How to Join PVC Pipe
Ahhh, the wonder of PVC pipe … ready for a home project? PVC pipe is now one of the most widely used plastics in the world, and has quickly become the favored replacement material in plumbing systems.
PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) is perfect for outdoors and CPVC (Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride) typically used when hot water is involved, can both be purchased at local home improvement stores. Make sure you purchase the type of pipe that is right for the project you have in mind.
PVC or CPVC pipe & fittings
Coupling (if you need to connect to existing pipe)
Pipe Primer & Cement (be sure to get the type specified for PVC or CPVC)
Old Towels and/or rags
Primer & Cement Tips
You may be thinking that you are “gluing” the pieces of pipe together, similar to projects you’ve done with the kids. Not so! These solvents actually melt the plastics together to create a strong joint. Different solvents are used on different types of pipe. It is essential that the correct type is used.
It’s important you read the adhesive instructions before you start. Take note of the safety recommendations, temperature/ventilation requirements, and any special notes.
Let’s Get Started
You’ve measured what length you need and now you’re ready to cut the pipe. Be sure to allow about 1/2 inch for the pipe couplings. Now use your utility knife to remove any burrs.
Once you have the pipe cut, attach the couplings, and make sure that what you have is going to fit. Mistakes can happen, and it is a lot easier to find that out now, before you have added the solvent. Another trip to the home improvement store is always fun, but isn’t going to get your project done!
Use the primer on the pipe and coupling, count to 10, then apply the cement to all areas being connected, then join the two with a slight turn, and hold briefly to set.
How did you do? If you were a little unsure of the process this first time, and think you could do better, consider starting over. Once you turn the water back on, you want to be confident that you’re not going to have any leaks.
Now with all that said, let us warn you–plumbing is more complex than just fitting pipes together! You need to consider ventilation, water and air pressure, temperature exposure, backflow, water safety, and even labeling your pipes. Most plumbing jobs are not a DIY job. That’s where were come in!