Whether it is plumbing work or some craft with PVC pipes, you will need to glue the pipes to secure the joints. For an airtight or watertight seal, you can use a special glue that ensures there are no gaps at all.
However, if your aim is just to glue the pipes without the need for a perfect seal, you can use Gorilla glue or other glue meant for PVC. This step-by-step process will show you how to glue PVC pipes at home.
Cutting the PVC pipes
Using a fine-tooth saw, make a clean, square cut for proper fitting into the joining pieces. This cut also allows for an adequate surface area for the glue to work on. It also creates a smooth inner surface to allow for better water flow.
You don’t need to buy the power miter saw since this is just a one-time home project where a handsaw with a homemade guide can manage. Do not use a hacksaw since its narrow blade has a tendency to wander. The handsaw with 3 or 4-inch blade is the best for your plumbing job. If you plan to do a lot of plumbing work, it is worth investing in special saws available at your local hardware stores.
Sand off saw burrs
Using sandpaper, you can sand off the inner burrs that can easily snag debris eventually causing a clog in your pipes. They also interfere with a perfect fit on the outside. If you have no access to sandpaper, use a file or pocket knife. And 80-grit sandpaper is excellent to work with and easy to use. Roll it into the inner size of the pipe then, holding it at an angle, work the pipe till you get a slightly beveled edge.
Mark the pipes
This is crucial if you want to avoid adjusting as it dries. Prior marking will ensure it fits precisely for the desired orientation. The glue dries in a few seconds making it a challenge to align your pipes and fittings if it is not cut and measured correctly before applying the glue.
You may use a torpedo level to align the pipes before the glue stage. Do a dry run and correct anything that doesn’t go as desired. These marks are necessary when joining the pipes and fittings.
Apply the glue
Ensure you thoroughly wipe the outside of the pipe and inside of the fitting with a primer to remove any particles or chemicals and let it dry for about 10 seconds. Apply a thin layer of the solvent cement outside the pipe and inside the fitting, ensure the layer is evenly spread for a reliable joint and to prevent gaps after it has dried. From here, you must work fast.
With the pieces aligned about a quarter turn from their final orientation, twist them in as you press to help spread the glue evenly for a stable joint. Hold it for about 15 seconds for the glue to take hold. After some hours to a day, there will have formed a strong bond.
In case you failed to allow for shrinkage resulting in shorter pipes, don’t worry too much, the error can be corrected. Saw off the troublesome section, whether too long or too short then reassemble it with coupling. You can reuse the cut off pipes or use a new section depending on the mistake. When shopping for this project, buy extra fittings just in case to save you many trips to the store, a sure demoralizer. This is how to glue PVC pipe at home with no plumbing skills.
- It is worth noting that when using solvent cement, you will lose about 3/8 inches for each joint hence the need to allow the extra length.
- Use the proper glue for every type of plastic pipe you work with.
- Universal solvent cement may not be the correct one for your project, so read the label first.
- For connecting different pipe types, for example, PVC and steel, use a transition coupling.
- There are different types of glues for MDF, wood, rubber and most types of plastics including PVC pipes.