Plumber’s Putty Vs Plumber’s Dope: What’s The Difference?

Leaking joints show that a plumbing job hasn’t been done successfully. A plumbing job can only meet your expectations if there are no leaks left behind.

If joints aren’t sealed properly, you’ll experience annoying drips. The sections where plumbing fixtures or pipes meet require proper sealing.

Both plumber’s putty and plumber’s dope are used in creating watertight seals where plumbing fixtures or pipes meet. However, each product has a specific usage.


What is Plumber’s Dope?

Plumber’s dope, also known as pipe dope, is slang terminology for a compound used in joining pipes. Pipe dope is packaged in a small jar.

The product looks like mashed potatoes in terms of consistency. Pipe dope stays pasty and doesn’t harden. It never becomes flaky or brittle over time.

These characteristics make it effortless to apply such that it fills the voids that are formed by pipe threads. Pipe dope is available in two forms: one for propane or gas fixtures and another for plumbing.

plumbing with pipe dope

How to Use Plumber’s Dope

Pipe dope comes with an application tool. You’ll use the applicator to apply the dope on the threads of a male pipe fitting.

You’ll need to apply the dope before fitting one pipe into another or before fitting a pipe into an elbow. Apply dope evenly on the male threads.

Use a generous amount of plumber’s dope when applying. Any excess dope will easily ooze out of the fittings. Wipe away the excess amount. Hand-tighten the fittings. Then tighten the fittings a few more turns with an adjustable pipe wrench.


What is Plumber’s Putty?

Basically, plumber’s putty is a thick, malleable compound that can be shaped with ease. Putty is manufactured from vegetable and mineral oils, making it flexible in nature. Just like plumber’s dope, putty doesn’t dry out or harden.

Moreover, it doesn’t crumble or shrink. Putty is meant for sealing flanges but not coating pipe threads. Putty can also be used for sealing the space between a faucet and the sink.

Putty doesn’t stop water pressure. Thus, it works as a form of a barrier by preventing water leaks behind a plumbing fixture.

plumber using plumbers putty

How to Use Plumber’s Putty

First, take some putty and create a ball with your hands. Doing so will soften the putty. Upon creating a ball, stretch it to form a lengthy roll of putty.

Press the roll into the fixture or flange. Tighten the fixture into position. Any excess plumber’s putty will easily ooze from the plumbing joint. You can put back the excess putty in its container for future use.


Related Articles

How To Remove Plumber’s Putty

Should I Caulk or Seal the Bathtub Drain?

What Is The Use Of Flux In Plumbing?

Tips for Applying Plumber’s Grease on Shower Faucets

Best Substitutes for Teflon Tape



  1. Tien April 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Hi, Where can I buy plumber putty? Bunnings doesn’t sell it. eBay has it but only from international sellers.
    I can’t find it anywhere.

    • Angela April 2, 2020 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Hey Tien, try searching for linseed putty at bunnings. You may buy from ebay too, even though it is from international sellers.

  2. Michael Young May 18, 2020 at 4:23 am - Reply

    Very nice and interesting video clip on Pex and other pipes and fittings. Just love it. Will be looking out for more information especially on Pex tubing , projects and fittings.

Leave A Comment