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I am replacing the tub drain (chrome to bronze). I was wondering if I should use plumbers tape on the drain, or is the putty enough?

EDIT: Thank you for your responses. I am changing the drain only. I guess a better question is, should I use plumbers tape between the drain and drain shoe? I know I should use the putty on the edge of the drain but someone told me to use plumbers tape on the threads. I just changed to whole drain shoe and I'm afraid to mess it up by doing it wrong.

Second edit: thanks again for all your responses. It seems the general consensus is that I do not need tape. The shoe is pvc and the drain is bronze.

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    Which parts are you talking about here? Putty and tape are used for different things. There is yet another thing called dope, perhaps that's what you're asking about?
    – Matthew
    Nov 23, 2020 at 6:03
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    "chrome to bronze" Is that the old drain material to new drain material? Is that the drain and tub material? What, exactly, does that mean?
    – FreeMan
    Nov 23, 2020 at 12:43
  • Yes, be sure to understand the difference between plumber's putty and thread compound. Putty is not for sealing pipes.
    – isherwood
    Nov 23, 2020 at 15:28
  • Thank you for your responses. I am changing the drain only. I guess a better question is, should I use plumbers tape between the drain and drain shoe? I know I should use the putty on the edge of the drain but someone told me to use plumbers tape on the threads. I just changed to whole drain shoe and I'm afraid to mess it up by doing it wrong.
    – DianaQ
    Nov 24, 2020 at 14:03

2 Answers 2

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You don't need tape for the seal (those drain to shoe threads are not where the water seal takes place in those parts) but since you are using metal drain parts teflon tape or pipe dope does greatly increase the odds that you or the next person will be able to get them apart, rather than finding them irrevocably corroded together. I'd actually prefer pipe dope for the purpose.

As for putty, that apparently depends on the tub material. I was looking up instructions for my new-ish tub and was very surprised to find that silicone caulking was the recommended material for my tub - apparently plumber's putty does not get along with acrylic tubs? I'm going to guess that your all metal drain probably goes with a cast iron tub where plumbers putty is the right material, but I offer that observation because it surprised me, and made my tub of plumber's putty feel sad and unwanted, poor thing.

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    My container of window glazing compound feels the same way - unwanted and unloved!
    – SteveSh
    Nov 24, 2020 at 14:35
  • +1 using dope on threaded metal drain parts may not be needed to seal leaks but it will significantly help the next fellow who dissassmbles it
    – Matthew
    Nov 24, 2020 at 16:23
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Putty is used between two surfaces to fill in the gaps and ensure no leaks.

Teflon tape is not needed for this application.

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  • It's difficult to make that statement when we don't know what parts are being joined. A threaded tailpiece, for example, would call for tape.
    – isherwood
    Nov 23, 2020 at 15:29
  • Every tailpiece I've seen uses a compression gasket/washer. The seal comes from tightening the slip nut and compressing the gasket/washer. No tape is needed. Perhaps there are other designs...but if so, they are certainly esoteric. Nov 23, 2020 at 16:44

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