Tools of the Trade: Plumber’s Putty

What is plumbers putty

What is Plumber’s Putty and what is it used for?

Plumber’s putty is a soft, pliable sealing compound that is used to make watertight seals around faucets, drains, and other plumbing parts.

Why Use Plumber’s Putty

Plumber’s putty is one of the basics tools in a plumber’s tool bag. Plumbers use it because it remains soft for a long time and maintains a watertight seal, but unlike silicone and other types of caulk, plumber’s putty is not an adhesive, so a fixture or drain part sealed with putty remains easy to remove if you ever need to replace it.

Where to Use Plumber’s Putty

Plumber’s putty is commonly used to seal along the base of faucets and other sink fixtures before setting them onto the sink. It’s also applied to the undersides of sink strainers and pop-up drain fittings for sinks and tubs. In all of these common applications, the putty is hidden under a flange, lip, or edge and is not visible when the part is installed. If caulk were used instead of putty, it would be difficult to access these areas to cut through the caulk to remove the part.