumber’s putty can fix the leak as long as the leak isn’t under the water or the leak area isn’t exposed because it works best when applied on the inner side of the plumbing fixtures. 

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