How to Glue PVC Pipe | The Definitive Guide

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 material 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, 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 as 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 

  • Handsaw
  • Level
  • Nut-Driver
  • Rags
  • Tape Measure

Materials Required

  • 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

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 centers.

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 beveled edges.

Note that, if untouched, burrs can catch hair and 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.

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.

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.

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 toward water piping, check the amount of solvent you apply on the inside of the socket on the fitting.

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 joint surfaces.

Engaging Read – What are PVC Pipe Sizes? | What are PVC Pipe Dimensions? | The Complete Guide

Push and Twist

  • Set the pipe and fittings about the quarter-turn from their final positioning.
  • Push the pipe into the PVC pipe connectors and twist 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.

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 extra 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 connecting plastic copper, steel, and cast iron. Each coupling is labeled with all the pipe sizes and compatible types.

  • Slide the pipe ends into the transition fittings
  • Use a nut driver to turn the screws, 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:

Various types of PVC primer and glue are 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.

Many PVC cement options are available in the market, and the best manufacturers 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 size and length you need. Marking and numbering pieces are also good 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. Before getting started, 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, twist the pipe a quarter of the way around as you shove it 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 three 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.

FAQs – 

1. Can PVC pipe be glued without primer?

Ans. Some will tell you that it’s unnecessary to use primer while gluing PVC pipe, and they are right to some extent. Strong PVC bonds can be made without using primer. However, using a primer will ensure the bond between PVC pipe and fitting is as strong as possible.

2. Can you glue a leaking PVC pipe?

Ans. 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 to 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 have 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. This solution only works for minor leaks; anything substantial is a different problem altogether. Rubber and silicone tape comes 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. This method can cover any minor leaks, 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 –

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 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.

1 thought on “How to Glue PVC Pipe | The Definitive Guide”

  1. I find a half round file is far better than sand paper.

    The deburring & slight chamber is useful to stop blockages inside but I also find that putting a tiny 45 degree champher or angle on the outside end of the inside pipe or fitting aids them going together easier.  If the end is perfectly flush or square then it will sometimes dig in as it is being fitted together.  The angle only needs to be just big enough to see so that there isn’t a  sharp edge that can bite in as you fit the two parts together.

    An easy way to mark out or cut the pipe square is to use an adjustable pipe clamp of the type that you tighten up with a screwdriver.  When you tighten the clamp so that the clamp is tight on the pipe or just barely movable.  It does not need to be very tight.  The pipe clamp will be perfectly square on the pipe.  You can then use a pen to mark the cut line or even use the pipe clamp as an edge to guide a hacksaw blade.  If the pipe clamp needs a flat screwdriver blade to tighten it & you have forgotten a screwdriver then you can use the end of a hacksaw blade.  Where the clamp tightens up is wider but you can just move the clamp arround slightly to mark that part.

    I often lightly groove all the way arround the pipe with the hacksaw following my marked line & use that groove as a guide.  The pipe clamp will get slightly damaged if you use it as a fence to guide the saw blade but I have done that when cutting a pipe end that was recessed many inches under a concrete path with extremely limited access.


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