How to Use PVC Cement

Solvent-bonding PVC pipes and fittings requires the use of PVC cement. The PVC cement needs a clean surface that is free of inks, oils and chemicals for it to permanently bond a PVC pipe to a PVC fitting. You need to use a solvent-based primer or a cleaner/primer to remove the listed contaminants from the PVC. Failing to use the primer before bonding the PVC pieces together will result in a poor connection that will be prone to leaking.

  1. Place the PVC pipe and PVC elbow on a clean, flat surface. If dust or dirt is in the area of the pipe, clean the area thoroughly to avoid contaminating the PVC solvent connection.

  2. Measure the inside slip connection of the PVC elbow. The end of the slip connection will be the area where the inside diameter of the elbow becomes smaller.

  3. Stretch the tape measure along the outside of the PVC pipe. Place a mark on the surface of the PVC pipe with the permanent marker at the dimension you measured from the inside of the PVC elbow in Step 2.

  4. Open the can of PVC primer or cleaner/primer and brush the dauber attached to the lid against the inside lip of the opening to allow the excess primer to run back into the can.

  5. Run the primer dauber around the outside of the PVC pipe, starting from the edge of the pipe and continuing inward until you reach the mark you made with the permanent marker in Step 3.

  6. Reload the dauber by dipping it back into the can of primer. Remove the excess primer from the dauber as described in Step 4.

  7. Clean the inside slip connection of the PVC elbow with the primer dauber, place the can back on the can of primer and allow the applied primer to dry before proceeding.

  8. Open the can of PVC cement and apply the cement to the areas that you primed on the PVC pipe and the elbow.

  9. Slide the cemented end of the PVC elbow over the cemented end of the PVC pipe and hold the two pieces together for 10 to 15 seconds.

  10. Allow the connection to cure for the time specified on the back of the PVC cement can before handling the cemented PVC pipe.


  • Always use PVC primer and PVC cement in a well-ventilated area.