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Plastic pipe gluing (C) Daniel Friedman PVC / CPVC Cement Hold, Set & Cure Times
Glue set & cure times needed to avoid poor or leaky plastic pipe joints & connections

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PVC & CPVC cement / glue specifications:

This article gives tables of hold, set & cure times that should be respected when cementing PVC or CPVC piping systems. Here are definitions of plastic pipe gluing "hold time" (how long to hold the joint when gluing), set time (how long before you can move the piping around) and cure time (how long before the piping can be exposed to pressure.

The article explains that movement or exposure to pressure in the piping system before the glued pipe joints & fittings have adequatgly set or cured risks damaged connections, leaks, pipe failures.

This article series describes the properties of polubutylene PVC & CPVC plastic piping and tubing used in buildings. We include information about failures and problems with some generations of CPVC or PVC plastic pipes and we describe good building practice installation details where plastic piping is being installed.



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PVC & CPVC Pipe Gluing Specifications, Joint Set & Cure Times

PVC  pipe glue procedures (C) Daniel FriedmanReader Question: how long for a pvc pipe glue joint to dry before turning on the water

(Feb 20, 2015) Champ said:
PVC water pipe in basement froze and broke. Water shut off at road. Water turned off, PVC pipe cut and glued. Temp. now -20. I need to turn on water. How long to turn on water. Glue jar says 2 hrs. to dry. Should we put electric heater in room to assist drying? When we turn on water, should we turn 1/4 turn until open all way or just open?

This question was originally posted at WATER SUPPLY TURN-ON in our article series on how to DE-WINTERIZE a BUILDING

Reply: PVC piping glue set vs. cure time: when is it safe to turn on the water & at what pressure? Role of temperature in PVC joint cure time.

Champ: an accurate answer depends on knowing the diameter of the pipe you are gluding and other details as well as knowing the care taken in preparing and assembling the joints. If we assume you are gluing a home water supply pipe that is no larger in diameter than 1 1/4" and at 20F you need to wait a half hour before turning on your water supply. That specification is good for typical conditions for pressures up to 160 psi.

Adding heat will indeed assist in curing if the glued joint. The risk of turning water on too soon is likely to cause a failed glue joint.

Let's see what the glue manufacturers say about glue curing time. Portions of this text were adapted from information provided by Oatey®, Georg Fischer Piping Systems, and other manufacturers cited in this article and further at REFERENCES

Factors Affecting CPVC & PVC Pipe Joint Set & Cure Times

Watch out: high and low temperatures, humidity, joint fit, pipe condition (new vs. old being repaired), and pipe size in diameter all have important effects on glued PVC pipe joints.

Cold temperatures mean that more time is needed to for set and cure times.

And high temperatures can increase the softening effects of the solvents used in primers and glues used in PVC piping, potentially softening or damaging the piping if too much solvent is used.

Watch out: in damp or humid weather you need to increase the set and cure times by 50%!

Watch out: for an accurate figure on PVC glue drying time for your specific case, be sure to check the label of your particular CPVC or PVC pipe cement product.

Definition of Glued PVC Pipe Joint Hold Time:

The "hold time" is the period during which you should physically hold the newly-glued pipe joint components in position immediately after assembling them. This is typically 30 seconds but in cold weather you will need to extend that time to perhaps a minute.

Definition of Glued PVC PIPE Joint Set Time:

The "set time" for a glued PVC piping joint is the time that you should wait before handling the newly-assembled and glued joints. This is how long you should wait before moving the parts around. If you move the glued parts before the set time period the risk is that you move them and the glued joint will either fail or it will "set" into a position other than the one you intended.

PVC / CPVC pipe joint set times range from 2 minutes (1/2" to 1 1/4" pipe at 60-100°F) to 48 hours (16"-24" pipe at 0-40°F).

At temperatures above 60°F, a generally "safe" set time for typical residential smaller-sized plastic pipe (under 3") installations is 15 minutes before pressure testing to 180 psi, with increases needed for humid or cold conditions.

Watch out: Oatey warns "Do not test with air."

The "set time" that you should wait before moving the assembled plastic piping that has just been glued is in addition to the "hold time".

Typical PVC or CPVC Pipe Joint Cement Handling / Set Time Wait Periods

Temperature At Time of Assembly 60-100°F 40-60°F 20-40°F 0-20°F

Pipe Diameter

 
1/2" - 1 1/4"
2 minutes 5 minutes 8 minutes 10 minutes
1 1/2" - 3"
5 minutes 10 minutes 12 minutes 15 minutes
4" - 5"
15 minutes 30 minutes 1 hour 2 hours
6" - 8"
30 minutes 1 1/2 hours 3 hours 6 hours
10" - 16"
2 hours 8 hours 12 hours 24 hours
18" & above 
4 hours 16 hours 24 hours 48 hours

Watch out: in damp or humid weather you need to increase the set and cure times by 50%!

Watch out: for an accurate figure on PVC glue drying time for your specific case, be sure to check the label of your particular CPVC or PVC pipe cement product.

Adapted from

  • Oatey Solvent Cements for PVC/CPVC piping, Oatey®, 4700 W. 160th St. I Cleveland, OH 44135 800.321.9532 I Fax: 800.321.9535 www.oatey.com
  • Georg Fischer, "Design & Installation, Set & Cure Time [for solvent-cemented PVC piping glued joints]", Georg Fischer Piping Systems, Georg Fischer Harvel LLC, 300 Kuebler Road, Easton, PA 18040, USA, Tel: 610-252-7355, Website: www.GFPiping.com
  • REFERENCES

Table design © 2015 InspectApedia.com

Definition of Glued PVC pipe joint Cure Time:

The "cure time" for a glued PVC piping joint is the time period that you should wait before pressure-testing the piping (for example in drain or suppy piping) and before turning on water (in water supply piping) or in other words before pressurizing the piping system. The risk is that if you pressurize the glued piping system before the completion of the glued joint curing the system will fail, burst, leak, or come apart.

PVC / CPVC pipe joint cure times range from 15 minutes (1/2" to 1 1/4" pipe at 60-100°F) to 14 days (16"-24" pipe at 0-40°F)

Typical PVC or CPVC Pipe Joint Cement Cure Time Periods

Temperature At Time of Assembly 60-100°F 40-60°F 20-40°F 0-20°F

Pipe Diameter

Times are all in hours except as noted
1/2" - 1 1/4"
1 2 6 8
1 1/2" - 3"
2 4 12 16
4" - 5"
6 12 36 2 days
6" - 8"
8 16 3 days 4 days
10" - 16"
24 2 days 8 days 10 days
18" & above 
36 3 days 12 days 14 days

Watch out: this data is for pressure testing up to 180 psi. Manufacturers warn "do not test with air" . If pressure testing is to be conducted at pressures above 180 psi the cure times before pressure testing is allowed will be considerably longer. Check the specifications of your specific PVC CPVC cement product.

Watch out: in damp or humid weather you need to increase the set and cure times by 50%!

Watch out: for an accurate figure on PVC glue drying time for your specific case, be sure to check the label of your particular CPVC or PVC pipe cement product.

Adapted from

  • Oatey Solvent Cements for PVC/CPVC piping, Oatey®, 4700 W. 160th St. I Cleveland, OH 44135 800.321.9532 I Fax: 800.321.9535 www.oatey.com
  • Georg Fischer, "Design & Installation, Set & Cure Time [for solvent-cemented PVC piping glued joints]", Georg Fischer Piping Systems, Georg Fischer Harvel LLC, 300 Kuebler Road, Easton, PA 18040, USA, Tel: 610-252-7355, Website: www.GFPiping.com
  • REFERENCES

Table design © 2015 InspectApedia.com

For high temperature PVC gluing applications manufacturers suggest

For cold temperature PVC gluing applications manufacturers suggest

Where to Buy CPVC & PVC Pipe Solvent-type Primers & Cements

These and other PVC and CPVC pipe cement products are widely distributed by plumbing suppliers and building suppliers such as Home Depot & Loews.

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