Plumber's putty is a very versatile, durable, and easily pliable gray substance. It is often used by plumbers to establish a seal that's watertight between sinks and faucets or drains. It is found in the toolboxes of nearly all plumbers, and that's exactly why it's known as plumber's putty. One of the great things about this product is that it actually stays pliable and soft for quite a long time after it is applied on a surface. This means that it is easy removable if you only want to seal a pipe joint temporarily. The material is very easy to apply. It does not require any special training or skills to apply any amount of this product to the surface you are working with. That makes it the easiest plumbing product for any home owner to keep on hand.
You can buy different brands of this product in almost any hardware store. It is even available in department stores and some larger grocery stores. The price for a standard-sized bucket, which holds enough material for at least a dozen appliances, can range from one dollar to around 4 or 5 dollar for a specialized product, such as granite-safe putty. Every home should have a package of this product among its home maintenance supplies just in case a leak appears. Since it's very low-priced and lasts for several years, you can store it in your basement, workroom, or under the kitchen sink until you're ready to use it. Just make sure you keep the container firmly closed after each use so the clay doesn't get exposed to the air too long. Although it will stay soft and pliable for a very long time, it can dry out if you leave the package open for a very long time.
Plumber's putty is frequently applied at the base of a faucet or drain before installing it. Since it does not dry or harden quickly, any leftover putty that oozes out from between the seal can easily be put back into the products container. Having a product that is easy to remove is important for the overall look of your installed faucet or other fixture. You certainly wouldn't want visible patches of dried putty or any other sealant ruining the looks of your drain, faucet or bath. You won't have to worry about staining or sticking as long as you clean any extra product right away.
Plumber's putty is a terrific product, but it is not suitable for every situation. The fact that it does not dry and harden also makes it a poor choice for any piping or sealing that will be under pressure. Especially high water pressure can damage and break the seal and cause the pipes or other joined objects to break loose and cause water damage. In other words, this putty makes an ideal seal that's watertight, but it cannot connect two pipes or other fixtures together. There are other plumbing products, such as teflon tape that are made for that particular purpose.