How to Glue Flexible PVC Pipes
Flexible pipe made of polyvinyl chloride is used mainly in pool, spa and landscaping applications. It is not recommended for hot water or drinking water. Flexible PVC is generally more expensive than rigid PVC, but it is just as easy to work with and readily available. Much like cross-linked polyethylene pipe, or PEX, flexible PVC pipe can be maneuvered around many obstacles that would require drilling holes and using multiple connections with rigid pipe. In most applications, the same fittings, primers and glues used for rigid PVC can be used with flexible PVC.
Cut the ends of the pipe, making sure the cuts are square.
Make sure the pipe ends are clean and smooth, with no large marks or defects. Clean the ends of the pipe with steel wool or fine sandpaper, if necessary. Clean the interior of each PVC slip connector.
Dry-fit the plumbing assembly to make sure all the pieces go together properly. Mark the individual pieces of a complex assembly to help position them correctly when you glue them together.
Spread rags or newspaper beneath your work area. Make sure the area has good ventilation.
Apply PVC primer to the exterior ends of the pipe and the interior of each slip connector using the dauber provided with the can.
Apply PVC cement to the primed areas of the pipe and connectors. Assemble the pipe and connectors quickly, turning each connection 1/4 of a turn as you insert the pipe. Be sure to line up any orientation marks you made earlier. Hold the assembly firmly together and count slowly to 10.
Follow the glue manufacturer's recommendations on the amount of time the assembly should cure before you can test it for leaks.
- When working on a complex assembly of PVC pipes, put it together in smaller portions first, if possible. Mark the proper positioning of each sub-assembly so you can make the final assembly correctly.
- Take care when gluing the pipes; PVC cement is messy, and the purple primer will stain everything it touches.
Steve Hamilton has been writing professionally since 1983. His credits include novels under the Dell imprint and for Harlequin Worldwide. A remodeling and repair specialist with over 20 years experience, he is also a Certified Pool Operator and holds an EPA Universal refrigerant certification.
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