DIY Tip – How to Join PVC Pipes
Many plumbing projects should come with a “Do Not Try This At Home” warning. That’s because one wrong move could cause a major problem, a big mess, or even a safety hazard. However, if you’re looking to tackle repairs or upgrades around the house, there are some plumbing tasks that are good choices. For our customers, we like to recommend jobs that involve PVC pipes.
What is PVC?
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is one of the most widely produced plastics in the world. In fact, more than 40 million tons of material is produced every year. PVC is a very common type of pipe for many plumbing uses, including hot/cold water lines, sewage lines, and irrigation systems.
There are two main benefits of using PVC – it’s inexpensive and very easy to work with. When you’re dealing with any type of pipe, one of the most important considerations is how you join two pieces to create a water-tight joint. For example, with copper pipes, you need to have special tools and know how to solder. But with PVC, it’s relatively easy to cut a pipe to size, connect it to a fitting, and glue it in place. Read on to learn how.
What you’ll need:
- PVC pipe (make sure you have the correct size as it comes in different diameters)
- Coupling – available in different formats based on your needs
- Handsaw or tube cutter
- Deburring tool or utility knife
- Pipe primer
- Pipe cement
- Tape measure
Steps for joining PVC
- Before you begin, read the instructions for the pipe cement. It will provide recommendations for cleaning, the ideal temperature for application, safety instructions, and drying times.
- Measure the length of the pipe you need and mark the line on the pipe. Use your saw or tube cutter and cut the pipe, giving it an extra ½ inch for the coupling. For help cutting the pipe straight, you can use a miter box to hold it in place.
- Using the deburring tool or utility knife, scrape off any small pieces (burrs) still attached to the edge of the pipe where you cut it. Wipe down the edge with a rag to remove dirt.
- Dry fit pipes into the coupling to make sure everything fits and lines up. When done, disassemble the joint.
- Apply the pipe primer to the inside of the coupling and the outside end of the pipe. Follow directions on the primer label. Wait 10 seconds for primer to settle.
- Apply the pipe cement over the primer, then insert the pipe into the coupling. While holding the joint together, twist the pipe slightly to help set the cement to the plastic. Wipe off any cement residue on the outside of the pipe.
- Wait the recommended drying time before testing out the new or repaired pipe.
One challenge with PVC is that once it’s glued it can’t be reused. If the joint doesn’t hold or you need to re-do any of the plumbing, you will have to cut the pipe before the coupling and throw away that piece of PVC.
Plumbers in Schererville, IN
Not all plumbing projects are rocket science. Even if you are a DIY homeowner, it’s wise to have a professional plumber ready in case you need any help. At Reichelt Plumbing, we’re proud to offer flat-rate pricing and a one-year guaranteed for labor and part. Call us today at (219) 322-4906.