Does Plumber Putty Get Hard? (Explained)

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Plumber putty is a type of adhesive that is commonly used in plumbing applications. It has many benefits, like being able to withstand water, heat, and cold.

Plumber’s putty does get hard after applying it, and that is how it works. It usually comes from clay, and the main reason people use it is to seal leakages and ensure that any installations you make are intact. So, once you apply it in a place, it will dry and get hard.

How hard is Plumbers Putty?

If you have ever had a plumbing issue in your home in areas such as the kitchen sink or the bathroom, then someone might have recommended to you the plumber’s putty, or maybe you have tried using it.

You can use a plumber’s putty to seal faucets or leakages on sinks, and it is super effective in doing this. Typically any place where their water passes through it usually comes in handy when the areas have leakages.

Plumbers’ putty is usually soft when it is in the container. It comprises clay which is one reason for its smooth consistency. But once you apply it on the various plumbing surfaces, it gets hard, and doing this will perform its role of sealing a leakage.

You can get various blends of plumbers putty, and each has its unique ingredients and components. But, one ingredient that never lacks is the clay used most times in powdered form and oil.

Most brands will use different oils, and others will even use limestone to create their unique plumber’s putty.

Usually, the end product of a plumber’s putty will always be the same no matter the products used. It usually has play-do consistency to ensure that it is not hard, and you can easily stretch it and mold different shapes with it. Also, it is hard for it to shrink or dry out, which makes it a perfect choice for repairing plumbing fixtures.

If you compare a plumber’s putty with silicone, then you can reasonably conclude that the plumber’s putty is a bit hard. Also, the plumbers’ putty will become hard at some point, and you cannot work with it like that.

When it is in the container, it will be somehow dry, and to use it, the plumber will have to first work on it to make it soft for easy application.

After applying the plumber’s putty, it should not just dry out and start cracking. Its ingredients ensure that it maintains some malleability, and this is what prevents leakages. However, if the plumber’s putty has not been in use for long, it will dry out and will no longer be malleable, which makes it lose its sealing property.

Probably, the putty may take more than ten years to dry or become as hard as a rock. To use it, you need to roll it out to a specific shape, and generally, it should be easy to use.

You should ensure that you keep the plumber’s putty in a tightly sealed container to make it last longer and prevent it from drying out quickly.

The gravity of a plumber’s putty is about 2.0g/cm^3, which makes it remain flexible for long. This gravity plus the compounds in it helps in sealing various joints. Its ability to stay moist and supple, however, makes it have little mechanical strength.

Is Plumbers’ Putty Waterproof?

Plumber’s putty is waterproof, and this is why it works well in areas where water runs. Plumbers use it to seal around plumbing fixtures such as faucets and drains. It is usually soft and malleable, making it easy for one to mold it around such areas or where there is a leakage.

Usually, the plumber’s putty works well in areas that have exposure to unpressurized water. Such may be the case with water in a sink so that it prevents it from seeping. The plumbers’ putty can create a watertight seal in such places such that no further water leaks.

You can trust that it will be 100 percent convenient in creating a waterproof seal. However, while its purpose is to seal things to prevent leakages, you should only use it in areas where the water pressure is low. Plumbing fixtures with high water pressure may make it fall off.

Usually, it is hard for the plumbers’ putty to maintain its sealing feature under pressure. It is therefore recommended not to use it where you need some adhesive strength.

Also, do not use it in areas that need watertight seals, and the site may be exposed to heat since it may not be able to secure the leakage well.

When using the plumbers’ putty, you should roll it into a ring or just a shape that matches the area you are about to fix. Then place it all around the faucet fixture. By this, you get a watertight fit which ensures that no leakages happen.

Do Plumbers Putty Stop Leaks?

Plumbers’ putty helps in preventing leaks, but you can only use it in specific areas. Therefore, it should not be the go-to option for all your plumbing problems. It is essential to know where to use the plumbers’ putty and the best way to use it.

The most common places where people use the plumber’s putty are along the base of faucets and leakages in the sinks. Also, plumbers apply them along pop-up drains for sinks and also on sink strainers. Usually, when using it, you hide it under the edge of the part with leakage and then install it back.

You can therefore depend on plumbers’ putty when you have leaked but only on specific areas. The materials that make the plumbers putty are such that they will ensure they seal the part with the leaks and prevent it from leaking further. However, if the area with the leakage has water with high pressure, this may not be the best option.

Plumbers putty works better where the pressure is pretty low. Even though it is waterproof, so much water may make it not do its work well. It is usually not so strong; therefore, it cannot hold on to the water pressure.

When using the plumber’s putty, you should not combine it with other caulk or Teflon tape products. It is also essential to determine whether this product is best to perform the job you need it to do.

After using the putty to install or repair something, it will not dry out, but it will start to deteriorate with time, which may ultimately cause leaks.

When Should You Not Use Plumber’s Putty?

While plumbers’ putty works well in fixing most plumbing issues, it may not be your go-to option in case you need something substantial.

It is usually flexible enough to fix leakages but not where there is so much pressure on the ground. For instance, you should not use it in pipes where water is passing through.

You can never use plumbers putty along the threads of pipes or when sealing PVC pipes that lack the lines. In such areas, it may not be effective and may even do more harm than good. You require something strong enough to fix the leakages; therefore, putty may not be the best choice.

Also, if you want to seal the space between the sink and the wall, you should avoid using the plumbers’ putty. Such also applies in an area where there is a cabinet. Such sites require a different adhesive, and plumbers’ putty may not be strong enough to fix the leakage here.

Moreover, if you are looking at applying plumbers putty in underwater areas, it may not work. The purpose of a plumbers’ putty is not to create a watertight seal. Its primary use is usually on faucets, drains, and sinks.


Plumbers’ putty is generally soft and rarely gets hard unless it is old or fails to store it well. Its texture is usually benign, malleable, and easy to roll, making it easy for one to apply it where there is a leakage. It is also waterproof and helps in preventing leakages.