How Long Does Plumbers Putty Take to Dry?
If you have a leaking draining pipe in your home, you can use a plumber’s putty to seal it up. The sound produced when water is dripping can be so irritating and usually adds more to your utility bills because of wastage. However, it can take a while before it fully dries off.
The plumber’s putty can only dry out, not dry completely. Waiting for it to dry completely would mean waiting forever since it can take about 10 to 15 years. However, a plumbers putty may take several hours before it dries out. That means you have to keep checking to see if it has dried and sealed up, and there’s no more leakage. If not, add more plumbers putty and exercise the same patience again.
There are several other uses of plumbers putty besides sealing leaking pipes. This article will highlight these uses and show you how to apply the plumber’s putty to the fixtures correctly.
Uses of Plumbers Putty
Generally, plumbers’ putty is used in plumbing jobs mainly as a sealant. Here are the different uses of plumbers putty.
- You can use it to treat any water leakage from either sanitary or drainage pipes
- You can apply it at the base of faucets in case there’s a water leakage coming from there.
- Plumbers use it when installing sinks
- You can also apply it to other bathroom or kitchen fixtures besides sinks to make them stronger
How to Correctly Apply Plumbers Putty
It’s evident that a plumbers putty ensures a tight seal in various kitchen and bathroom fixtures, including sinks, valves, drainage pipes, etc. However, it has to be softened first before use since it’s usually too hard.
Once softened, it becomes so flexible that you may not even have to hire a professional plumber to use it. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you can easily apply it to drainage pipes to seal any water leakage. The most exciting part about this excellent plumbing product is that it’s relatively cheap, and you can always find it from your local hardware shop.
Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you apply this plumbers putty on any fixture in your home, either when sealing leakages or installing fixtures.
Step 1: Cleaning Your Working Surface
Before applying the plumbers putty on any fixture in your home, you first must ensure that the place is clean. Otherwise, the plumber’s putty won’t be as effective. If it comes into contact with dust and other tiny debris, you may end up having an irregular application. In the end, you won’t have achieved your goal, especially if it was to seal a leakage because the water will still leak.
Cleaning is very much necessary to avoid doing zero work. Take a clean cloth, put it in water, press excess water off, then use it to wipe the place you’ll be putting plumbers putty on.
Step 2: Soften the Plumbers Putty
As mentioned above, the plumber’s putty has to become flexible to work effectively, and the only way to make it flexible is by softening it. Besides, it’s impossible even to use a hard plumbers putty.
For this reason, you must apply heat to it. The good news is that it really doesn’t require too much heat to become flexible. You will realize that the heat from your hands is just enough to soften the plumber’s putty. You can use a radiator in this case to heat your hands, then take the plumbers putty and rub it between your heated hands until it becomes soft.
Step 3: While Still Soft, Mold It
This step will bring your childhood memories back. Remember when you used to play with clay soil, molding it in different shapes? Now use the same techniques to mold your plumbers putty into a snake-like shape. Make it thin and long, and it should also be smooth when you touch it. You can then cut it into pieces that will fit your desired working area.
Step 4: Time to Apply the Soft and Smooth Plumbers Putty on The Fixture
Finally, you get to the point where you should apply the plumber’s putty to seal the water leakage. Remember, this plumbers putty has to go around the fixture. So, ensure you cut it into the same size as the circumference of the fixture, be it a faucet or a drainage pipe.
Once that’s done, you can gently take the piece to its desired place and make sure it tightly fits to avoid future leaks. However, consider using other sealants like cement, PVC primer, or Teflon tape if the fitting is of plastic, threaded, or metal material. That’s because plumbers’ putty will never work on the joints of such materials.
Step 5: Get Rid of The Excess Plumbers Putty
You can never be too careful as to utilize all the plumbers putty you applied to a fitting. There must be some that will be left on the surface. A plumbers putty gets really hard after it dries off, and it’s only a matter of hours until it happens. So, if you must get rid of any excess plumbers putty from your working surface, ensure you do it before it dries out.
Take a new wet cloth, different from the one you used earlier, and wipe the remaining substance off the fitting. This is to ensure you don’t create another mess while removing the other.
Step 6: Waiting for The Plumbers Putty to Dry Out
This lengthy process is not something you’d want to repeat over and over. That’s why you should wait for several hours to determine if it’s safe to use or not. Use your fingers after a considerable amount of time to see if the plumber’s putty has dried out or not. Running water on a wet plumbers putty would mean that you do it again because the water will make it weak and finally break it.
Now that you know how long plumbers’ putty takes to dry out and how to apply it correctly, you can seal any plumbing leaks in your home. This DIY project can really save you the money you could have otherwise used in hiring a professional plumber. However, it can leave a permanent stain on your fitting if you’re not careful. For this reason, avoid using it on white surfaces.