When Not to Use Plumbers Putty? – Do Not Waste Your Money

Plumbers putty is one of the most important ingredients in the plumbing industry. Whether you want to seal something in a dry place or wet condition, plumbers putty is the best option you have. It is flexible to use, stays liquid for a long time, and most importantly, dries faster than many other sealant alternatives.

However, in some cases, you should not use it. Despite all those features and benefits, you cannot use it and even if you do, it will not work at all.

Now the question comes, when not to use plumbers putty?

Well, there are many materials, spaces, and conditions where you should not use plumbers putty. In case you want to give it a try, it will destroy your project. The elements it is made with, clay-like materials, and other chemicals are not suitable for many sealant purposes. It is one of the main problems of using plumbers putty.

When Not to Use Plumbers Putty

When not to use plumbers putty?

Now let’s see where you cannot use this amazing sealant. We will also tell you what will happen if you use it.

Unwater sealing projects

One of the main reasons why plumbers putty is so popular is its ability to ensure watertight sealing. For this reason, people use it for faucets, drains, or sinks. But the question comes, can you use plumbers putty underwater?

The answer is no. You cannot use plumbers putty underwater despite the fact that it is meant to provide a watertight seal. It is designed to prevent water from seeping through those sinks, faucets, or drains. But when it comes to underwater use, it is not a good option.

The elements it is made with are unable to create bonding under the water. That is why you should not use plumbers putty in underwater sealing projects.


Another reason for the popularity of plumbers putty is its ability to work with versatile materials. It sticks to any materials and prevents leakage. However, when it comes to sealing on plastic materials, it does not work like that. The reason for this is its ingredients. 

Plumbers putty is made of clay-like materials along with some petroleum-like ingredients. This is the reason why it works so effectively against water. But when it comes into contact with plastic, it causes chemical reactions and degrades plastic quality.

If you use plumbers putty on plastic, it will eventually break down. You should use alternatives like silicone or chalk to prevent plastic degrading.

When strong adhesive sealant is required

Sometimes, you need to apply some strong adhesive to fix the problem. In that case, plumbers putty will not be a good option to use. The reason is simple. There is no adhesive ingredient present in the plumbers putty. Also, the combination of all the ingredients does not make the putty adhesive.

That is the reason it is so easy to use. You can even use your bare hand to apply the sealant, though it is not recommended. Due to the ingredients, it cannot replace any adhesive sealant. You should use an adhesive in those cases.

When Fixing Broken Pipes

Plumbers putty is surely one of the best sealants in the market. However, it is not the best when it comes to fixing a broken pipe. You must need a quick-drying adhesive or sealant to fix the broken pipe. But unfortunately, plumbers putty is not that strong adhesive as mentioned earlier.

Experts suggest that you should use strong adhesive or sealant to fix broken pipes. A broken pipe is the most common cause of water waste. You should not use waste here.

Sealing pressure pipe

The putty is suitable for reversible seal requirements. Wherever you need a reversible seal such as drain, faucet, or others, you can easily use it. The slow drying ability will not be a problem here. Also, the soft and flexible nature makes it even better to use.

However, when it comes to pressure pipes, it will not work that way. It needs something strong and quick drying. For pressure pipes, soft nature will not last long. It will be flooded with pressure. Along with that, the time it requires will make the problem worse.

It can even create another leak in the pipe. So overall, all the experts in the industry suggest that you should not use the plumbers putty here.

As a Sink Rim And Sink Vanity sealant

Plumbers putty is made of clay-like materials along with some chemicals and oils. These ingredients work great on Formica countertops. They even work on any surface. However, it may damage the plastic. But when it comes to granite countertops or fancy fixtures, it can destroy the color.

You certainly do not want to destroy your luxurious texture by using this putty. On the flip side, if you are a plumber, you do not want to destroy the texture of your client. It will damage your reputation for sure. In the exclusive items, you should not use plumbers putty.

Sealing PVC pipe

The last thing you should remember is the PVC pipe where you should not use plumbers putty. Why? Well, the oily ingredients in the putty may make the pipes slippery that you do not want at all. It may over-tighten the fitting that will cause problems in the future.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have any questions? Then go through the questions below.

Can plumbers putty be used to stop a leak?

Yes, you can use plumbers putty to stop a leak. But make sure the leak is not located in plastic or PVC pipe. Also, do not use it underwater or with a pressure pipe.

Do I need to use plumbers putty?

You need plumbers putty when you need to ensure a watertight seal in a plumbing project. However, do not use it in any underwater or high-pressure pipe. It is also recommended not to use plumbers putty on plastic surfaces.

Do I need plumbers putty if drain has gasket?

You can use plumbers putty if your drain has a gasket, but it is not recommended. The gasket is made of rubber most of the time and putty is not suitable for rubber or plastic use.


Now you know when not to use plumbers putty. Knowing when not to use is more important than when to use. Why? Well, it will help you not to use the putty where it does not work. You can save your effort, time, and most importantly, money. Otherwise, it will be a waste of the putty and your time.

Like any other element in the world, the plumbers putty has some advantages and disadvantages. You cannot use putty in every place, in every material – this is the disadvantage of putty. Except for these materials and places, you can use them in almost every plumbing project.

The plumbers putty is inexpensive, easy to use, and long-lasting. Make sure you know its uses to get the most benefits out of it.

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