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Plumber’s putty is a great way to seal pipes, but it can be hard to know how long you need to wait before using the sink.
The problem with plumber’s putty is that no one seems to agree how long you should wait after applying it to use the sink again.
Some say use it right after applying it, some say 5 minutes, some say 10 minutes, and others 20 minutes or even more.
It can be confusing for beginners when it’s difficult to find the right answer. But, not anymore.
This article will help you understand how long plumber’s putty takes to dry and how to make sure your plumbing job goes smoothly.
On a side note, if you’re looking for a good-quality plumber’s putty for your next project, here are the 3 best kinds of plumbers putty.
How Long Does Plumber’s Putty Take To Dry?
Technically speaking, plumber’s putty doesn’t “dry” as it will remain soft months after applying, but it will “dry out“.
That means that, over time, it will become harder and less likely to stick to surfaces.
In most cases, plumber’s putty takes at least an hour to dry out. If you apply it to the bottom of a faucet to prevent water from leaking, you must wait for an hour before it dries out and you can turn on the water.
Once it dries up, see whether you need to apply any more plumber putty to seal the water leak.
Also, make sure to not use plumber’s putty under the water as it won’t work. Plumbing putty isn’t used for underwater applications because it isn’t designed to form a watertight seal.
It should primarily be used on faucets, sinks, and drains to prevent water from leaking through.
Why Is Plumber’s Putty Moist After Hours of Applying It?
Another common question we get asked all the time is why does plumber’s putty feel moist even after hours of applying it?
To get to the point, plumber’s putty is a type of clay that contains moisture. There are some brands out there that are made with water-soluble ingredients making them dry faster than regular ones.
It’s important to note that there are several factors that affect this as follows:
1. Level of moisture in the area
In an outdoor or low-humidity environment, they will “dry out” much faster than indoors or in a high-humidity environment.
In other words, plumber’s putty takes less time to dry when there is less moisture outside.
2. Amount of the plumber’s putty you apply
The more you apply, the longer it will take to set.
If your current project requires you to apply a decent amount of plumber putty in order to stop water leakage or seal screw holes in faucets or pipes, then expect it to take much longer than 1 hour to set.
How Long Does Plumber’s Putty Last?
We’ve all heard the saying, “you get what you pay for”. This is especially true when it comes to plumber’s putty.
Cheap brands usually only last a few months before they start to deteriorate and crack. More expensive brands can last up to 2 years or more if applied and stored properly.
The best way to make sure your plumber’s putty lasts as long as possible is by applying a thin layer and keeping the remaining putty in an airtight container.
We recommend you read our guide on how to properly use plumber’s putty for best results.
You can put the excess putty back in the container as it can be reused as long as it’s free from dust particles.
Make sure to store this container in a cool, dry place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is common to use plumber’s putty in excess. As you tighten the components together, the extra putty will squeeze out. Note that, the squeeze-out putty can be reclaimed and reused so don’t just throw it away.
It depends on the severity of the leak. If it is a small leak, plumber’s putty may stop it. Essentially, it seals the part without a significant amount of leakage. In most cases, plumber’s putty can help stop minor leaks from dripping through. However, for larger leaks, other methods such as sealants or gaskets might be necessary.
Read more: Can plumber’s putty stop a leak?
After the plumber’s putty has been applied, you can start using the sink drain or faucet right away. There is no drying period necessary.
However, if you are not in a hurry, it’d be better to wait an hour so the putty can form a tight seal and not break down due to water pressure.