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Old 09-10-2017, 07:58 PM   #1
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Plumber's Putty???

Starting to winterize today, unscrewed the plastic water heater drain plug, and noticed some kind yellow putty on the plug and screw hole. Does anyone know if this is simple plumbers putty or something special that should be reapplied?
How should it be reapplied?
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #2
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Plumber's putty is usually white but can discolor with age. When I have my tank open, I scrape out any calcium that may have accumulated inside. I took a round 1/4 inch aluminum rod and flattened the end and them bent it so it looked like a hoe. I used this device to scrape out the calcium. When the calcium builds up the water heater is less efficient.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:07 PM   #3
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What you see on the water heater drain plug should be pipe thread sealer, not plumbers putty. Though, plumbers use both.
(do not confuse pipe thread sealer with bolt thread compound that is used for keeping bolts from vibrating loose) Pipe thread sealer does not harden.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/RectorSeal-...ealant/1087353

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Oatey-Plumber-s-Putty/4754110
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:10 PM   #4
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Teflon tape works fine
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airabel View Post
Starting to winterize today, unscrewed the plastic water heater drain plug, and noticed some kind yellow putty on the plug and screw hole. Does anyone know if this is simple plumbers putty or something special that should be reapplied?
How should it be reapplied?
It's pipe dope, similar to plumbers putty but designed to go on pipe threads. You can find small tubes at a hardware store or use Teflon tape. I recommend the tape since you don't have to worry about the pipe dope dissolving over time. Wrap the tape clockwise looking at the inside of the plug so screwing it in doesn't unwrap the tape. 4-6 wraps should be good.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:12 PM   #6
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Hi

Sounds like thread seal / plumbers putty (or whatever you want to call it). Normal drill is to clean it off and re-apply. Lowes or Home Depot should have something that will work. RectorSeal is one brand that I've used. The stuff labeled "for use on stainless steel, will not work on plastics" is the wrong one. I'm more a teflon tape guy for screw in plugs.

Bob
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