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How Long Does Plumbers Putty Take To Dry

Have you ever had a pipe leak out of nowhere and didn’t have the time to hire a professional plumber to fix it, or have you decided to tackle the job yourself to save money? In the plumbing industry, the one thing inside every plumber’s toolbox is a tub of plumber’s putty.

Since water leaks are now the most common type of plumbing work, putty can be one of the more essential items you keep around the home for major repair or a quick fix to deliver a watertight seal.

However, if you haven’t had a chance to use it, you may wonder, how long does plumbers’ putty take, and what is the drying time is? If you fix a leak, you don’t want to wait a day for the putty to dry.

plumbers putty

Luckily, in our guide, you can learn more about how to climb under your kitchen sink and how to use plumbers’ putty to stop leaks. By the end, you’ll see where you can use it, what materials it sticks to, and most of all, the drying time if you use it on regular-use items like bathroom fixtures or the toilet bowl. (Learn How Long Does It Take For Pipes To Unfreeze)

How Long Does It Take For Plumbers Putty to Dry?

People tend to make the same mistakes when using plumbers’ putty, using a thin layer or using the bathroom fixtures or kitchen sink before the putty is completely dry.

You need to know how long it takes to dry, or you could do the job repeatedly.

Plumbers’ putty takes a while to dry, so you must be patient. Also, where you use it determines how long it takes to dry.

Typically, you can find it dry to use in a couple of hours; however, if you see the first layer has dried and need a second layer, you can do this, yet it will increase the waiting time.

How To Use a Plumbers Putty

Using plumbers’ putty can be annoying when you need a shower after plumbing work. Knowing how to use plumbers’ putty can help you avoid having to redo the job or add another coat, which can take even longer to dry.

Clean The Area Read For Plumbers Putty

Before applying any epoxy putty, wipe the area you’ll be working on with a clean cloth; a damp microfiber cloth is preferable.

Potholes and uneven putty can be caused by tiny dust and dirt particles that are invisible to the naked eye.

Use Heat On Your Plumbers Putty

For plumbers putty to work correctly, heat is required. It is nearly impossible to use the cement when it is too stiff.

After warming your hands, roll the material in both hands for a while.

mold into shape

Mold Into Shape

Like modeling clay, form the plumber’s putty into a thin, long shape that is smooth, and soft shape. Try rolling the putty into a snake-like shape and to the size to seal your water faucets or pipe joints.

Add Putty To Leaking Area

After shaping the plumber’s putty, gently apply it to the pipe’s surface or other location you’re working on. Make sure it fits snugly so that there won’t be any water leak after the material is in place. Never use a plumber’s putty to repair threaded metal or plastic pipe joints or to join non-threaded plastic pipes.

Note: If you use plumbers’ putty because you have no Teflon tape, you’ll find it will leak again, even if you add more putty. Both items should be inside your plumbing toolbox.

Wait Until Your Putty Dries

Wait until the plumber’s putty has dried before attempting to operate your faucet. After a few hours of application, you can check to see if the adhesive is sufficiently dry by dabbing it with your finger.

Even if it hasn’t dried, premature use can cause the seal to break, requiring another layer of putty. (Learn How Long To Fill Hot Water Tank)

What Is Plumber Putty?

A soft, malleable substance called plumber putty was developed for sealing areas where Teflon tape isn’t suitable. Adding a new drain to a sink is a prime area. You’ll find plumbers using plumber putty for various sanitary, drainage, plumbing, and building fields.

The plumber’s putty is not like glue but a stronger sealer with different makeup. Linseed oil and powdered clay are two of the most used formulations that make up this mixture. However, other components are often used, such as talc, fish oil, and limestone, in high-end epoxy sealants and premium formulations of plumber putty.

You may find some putty made for other surfaces, and when used on the wrong one, they could stain porous surfaces, such as stone. Use plumbers putty where it was intended, and remove excess putty close to these other porous materials.

add to leaking area

Where and How To Use Plumbers Putty?

The plumber putty’s function is a sealant for sealing pipes, faucets, etc. For example, they work effectively to tie or seal the base of the faucets, preventing water leaking. 

In treating fixtures in drainage pipes or sanitary pipes, they can act as adhesive sealants. Without a plumber’s putty to hold components tight and seal them, even sinks cannot be installed completely.

How Long Does Plumbers Putty Take To Dry?

Since the plumbers’ putty dry time can vary on every fixture, you need to give it time. It often takes several hours for something to thoroughly dry. Keep checking to see whether it has dried after several hours. If it doesn’t dry entirely, give it more time to dry.

Determine whether you need to add another layer of plumber putty to plug the water leak if it still leaks after it dries. When it is dry completely, with no gaps, it is more than strong enough to prevent water leaks.

You can use it in various locations besides the drainage pipes and the faucet’s base. Is it possible to apply too much plumbers putty? Since the excess plumbers’ putty will squeeze out when the parts are tightened together, using too much putty is normal. The squeeze-out can then be reclaimed and used once more.

How Long Will Plumber Putty Last?

Once you buy a container of the plumber putty, you’ll have enough for multiple jobs. If you close the lid, you’ll find your putty lasts for more than a year and will be soft when you open the container.

You may ask, does plumbers putty go off? If air enters your container, your putty will dry and form a thick crust. If this happens, your tub of putty may not last more than a month.

So, it would help if you were sure of how long it take for plumbers’ putty to dry because this includes storage and use.

Plumbers Putty Vs. Silicone Caulk

If you’re wondering how long will plumbers’ putty take to dry, another relevant query is whether caulk can be substituted. Occasionally, silicone caulk can be substituted with plumbers’ putty, but it depends on the project. In all circumstances, it won’t be the best choice.

In certain situations, caulk outperforms putty:

For example, a drain pipe assembly made from plastic needs to be joined by glue or PVC primer to stop water leakage. Water leaks must be avoided in exposed areas where putty could break off.

However, where you are plugging a sink drain, drain flange, or adding new sink strainers, then the plumber’s putty is the material of choice as it delivers a good seal. In comparison, plumbers’ putty is the go-to solution in many plumbing projects, as it is simple to remove and replace and offers watertight seals.

So areas such as to seal drains in sinks and tubs, and fixing a drain fixture in the shower this is the best way to prevent water leaks. (Learn How To Loosen PVC P Trap That Is Stuck)


How soon to use the sink after applying plumbers putty?

When you use plumbers’ putty, it is easy to use. You can start using the sink drain or faucet immediately after placing your plumbers putty as most areas have no water pressure.

Is it better to use silicone or plumbers’ putty?

Each has a function. Both products have pros and cons, say experts. 

Plumbers Putty Pros

  • Remains soft
  • No need to dry
  • Easy application
  • Excess putty is reusable and easy to remove

Plumbers Putty Cons

  • No adhesive strength
  • Not suitable for exposed areas
  • Not for plastic pipes
  • Won’t seal gaps between wall and sink
  • It is not recommended for metal threaded pipes or joints.

Silicone Caulk Pros

  • Strong adhesive
  • Multi-use
  • Remains flexible
  • Doesn’t crack

Silicone Caulk Cons

  • Tricky to remove
  • Not easily replaced
  • Sticky and leaves stains

Can You Use Plumbers Putty Underwater

The short answer is no; plumbers’ putty isn’t meant to produce a waterproof bond. Instead, plumbers putty is used on a faucet, sinks, and shower drain for a watertight seal where bonding strength isn’t required.

What happens if you use plumbers putty on plastic

Plumbers putty is so popular because it clings well enough to surfaces to prevent leaks but can be removed easily even after years of use. (Learn How To Plumb A Double Kitchen Sink With Disposal And Dishwasher)

Most plumber’s putty is petroleum-based, making it flexible and water-resistant. The petroleum component in putty degrades plastic’s chemical structure.

How Long Does Plumbers Putty Take To Dry (2)