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Glueing Plastic and PVC Pipe

Rigid plastic plumbing pipe comes in several versions called ABS, PVC and CPVC. Each has different applications however the process for joining each of these pipes is similar.


To begin, when cutting rigid plumbing pipe, all cuts must be straight to ensure a good seal. The best method is to use a plastic pipe cutter or saw. The cut pipe must be clean by removing all burrs with a utility knife or sandpaper.

Test Fitting

Once clean it is now time to test-fit the plumbing pipe to the fittings. If satisfied with the cut and fit, use a marker to draw guide lines to reassemble the pipe after the glue is applied. This step is important because the glue or solvent will set up almost immediately not giving time to refit the pipe.

Primer and Adhesive

Once satisfied with the fit, its time to apply the solvent. Be certain to use the proper solvent glue on the type of pipe being used. You do not want to use an ABS solvent on PVC pipe. Begin the joining process by dulling the pipe ends and fittings with emery cloth. Then apply a small amount of liquid primer to the pipe end and the inside of the fittings. After the primer dries you can apply the solvent glue to the same areas that you primed. While working quickly, reassemble the pipe to the joint using the marker guides you applied above. Remember: the solvent acts quickly so only attempt one joint at a time. Support the joint for about 30 seconds to prevent slippage and wipe away any excess solvent. Do not disturb the joint for approximately 30 minutes.

Working with rigid plastic pipe is easy and inexpensive. With a little practice the average homeowner can complete a plastic pipe project in no time. However, if you don’t have the time or expertise to attempt this or other Richardson plumbing projects, our plumbers are on call and ready to help.

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