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What Are the Best Tips for Gluing PVC Pipe?

It may be a good idea to wear old clothes that can be disposed of when gluing PVC pipe.
Straight connections help provide a strong hold for PVC pipe.
Polyvinyl chloride pipes, or PVC pipes, are very versatile and used for a wide array of things in modern society.
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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
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Polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) pipe is used in a variety of applications, from plumbing to wiring. When gluing PVC pipe, it is important to get the connections straight, cut the PVC straight and, most importantly, create a leak-proof connection. The glue is extremely fast-drying, and the best tip is to work very fast and have the pieces ready to be positioned prior to applying the glue to the first piece. Another tip is to always apply the glue to both pieces that are being joined. It is also best to wear old clothes and gloves that can be disposed of after this often-messy project is completed.

Installing PVC pipe is common in most construction projects that include water or electric wiring. One of the best methods of connecting PVC pipe is gluing PVC pipe sections and fittings into place. The actual act of connecting the PVC is not gluing, however, it is actually welding through the use of chemicals that meld the pipe together. Most people understand the concept of gluing better than that of welding, however, so the process is known as gluing.

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One tip to ensure a proper connection is to make an even and smooth cut on the PVC pipe. This can be done by using a pencil to trace around a piece of tape that is placed around the pipe at the correct measurement. It is also possible to simply cut along the edge of the applied tape. Once cut to length, it is a good tip to sand the rough edges of the cut PVC with sandpaper in order to create a good joint. It is a common misconception that primer does not need to be used when gluing PVC pipe unless the application is for water containment. A good tip to promote a solid connection every time, however, is to never skip the primer.

When gluing PVC pipe, a helpful tip is to pre-assemble all connections and place a pencil mark on the connection joint. This will provide a reference mark when positioning the connection after gluing. After applying the primer and the glue to both pieces, the connection is placed on the PVC pipe at a 90-degree angle and twisted until both marks are aligned. The glue dries very fast, so this must be a rapid process. Another tip is to always use enough glue to completely cover the outside of the pipe.

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Discuss this Article

jmc88
Post 4

I have to say that with all this talk of gluing I find it to be foreign to me because people do not actually glue the pipes together, but instead chemically weld them.

However, I will say that one might as well be gluing these pipes together as this process is simply very difficult and usually the welds are the week parts of the pipe.

I agree with what has been said, that the best way is to simply use pipe connectors and seal around the edges. This prevent week parts of the PVC pipe from occurring and also allows people a much easier time.

I would not weld the pipes together, as even professionals have trouble doing it and some amateurs need to not use glue, like has been previously stated.

stl156
Post 3

@matthewc23 - I completely agree. I see so many people make the mistake of buying all their PVC pipe that are just pipes and do not have connecting ends.

When this is the case, it becomes amazingly difficult for someone to finish their project and creates completely unnecessary work that could be avoided.

I once saw a neighbor buy a lot of PVC pipe for a project under his house and unfortunately he did not buy any pipes with connectors and he spent a week on this project that possibly could have gotten done in a single day.

I really do not think that gluing pipe is that hard, because I always use connecting pipes and I simply use the glue as an extra security measure. However, if one does not have a choice and must use non-connecting pipes, they better be prepared to work for a long time and know that a tough project is ahead.

matthewc23
Post 2

@Izzy78 - Well the most ideal circumstance to begin with is to simply use a long pipe and to avoid gluing and putting pipes together. However, sometimes there are instances in which someone needs to go over a distance that is longer than a PVC pipe they can buy, so they must glue pipes together.

I find what you are referring to is using pipes that are the same sides that are not designed to have another pipe inserted in.

These types of pipes make the job of gluing a lot easier simply because pipes are supposed to be inserted and designed to be connected together.

I have had experience with these pipes and in some instances they are such a tight fit that one does not need to glue the pipes, but as a safety measure to eliminate leaks, one can glue around the pipe that has been inserted in to ensure that there will be no leaks.

This type of job is not too demanding and it is a lot easier than cutting pipes, trying to line them up, and gluing them all together.

Izzy78
Post 1

I have always felt like gluing PVC pipe together is a failure waiting to happen.

Most of the time either the pipes are not put together straight enough and this allows the glue to wear and the pipes to eventually separate especially if they are in an elevated position and not just laying on the ground.

I have always thought that PVC pipe was something that cannot be glued together, because the pipes are simply too flimsy in order to handle wear over time.

In my experience gluing the pipes together, and I mean two pipes of the same size, is a time consuming process, as well as a attempt at creating something that will not last its use too long.

My suggestion would be to avoid gluing PVC pipes at all costs and to simply try and use a very long pipe and only glue if it is absolutely necessary.

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