DIY Plumbing: How to Connect PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are one of the most universally used materials in modern plumbing. The sturdy pipes are good for both internal and external fixtures. Cheaper than their more traditional metal alternatives, PVC pipes also never rust and aren’t known to bleed contaminants into your water. Arguably the best part of using PVC pipes for your plumbing is how easy they are to install and connect. Even an amateur DIY enthusiast can handle forming PVC connections! We’re here to share our DIY plumbing guide on how to connect PVC pipes.

Step One: Collect Your Tools

You need a few tools to properly connect PVC pipes. All of our recommended tools are easy to find at any home supply store, so don’t worry – you won’t be searching all over town! You’ll need the PVC itself, cut to the length you need as well as all relative connectors. A handsaw is a good idea for making any last-minute tweaks to sizing. You will also need a few sheets of coarse sandpaper, a cleaning rag, and potentially even a mallet or hammer. Lastly, but most importantly, you need your PVC solvent (or cement). You can use PVC fasteners to connect two different pieces, but our plumbing experts recommend sticking to cement for long-lasting results.

Step Two: Prepare Your PVC Pipes

Once you have all your tools gathered, you’ll place the pipes in their new location. Ensure they fit properly before cementing anything together; you need the entire project to fit. Otherwise, you’ll end up tearing it apart and redoing your work. If you’re sure you have the right sizing, sand down the inside of the ‘female’ pipe (the pipe that will have another inserted into it). You want it smooth but not worn down; just smooth enough the cement will hold. Take your rag and clean both pipes thoroughly. Any leftover dust, debris, or hair could damage the seal. Allow the pipe to completely dry before moving on to the final step.

Step Three: Connecting Your PVC Pipes Using Cement

After your pipes have been cleaned, sanded, and dried you can cement them together. The reason we recommend using cement over a fastener is that cement has a lot less risk involved. Cementing two pipes together creates a tight seal, whereas a fastener may have just the smallest gap that ruins your pipe’s connection. You may not notice any gaps until it’s too late when using fasteners, so play it safe and use cement. To apply, you’ll put a liberal amount on the outside edge of the ‘male’ pipe. Slide it into the larger opening and hold for 30 seconds to ensure the cement has fully set. Let the cement dry thoroughly before turning any water back on. A hack to confirm you’ve got a good seal in the cement is to lightly tap the exterior of the pipe with a hammer or mallet. This pops any air bubbles you may have, leading to a better seal.

If you’re unsure of how to properly connect your PVC pipes, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumbing company for help! For more common plumbing and other related tips, please contact Sin City Plumbing.

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