PVC(polyvinyl chloride) pipe is the most popular choice for today's homes, in drains. Although pvc pipe has been around for quite
some time(with a history dating back to 1930's germany and earlier), it has really become a residential standard in the
last few decades. It is the cheapest and easiest method of connecting drains, with some of the longest lifespans in
the history of plumbing(some of those original lines are still in operation!)
PVC is generally connected with pipe and fittings using two liquid compounds. The first is a primer(very often purple)
which prepares the material. This is a very important step and must be done on every joint. It is also not
recommended to "pre" prime fittings. The pipe and fitting should be primed just before glue is applied. The glue is the
second compound, both of which have very strong vapors and precautions should be taken. Both compounds should coat the
entire hub section of the fitting and on the pipe, at least as deep as the hub of the fitting.
Once the glue is applied, time is of the essence. The glue will start to become "tacky" very quickly. Ideally, you
want to push the pipe into the fitting and then give the pipe about 1/4-1/2 turn, to distribute the glue evenly(this turn
may not always be possible). After the joint is attached, it needs to be held together until the glue starts to dry.
Usually, about 20 seconds is sufficient, but make sure that the pipe doesn't slowly push itself out of the fitting.
It is always good practice to let new joints dry for at least a little while, to be on the safe side. Generally
a few minutes is good, but if pressure is going to be applied, 1 hour or more could be necessary.
Some Basic Fittings
- 1. 2" x 1 1/2" sanitary tee
- 2. 1 1/2" sanitary tee
- 3. 3" x 2" wye(Y)
- 4. 2" elbow(90)
- 5. 1 1/2" street 90
- 6. 1 1/2" coupling
- 7. 1 1/2" plug(threaded) and female
- 8. 3" 45
Standard pvc sizes range from 1 1/2" to 4".