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 silicone vs putty
Author: packy (MA)

a few posts below this, someone wrote about a leaking pop-up assembly. the assembly was put together with putty under the flange. between tub wastes, basket strainers and pop-ups, this seems to be a fairly common problem.
i can't seem to remember anyone writing that they had a leak if they had used silicone instead of putty. i have, since i started posting here, advocated silicone in lieu of (gasp) putty.
ladies and gentlemen of the jury, i rest my case.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: plumb-bobII (VA)

My employees swear I must own stock in silicone. I swear by it. I don't get many call backs for drains leaking since I switched. I did catch one of my guys used putty on shower drains in a hotel we completed. 3 leaks later, the putty was gone and silicone was in. Ain't been back since!

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I use silicone only where it's required instead of putty, (basically for one reason, putty clean-up is easy). I don't recall scraping away putty and using silicone to correct a problem with a drain assembly of any type that I was installing or repairing.

We've seen enough 'silicone vs putty' posts to know that each of us has their own preference and I think a DIY'r would be more inclined to use putty.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: packy (MA)

e-plumber , cleaning up of silicone can't be any easier. a roll of bounty and a can of denatured alcohol is all that is needed.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: Vinyard Plumbing (CA)

Depends on what your trying to do and to what?
I've never had a leak from using putty, but of course I don't use it for everything either.

The only place i use it with a pop-up is under the top ring inside the sink, no putty underneath the sink at all.
the only other use I have for putty is the base of a faucet, under the rim of a basket strainer,tub shoe top. The only execption is you can't use it on stone/marble/granite surfaces, thats a job soley for silicone.

Putty is more of a water resistant space filler than it is a sealer as silicone is. But then silicone isn't that great as a space filler although if you use enough it will.

I don't see it as "A EITHER OR".

The same is true of teflon vs pipe dope depends on what your trying to do, and with what? both have their use's

It's like picking between phillips or standard screw drivers you can't carry just one, both have their specific uses to me.

T. Vinyard

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: joint-runner (MA)

Packy......100% silcone not this water based stuff most people grab.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: paplumb10 (PA)

how do you test your work when you use silicone.i would hate to leave a job without testing my work first.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: joint-runner (MA)

Fill the sink...let sit for 5 minutes...let go...no leak and your good to go.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: Vinyard Plumbing (CA)

I agree, If your work leaks, silicone it and it won't.....as much :-D

T. Vinyard

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: packy (MA)

paplumb10, it is obvious that you don't use silicone.
you put some under the flange and between the mack washer and sink. by the time you tighten everything, put on a new trap or just reassemble the old trap, the water can be run.
i don't remember the last time i bought a tub of putty nor do i remember ever having a leak around a flange, strainer etc since switching.
p/s, i usually double check my jobs twice. is that 4 times? :>)

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: trev7615 (PA)

packy I'm with you, I silicone my strainers,pop ups and even slip joint fittings, I know slip joint,we're allowed to use these in pa. I've noticed that if you go on a call to repair a basket strainer which is leaking you usually find the putty to be virually non existant. Now the only down side is when the brass fails it can be a little difficult to remove the part since the silicone has not gone anywhere.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: packy (MA)

i don't do silicone on slip joints but i do apply a touch of plumbers grease to make them tighten easier.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: jerco (MD)

Silicone under the pop-up flange won't do a thing to prevent it from leaking into the cabinet (or onto the floor). It will only make the sink able to hold water in the bowl when the stopper is down. The gasket under the sink is what prevents the leaking.
So this Jury member is still looking for more evidence. Take it away counselor.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: hj (AZ)

In none of these cases, however, could we verify that the components were assembled in the right order. I use putty and it does not leak.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: steve_g (CA)

Now if someone would just invent siliconized putty ('putti-cone' or 'silli-putty') we could put this one to rest.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: packy (MA)

if someone did invent 100% 'putti-cone' or 'silli-putty', there are some here who would still use plain old putty.

now if someone would invent a pex/copper tubing (pex-co) we could put that to bed as well.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: skykitten (TX)

Hey guys! Since I was the originator of the leaky flange, I thought I'd weigh in as a DIYer. It turned out there were two problems. One - I simply wasn't using enough putty; originally, I had made a very small putty snake, less than 1/4" diameter, although I thought that was considered "large". Tonight I made a 1/2" snake and had ZERO problems. I also had not tightened the nut/gasket enough. Once I had done both those things, I had NO LEAKS!

I did purchase the pipe dope, as suggested, (and it said it was ok for plastic) but decided to use it only as a last resort if the putty didn't work. But the putty did so I'll be taking the pipe dope back to the store.

Thanks to all of you for your assistance. I feel very confident about now doing our master bath when the time comes, and replacing the shower fixtures in this bath this weekend. BTW, everything under the sink was so corroded I even had to replace the valves and the bullnose risers (with SS mesh)! I managed to finish the sister sink in less than an hour, but couldn't have done it without your help. I will certainly considered purchasing my next set of faucets at a plumbing supply store for that better quality, as well as ditching the plastic drain assembly (if included) for a metal one.

Kat in San Antonio



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: rdog157h

Dont scrap that plastic trap for a metal one!!! Plastic is way better than the metal traps!! Plastic holds up better over time!! Metal traps rust away!!

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: redwood (CT)

You Guys haven't been using this stuff?

[www.sillyputty.com]

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I bet some of that epoxy looking stuff I came across on drain leak service calls was actually this stuff.

From www.sillyputty.com

About Silly Putty:

Silly Putty is a dilatant compound, a silicone based polymer that is highly elastic, exhibits high bounce, can be easily molded, yet can hold it shape while at rest. It is non-toxic and non-irritating to the skin.

Silly Putty was invented by James Wright, a researcher at General Electric who was working on synthetic rubber substitutes. The first Silly Putty substance was made by mixing silicone oil with boric acid. While the invention didn't have a future as a synthetic rubber, it did make a great toy.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: steve_g (CA)

Silly putty is $76.99 + shipping for 5 lbs. I'll ask my accountant if it's a good idea to get some. If he says it is, I'll find another accountant.

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 Re: silicone vs putty
Author: redwood (CT)

Not only that but if you press it flat against the sunday comics you get a reverse image that you can stretch.

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