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Old 11-21-2019, 02:51 PM   #1
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Is Plumber's Putty necessary


Installing a brand new toilet on to a brand new floor. I have done a dry test fit to insure things would go without a hitch. The toilet appears to be sitting down on the floor without any rocking or gaps between the toilet base & the floor, without tightening the flange bolts.

There is a instruction to apply a 1 inch bead of Plumber's Putty all around the toilet's base prior to setting the toilet to prevent any rocking, which I do not detect in the dry fit. Is the Putty necessary? I'm asking because should I have a leak, wouldn't the Putty prevent me from seeing the leak since I assume the Putty would hold water under the toilet. This could ruin the flooring & cause rot issues if undetected. I've looked at the other toilet's in my house & see no Putty around them & they all sit tight & level to the finished floor. Thank you for your advice & opinion. It's appreciated. Plumbing drive's me nuts.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


I have never heard of using plumbers putty under a toilet. What good would it do, it is soft and would just squish out?

I caulk around a the base of a toilet with silicone leaving a gap at the rear as a place for leakage to seep out if a problem.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #3
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^RJNILES >>>100%^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Just curious...where the heck did those instructions come from...?????
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


I agree with RJ & Mtn.

You caulk around a toilet to keep spilled water or a wet mop from letting water run under or get pushed under the toilet. You leave a small gap to let a leak from inside run out.

If your toilet rocks due to an uneven floor, you can buy plastic toilet shims to shim up the low area(s).
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


The use of putty was on the packages of two wax seals I bought. The toilet mfg never mentions the use of putty.

Agree with what was said here. Putty is not necessary.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:55 AM   #6
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


I just finished installing a new wax ring on an existing toilet. It's instructions also said to put a putty ring around the outside rim (which I did not do). Picture attached (boxes around text added by me).
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


Look at the lower left corner, an Oatey affiliate.
Guess who makes Sta Put putty.

I've never used that particular putty/sealant. But if it takes anywhere near as long to roll as regular plumbers putty, I think I'll stick to caulking.

I don't use wax seals anymore. I went to the Fernco wax free toilet seal close to 20 years ago, haven't used a wax ring since.
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


With some toilets I've installed, no matter how carefully I shim it and tighten the bolts, it's just not stable without some caulk. It might have to do with how even the floor is. If it's a bit warped, the toilet is just not going to be very stable. By the way, I try to avoid silicone caulk under toilets because it's hard to remove when you replace the toilet. Latex is fine for this purpose.

To answer the OP's question about being able to detect a leak: yes, that's a potential issue. But look at it this way: if your toilet moves around a little every time someone sits on it, you're almost certain to develop a leak. If it's stable and the wax ring is installed right, it won't leak. So the here's the trick: install the toilet, and if it's stubborn and refuses to be stable, caulk around it AFTER flushing it a few times to make sure there's no leak. If you're really worried about seeing a leak, don't caulk all the way around - just do the front and part of the sides. Or maybe one side is by a wall and can't be seen; don't caulk that side. And definitely don't caulk the back.

As for putty: HAHAHAHAHAHA! I'd only use it if what they're hawking hardens up (unlike regular plumber's putty), and is cheaper than the cheapest possible latex caulk, AND I don't already have a half-used tube of caulk lying around (which is almost never).
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:54 PM   #9
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


Latex caulk gets dirty and discolors. Silicone is easily cleaned off the floor with a single edge razor blade.
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:47 AM   #10
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


Oso954 hit it in the head. It is nothing but a marketing ploy. This is reinforced by the fact that they specify the brand to use.

If there is any rocking, you need nothing more than shims sold for the purpose and a bead of silicone caulk.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:34 AM   #11
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
shims sold for the purpose
Or pennies. They're $0.48 cheaper .
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: Is Plumber's Putty necessary


I am dumbfounded that they want an inch of that putty around the edge. But then again, it is another one of their products. The more you use, the more you buy.

I would never put an inch of caulk around the edge. My floor would never be that far out of level.
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