Hello people. I hope you’re all doing fine. Today I’m going to share a comprehensive guide containing everything you should know about PVC pipe glue and how to use it efficiently.
How to Glue PVC Pipe –
Gluing PVC pipe, or if you like to call it joining or connecting PVC pipe is not like typical gluing at all. Joining a PVC pipe to pipe fitting requires a special type of primer and cement – A chemical solvent that melts the surface of PVC and quickly hardens to combine the pieces, a quality not generally found in any ordinary adhesive. The result should create a bond that is airtight, and leakproof, something you will witness in welding metal.
In short, the procedure of gluing PVC pipe comprises applying primer to the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting, which cleans and preps the PVC. After about 10 seconds you apply cement to the same areas, then push the pipe properly and allow the cement to set.
Sounds like a cakewalk right? However, as simple it sounds gluing PVC pipe often gets messy, and if you make a mistake there’s no looking back. A mistake means you have to cut the pipe and start over, which obviously, is not a pleasant experience.
For a reliable PVC bond, let’s go through the gluing procedure in detail.
Tools Required –
- Tape Measure
- Cement and primer
- Plastic pipe and fittings
- Transition coupling
Interesting Read – What is PVC Fittings? | What is PVC Connection? | The Definitive Guide
How to Connect PVC Pipe Using a PVC Pipe Glue: A Step-by-Step Guide
1. Make Square Cuts for Strong Joints:
- Screw together scraps of 2×4
- Saw by a handsaw with a blade that’s 3 or 4 inches wide
Square pipe ends fit easily into the fittings, leaving plenty of contact areas for the solvent to work properly. They also make a smoother interior surface allowing fast water flow.
Generally, any fine-tooth saw is enough for the job, but buying special saws for cutting plastic can prove to be a worthwhile investment if you often indulge yourself in plumbing work. They are easy to find in any plumbing area or with the handsaws in your nearest hardware stores and home centres.
2. Deburring the Inside:
- Roll a quarter sheet of 80-grit sandpaper into a tube and flatten it slightly to the mat.
- Use sandpaper to file off the inner burrs.
- Hold the sandpaper at a slightly tilted angle and sand the inside and outside of the pipe till it creates bevelled edges.
Note that, if untouched, burrs can catch hair other debris creating blockages and clogs.
Burrs can also be removed by utilizing a file or pocketknife, but my recommendation is sandpaper. It works the best.
3. Deburring the Outside:
- File off the outside using sandpaper.
By doing so, the pipe will plant itself into the fitting easily and you’ll get a tighter fit.
4. Marking the Pipe and Fitting:
- Dry-fit the PVC pipe and PVC connector fitting utilizing a torpedo level, if needed. It will help in aligning the fitting.
- Make markings across pipe and fittings.
After spreading the solvent cement on both the pipe and fitting and pressing them together, you will only have a few seconds to get the alignment right before the pieces are joined together. Once the pieces are stuck together they can’t be undone. Therefore, making alignment marks beforehand is a must.
5. Apply the PVC Cement:
- Clean the inside of the fitting and outside of the pipe using a PVC primer.
- Let it dry for 10 seconds.
- Lay out an even layer of solvent PVC cement on the inside of the fitting and outside of the pipe.
To stop excess solvent cement from getting pushed towards water piping, keep a check on the amount of solvent you apply on the inside of the socket on the fitting.
Just applying the solvent on the pipe and pushing in the fitting won’t necessarily mean you have a strong joint. To make sure a strong and reliable joint you need to make an even layer of cement over all mutual surfaces.
6. Push and Twist:
- Set the pipe and fitting about the quarter-turn from their final positioning.
- Push the pipe into the PVC pipe connectors and twist and the fitting until the marks are positioned.
- Press and hold the pipe for 15 seconds.
Twisting the fittings will be handy as it will spread the solvent evenly to make a strong joint.
Pressing and holding properly is a critical part. If you let go immediately, the pipe may thrust out of the fitting resulting in a feeble joint.
7. Rectify Mistakes with a Coupling:
Mistakes happen. Even the most experienced professionals tend to get things wrong sometimes. Once in a blue moon, assembled PVC pipes don’t reach the predrilled holes because we dry-fit the PVC pipes and ignore or forget to allow extras space for shrinkage.
- Saw out the affected section
- Utilizes a coupling to re-assemble the parts. use new parts if necessary.
- Prime and cement the parts together.
Always buy extra fittings. Having extra fittings on hand will save you an extra trip to the hardware store and you can always return the extras if unused.
Transition Coupling; Join Different Types of Pipe:
What is Transition Coupling?
Transition couplings have a flexible rubber sleeve surrounded by band clamps and a metal sleeve. They’re useful in connection with plastic copper, steel, and cast iron. Each coupling is labelled with all the pipe sizes and types it is compatible with.
- Slide the pipe ends into the transition fittings
- Use a nut driver to turn the screws and tighten the bands and seal the joints.
Do’s and Dont’s: How to Glue PVC Pipe –
DON’T use the wrong type of cement/glue:
There are various types of PVC primer and glue available in the market depending on the type of plastic piping. Read labels and always choose a cement specially made to work with PVC. Keep information related to cement to choose which one fits the best. You may see one type of cement on the shelf which is made to work with CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl-chloride) which looks similar in the name and attributes if you go by the label but is not an acceptable alternative.
There are many PVC cement options available in the market and the best manufactures are names like Weld-on, Gorilla, Oatey, and many more.
Fascinating Read – PVC Melting Point, Properties, Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages
DO a dry fit:
Before gluing PVC Pipe, set out all the pieces of pipe, and make sure when they’re connected, they fit accurately and cut to the right size and length you need. Marking and numbering pieces is also good practice to avoid gluing the wrong ones together.
Don’t Ignore Safety Warnings:
PVC primer and glue are tricky to work with and manufacturers warn about not having eye and skin contact with them. Before getting started ensure you wear safety goggles (ideally with side shields) and protective gloves. Covering your work surface is another factor to consider to avoid difficult clean up later. PVC pipe glue can leach harmful chemicals, therefore, always work with it in a well-ventilated area.
Do Twist is Must for a Strong Fit:
As mentioned above as well, twist the pipe a quarter of the way around as you shove into the fitting. This is a crucial step often neglected by people, twisting the pipe makes the glue spread better, offering a tighter fit. Hold the pipe and fitting tightly for 30 odd seconds to avoid the pipe popping out.
Do Allow Enough Cure Time:
After holding the pipe for 3 odd seconds, you must give it at least 20 minutes before working on it so the glue/cement can cure properly. Go through the product manual once to get an idea of how long the glue needs to cure before starting to use it for your project. It’s usually 24 hours.
1. Can PVC pipe be glued without primer?
Ans. Some will tell you that it’s not necessary to use primer while gluing PVC pipe and up to some extent they are right. Strong PVC bonds can be made without using primer. However, utilizing primer will ensure the creation of the bond between PVC pipe and fitting as sting as possible.
2. Can you glue a leaking PVC pipe?
Ans. Using Repair epoxy is the best way to repair leaks on PVC pipes and fitting. To repair your PVC pipe and Joint using epoxy, first clean and dry the affected area, ensure no water contact is crucial here. Apply the epoxy in the affected area and let it cure for 10-15 minutes.
3. Why does my PVC pipe keeps coming apart?
Ans. If the PVC pipe keeps coming apart there must be clogs inside it, you must’ve ignored it or not seen it while gluing. There is no problem with reusing the fittings. All you have to do is use a bit more primer to soften the remnants, and use sandpaper to wipe the inside of the pipe and fitting to remove additional dirt.
4. How do you fix a leaking PVC pipe without cutting and gluing it?
Ans. Well, this solution only works for minor leaks, anything substantial is a different problem altogether. Rubber and silicone tape come in a roll that you can wrap directly around the PVC pipe. The repair tape adheres directly to itself rather than adhering to the PVC pipe. Any minor leaks can be covered using this method, but if the tape is applied to larger leaks, it will just come off by the water pressure.
5. Should I PVC before gluing?
Ans. Some amount of sanding, and chamfering is a good practice for better insertion and fitting. That coupled with proper use of sandpaper for deburring will maximize your chances of getting a strong bond between the pipes and fittings.
Suggested Read –
- Plastic Abbreviations and Their Salient Features | The Ultimate Guide
- ABS Vs PVC | The Complete Guide
- Antistatic vs. Static Dissipative Plastics | Which One to Choose?
- ABS Pipe Sizes & Dimensions For Schedule 40 and 80
- HDPE Pipe Sizes and Dimensions | A Complete Analysis
- PEX Vs PVC | The Definitive Guide
- What is PET Plastic | PET Characteristics | PET Copolymers | How is PET Made | Advantages & Disadvantages
- Mechanical Properties of Plastic Materials | The Definitive Guide
- Top 10 Plastic Bottle Manufacturers in USA
Final Thoughts –
That’s all I wanted to say about PVC pipe glue and how to glue PVC pipe with ease and efficiency. The best PVC glues are those which is sold by the mainstream brands like Oatey, Gorilla, and Weld-on. In addition, always use a primer as it is essential to form a reliable bond. Also, never neglect to cure time to make the bond as strong as possible.
Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day.