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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

How to Join PVC Piping

PVC is the most used plastic piping material because it’s cost-effective, corrosion-resistant, lasts a long time, and is easy to work with.

PVC piping is used for plumbing in irrigation systems, drinking water distribution, sewage and drainage systems, and ventilation ducts. Each type of plastic pipe is composed of different materials and requires the right cement to ensure a proper bond when

connecting the joints. In this case, the joints are made using PVC cement.

Step 1

How to measure

The ends of the PVC pipe will slide inside the pipe fittings up to the shoulder of the fitting. Therefore, when measuring the pipe, it is important to add the overlap length of the shoulder to the end of each pipe length.

Step 2

Make the cut

When cutting the pipe to length, make the cut as straight and square to the pipe body as possible. The cuts can be made with a PVC pipe cutter, a standard hacksaw, a miter saw, or reciprocating saw.

Step 3

Clean the cut

Use a utility knife or half-round file to remove burrs from inside the pipe joint.

Step 4

Clean the joints

To ensure a strong adhesive bond and a leak-free joint, use a fine-grit sandpaper to scuff the ends of the PVC piping to remove the sheen and clean away dirt. Also, scuff the inside of the fitting that will encase the piping. Wipe away any dust with a clean rag.

Step 5

Dry-fit and mark the joint

Assemble the pipe and fittings to make sure everything is the correct length. The orientation of fittings such as tees or elbows is critical to the plumbing system’s design. Make directional reference marks on the mating pieces for easy realignment during final assembly. Also, mark a pencil line to indicate the depth of pipe which will be concealed by the fitting to guide where to apply the PVC primer and PVC cement.

Step 6

Procure the primer and cement

Making the connections requires PVC/CPVC Primer and PVC cement. The cans of each product usually include an applicator brush in the cap.

Step 7

Prime time

Apply PVC primer around the entire end of the pipe. The primer temporarily softens a thin layer of the PVC material, which allows the PVC cement to penetrate deeper into the material to create a strong, leak-free bond between the pipe and fitting.

Step 8

Don’t forget the fittings

Apply PVC primer to the inside of the pipe fittings to achieve the same effect.

Step 9

Apply the cement

Next, brush PVC cement onto the pipe end and inside the fitting, covering the contact surfaces of the joint.

Step 10

Connect the joints

Slide the PVC piping into the fitting until it presses firmly against the shoulder. Give the fitting a 1/4-in. turn to spread the adhesive and ensure it completely seals the joint. Orient the fittings according to the directional alignment marks you made on the pipe. Hold the joint steady for at least 30 seconds while the cement cures.

You can use these same procedures to join CPVC pipe, so long as the cement you’ve chosen indicates it is CPVC-appropriate.

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