Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipe is a plastic pipe commonly used in plumbing applications such as drain, waste and vent (DWV) systems. PVC was developed into a useful building material in the 1920s by Dr. Waldo Semon who worked for BF Goodrich Company. Plastic pipes and fittings are joined together or fused with solvent cement; this is called solvent welding. Solvent cement melts the surface layer of the plastic and fuses the pipe and fitting together creating a watertight joint. Choosing and using the proper solvent cement is essential to minimize leaks and operational problems. Different types and sizes of plastic pipes need different solvent cements and consistencies that are formulated for use with that material. It is important to use the correct solvent cement. PVC plastic pipes require the use of PVC solvent cement, CPVC plastic pipe require a CPVC solvent cement and ABS plastic pipe require the use of ABS solvent cement. Next choose the right consistency.
To choose the right solvent cement, first determine the type of plastic pipe you are using. Regular or thin body solvent cement are used for pipes up to 2 inches in diameter, medium solvent cement is used for pipes up to 6 inches in diameter and heavy body solvent cement is used for pipes up to 12 inch diameter pipes. Generally colors are black for ABS pipes, clear and gray for PVC and orange for CPVC. Cleaners are clear and primers can be clear or purple.
1. Store and apply between 40˚F and 120˚F. Protect from freezing. Do not thin or use if cement has become curdled, lumpy or thickened.
2. Wear non-permeable gloves during application to avoid skin contact.
3. Clean fitting socket and pipe, and check for proper fit. Apply PRIMER to all PVC /CPVC pipes and fittings (Cleaner should be used with ABS) surfaces. While still wet, quickly begin solvent cement application.
4. Shake well before using and stir frequently while using. Apply with supplied dauber applicator. For pipe greater than 2″ diameter, use natural-bristle brush sized 1/2 of the pipe diameter.
5. Apply thin coat evenly to socket. Avoid puddling. Quickly apply heavy coat to pipe end. While wet, quickly insert pipe into fitting with slight twisting movement until it bottoms out.
6. Hold pipe into fitting for at least 30 seconds to prevent pipe backing out.
7. Wipe excess cement from joint with rag. Allow 15 minutes before handling. Avoid full-line pressure for 24 hours. Cure times varies with size, fit, temperature and humidity
Work quickly, if the fitting does not sit correctly, do not force, instead discard the fitting and cut the pipe back to clean area and repeat application. Properly fitted and cemented PVC will ensure stability and prolong its use.