Plastic sewer pipe installation (C) D Friedman CPVC & PVC Installation Procedures
Preparing & gluing PVC & CPVC pipes

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PVC / CPVC plumbing supply or drain pipe installation:

This article provides step by step advice for preparing and installing PVC or CPVC plastic water supply or drain piping used at or in buildings.

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 Installation & Cementing Procedures

PVC Pipe waiting for use (C) D FriedmanThe following is adapted and expanded from information provided by Oatey® cited below.

  1. Read the manufacturer's instructions for using the gluing products, primers, cements, and joint assembly, including safety warnings and set and cure times vs. site conditions.

    I know that you think instructions are just something to kneel on to get less mud on your knees, but it's easier and cheaper to follow the instructions than to have to come back to the job to clean up a burst pipe leak.
    • Keep the lid on the container of solvent when you are not actively using it.

      If you leave the solvent cement can open unnecessarily the volatiles will evaporate, thickening the solvent and changing its properties, possibly making it "stringy" and nearly impossible to use.
    • Do not use old, thickened, dried, stringy solvent cements.
    • Watch out: do not work in confined spaces nor near open flames or non-flame-proof electrical equipment as you risk a fire or explosion - Vinidex (2015)
  2. Cut the pipe to proper length, square the pipe ends, chamfer the end (we use a small rasp file), and clean the pipe end of dirt, water, snow, ice.

    "Chamfer" means that you use your file or knife or other tool to remove the burr left by sawing the pipe, leaving a slightly-beveled edge on both the inside and outside of the pipe. I take care to remove the plastic fragments produced by cleaning the burr off the pipe end so that those don't contaminate and ruin the glue joint.
  3. Dry-fit check that the pipe and fitting indeed fit together. The pipe needs to slide easily at least 1/3 the way into the fitting before you've applied the glue.

    It will slide all the way in when lubricated by the adhesive. If the pipe slides all the way in to the stop when dry, it should be snug. If the pipe is loose or wobbly in the fitting the joint will be a poor one likely to leak.
  4. Use the right glue applicator: the size of your glue applicator should be at least 1/2 the size of the pipe's inside diameter. For larger pipe diameters where this advice would be nuts, you'll need to use a roller or a natural bristle brush to apply the flue.
  5. Apply the PVC/CPVC Primer: clean the pipe and fitting before gluing by using a listed primer. Only use a primer that is itself clean and clear. If it's contaminated the joint may leak after assembly.

    Watch out
    : do not use primer on ABS pipe and fittings.
  6. Apply the PVC/CPVC Cement to the pipe: The primer will dry very quickly. Now, before you've gotten dirt or crud in the joint, apply a liberal coating of cement to the outside of the end of the plastic pipe to a depth that will match that of the receiving socket.

    Watch out
    : do not leave un-coated with cement any area of the pipe that will be inside the receiving socket or your joint will be poor and may fail or leak.
  7. Apply the PVC/CPVC Cement to the fitting: apply a thin coating of cement to the inside of the fitting you're about to push onto the pipe. As with the pipe, don't leave any voids of un-coated surface inside the fitting.
  8. Apply a second coat of PVC/CPVC cement to the pipe.
  9. Assemble the coated parts quickly - before they have dried. Push the pipe into the fitting until it bottoms.

    Watch out: The cement must be fluid. If the cement has dried on either fitting do not try to assemble the joint or you'll be very sorry as the pipe won't seat fully in the joint, the joint will be poor, and you'll find yourself having to start over with a new section of both pipe and a new fitting. Instead, if the pipe and joint are not obviously wet with cement, re-coat them.
  10. Hold the cemented parts in place for at least 30 seconds. Don't move or you'll be sorry. At colder temperatures hold the joint longer, maybe a minute or more.
  11. Wipe off excess glue around the outside of the plastic pipe joint
  12. Allow the joint to set before moving it. See the set and cure times discussed in this article. A general rule of thumb for temperatures over 60F and pipes under 3" in diameter is to allow 15 minutes for set time and 2 hours for initial cure time before pressure testing.


Continue reading at PVC & CPVC PIPE GLUING SET & CURE TIMES where we provide tables of set & cure times for PVC & CPVC plastic piping cement, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


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PVC & CPVC PIPE INSTALLATION STEPS at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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