Plumber's Putty on Ceramic?

Most plumbing fixtures are ceramic, if not some other porous material. Why, then, does my plumber’s putty (Hercules Sta Put plumber’s putty) say in bold capital letters: Do not use Sta Put in direct contect with marble, granite, or other porous stone, ceramics, or manufactured substitutes"? Then, it says in smaller print immediately following “On natural materials (stone, marble, etc) spray or brush contact area with clear acrylic lacquer and allow to dry. Then apply Sta Put.”

My application would be under a new chrome drain on a new vitreous china sink (i.e., at the drain-sink interface). Two knowledgeable people at the local Big Box store, at separate times, told me to apply directly. Could vitreous china be so glazed such that the porous nature of ceramics is not a problem? What do the SD “Plumb Dopers” say?

I’d imagine it’ll probably stain anything porous. It’d imagine it’s just a CYA statement.

Concur - it’ll probably stain or creep at the edges on porous materials. Glazed china should be fine, I would think - you’re applying the product to a thin layer of glass, really.

It’s because of the staining issue.

the edge that contacts the counter should be glazed, unglazed areas are out of sight.

similar with adhesives and stone products, there are adhesives that will stain and that stain may creep through a thickness. you need an adhesive that is labeled to not stain stone.

i read the OP yesterday and not before posting today and didn’t remember it was the drain hole being talked about. i wanted to add the caution about adhesives and misremembered which end of the sink was being discussed.

the drain area and hole would be glazed and so would be OK for the putty.

Ok, now: How does one work with Plumber’s Putty? I am told I need to place the putty under the drain “ring” (i.e., a metal ring through which the drain plunger passes) and tighten the locking nut from behind until the assembly is snug, wipe away the excess putty, and let harden.

But, do I roll a dollop of putty into a “rope”? Do I spread the putty thinly on the underside of the drain ring? Do I pat a dollop of putty into a flat pancake, and press a hole through the middle?

A rope seems too thick in order to get the drain ring flush against the drain hole. I know excess will squeeze out, but is a rope called for? What works best?

You roll into a rope for convenience. When the drain is drawn down into the sink it will squeeze out the top where you will in turn wipe it off.

Yup, make a roll of it, maybe a quarter inch or a little more in diameter and wrap it around the the drain piece right at the bottom of the part that meets the sink. It should wrap around a bit more then once. Yes, it should seem to thick. Then put the drain into the sink and push it down fairly hard. A lot of the putty will squeeze out, this is supposed to happen. Then tighten the nut on the bottom and wipe the excess off. I find the best method is to just pick up the big stuff and run your finger around the drain to get the rest of it off. Toss the excess back in the container and that’s all there is to it.

did you ever make a snake out of playdough as a kid? Same thing*. Put a dollop in your hand and rub your palms together until you have a long ropey thing about 1/4" in diameter that will go all the way around the sink strainer.

*If you are still uncertain as to how to do this enlist a 5 year old to help and tell them to make a snake.

Rick, thanks. It’s hard to believe the putty snake will squish down flat as the putty is not quite as pliable as Play-dough. That said, one last question: Do I need to place teflon tape around the threads where the drain ring (I found out this is a flange) and tailpipe mate-up?

Joey, thanks for the reply, as well…I will try this. I just want to be certain I know what I’m getting into. I’ll always find a way to screw something up! :smiley:

Thanks, Magiver. …So, that’s how you knew how to build any electronic device with just a paperclip and duct tape! :wink:

teflon tape works best for gas tight fittings. putty, pipe dope and compression washers are used in plumbing.

in the drain at that point the pressure is low so maybe no sealing other than tightness might be needed.

No. There is a jam nut that comes up from the bottom, and a gasket that goes inside the tailpiece. You screw the nut onto the sink strainer, the gasket is between the strainer and the tailpiece so no teflon tape or pipe dope is necessary.
In general you only need pipe dope or teflon tape on the pressure side (1-1/2" threaded pipe into the wall would be the exception) (not used in all locations here in the US)