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F.H. Furr's Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Insider Blog

DYI Homeowner's Most Common Misuse Of Plumber's Putty And Caulk

At F.H. Furr, we have great respect for all of you DIY-ers out there. It can be intimidating to sort through a plethora of Internet resources to find the perfect quick-fix for your minor plumbing problems. Although we recommend you contact an F.H. Furr professional for any of your plumbing needs (improper DIY repairs can complicate the problem and end up costing you more money!), we acknowledge that many prefer to try their hand at home remedies first. So when it comes to using plumber's putty or caulk for plumbing repairs, here's a list of "DO NOT'S" to keep in mind:


Plumber's Putty:
Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT the plumber’s “duct tape”; plumber’s putty is a malleable substance used as a sealant for plumbing fixtures to aid against water exposure. 

-DO NOT use plumber’s putty on plastic or metal threaded pipes to seal between joints. This is a job for Teflon tape.

-DO NOT use plumber’s putty to seal the area between the sink vanity and the wall. This is a job for caulk.

-DO NOT attempt to use plumber’s putty to join plastic pipes. This is a job for PVC primer.

-DO NOT use plumber’s putty on porous matter such as granite or marble—the composition of plumber’s putty will stain these surfaces.

Caulk: This is misused in same way as plumber’s putty; it is a substance that seals against water intrusion and is often seen where the plumbing fixture meets the wall.

-DO NOT use caulk on anything pressurized

These two substances do have a specific purpose and are not always interchangeable. If ever you have a question about possible home remedies and minor DIY repairs, do not hesitate to call an F.H. Furr trained professional. We pride ourselves on honesty and fair dealings. Good luck on all your DIY plumbing endeavors, and remember, we're here when you need us!