How do you use plumber's putty?


Quick Answer

To use plumber’s putty, clean the surface to be worked on, warm the putty with your hands, mold the it into a snake, apply the putty, and wipe off any excess. Allow the putty to dry before running water through the plumbing.

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Full Answer

  1. Clean the surface of the work area

    Thoroughly clean the work area with a damp cloth. Applying plumber’s putty over dirt can cause holes that eventually leak water through the seal.

  2. Warm the putty with your hands

    Rub your hands together, or heat them over a radiator before working with the putty. This softens the putty and makes it much easier to work with.

  3. Mold the putty into a snake shape

    Just like with modeling clay, mold the putty into a long, thin snake. Make sure that the putty is long enough to seal the fitting.

  4. Apply the putty

    Place the putty gently against the threads of the piping. Ensure that there are no gaps before screwing the pipes together. Apply pressure before tightening the piping to eliminate leaks.

  5. Wipe off any excess putty

    Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe off the excess putty before it dries. Leaving the excess plumber’s putty makes the area unsightly, and it is difficult to remove once it dries.

  6. Allow the putty to dry

    Allow the plumber’s putty to dry for several hours before running water through the plumbing. Check the progress periodically by gently probing the putty with your finger.

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