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Old 03-04-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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Plumber's putty vs. silicone for shower pan

I had been planning on using plumbers putty, but the assistant at HD suggested silicone due to the movement from the flexible plastic material. He cited his own personal experience with his trailer and that the putty may crack over time. Any thoughts on what to best to use between the metal shower drain and abs shower pan to get the best seal?
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:34 AM   #2
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Typically there is a rubber gasket. Just about any sealant you use will breakdown over time. I used silicone on a sink drain and it leaks after a few years. I don't recommend the polyurethanes either.

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Old 03-04-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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Use silicone at your peril. From my experience, it will quickly lose adhesion and you can't put anything over it. Quality putty or a polyurethane sealant will serve you well for years and can be repaired or added to if required.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:40 AM   #4
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You can check out the 3M line of marine sealants at West Marine, or another boat supply store. The "5200" is designed for below waterline use; there are other lesser sealants with different levels of adhesion. I have only used these on my boat, not my Airstream.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:41 AM   #5
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The drain I have came with a gasket for below the pan (with directions for putty for top seal). Should I just look to also get another gasket for between drain and pan as a primary seal?
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:49 AM   #6
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I have had good experience with "Marine Goop." It is available in tubes at HD, Lowes, etc. It will adhere to wet surfaces and does not seem to break down with time.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:58 AM   #7
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Don't put another rubber gasket on the top of the shower pan. It will raise the drain too high for all the water to drain out. I have used the furnished rubber gasket on the bottom of the shower pan, and plumbers putty on the top on 4 trailers and never had one leak.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rippie View Post
the putty may crack over time. Any thoughts on what to best to use between the metal shower drain and abs shower pan to get the best seal?
Plumbers putty takes a loooong time to dry out. Just last weekend I removed an 11 year old garbage disposal and the plumbers putty was still pliable.

If that guy had it dry out prematurely, there may not have been a good tight fit, letting air in. Some porcelain sinks and tubs have variations in the flange surface.

It is low tech but works. It is spec'd still for surface to surface fits, where there is some expansion/contraction movement between the parts.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. Went back to original plan: plumbers putty. Until I'm about to apply and read in all caps "DO NOT USE ON PLASTIC" and directed to use silicone. I'm still wanting to use putty, but is there another variant. Or is putty just putty. Btw, this is from Home Depot.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:32 PM   #10
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I have used it on plastic sinks, and showers with no ill effects. I guess I just didn't read the warning. The corporate lawyers probably just put on the putty container (just in case) it screwed something up.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #11
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Thanks vent port. I think the assumption is that it won't be well secured. But with a metal drain lip over and metal nut under, should be fine. As I dry fit the drain-pan- gasket-nut, the pan sits up high at this point because of the gasket and nut being above subfloor. I had cut a roughly 1 1/2" hole for the drain. Do I just need to extend the hole in the subfloor out to make room for the these, which I hadnt accounted for when I made the orig. hole? This area was completely rotted so I had no idea for my template how big the hole was supposed to be.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:10 PM   #12
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Plumbers putty doesn't get hard enough to crack for a long time and is much easier to remove than silicone (the drain could leak, but be much, much harder to remove if siliconed, then you have to clean the stuff off…0. If the container had been opened some time ago, it will get hard faster and lose it's flexibility, so use a new container. Never had any problem on plastic either.

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Old 03-04-2014, 08:29 PM   #13
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Some manufacturers make a plumbers putty that can be used on marble, plastics and other materials that regular plumbers putty can't be used on. Even these state that they are not for use on ABS, though. It's my understanding the petroleum-based putty reacts with the ABS and will cause the ABS to crack over time. All putty manufacturers recommend silicone for use with ABS.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #14
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Lewster recommends polyurethane. So, what about trem pro/vulkem?
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