3 Best Uses for Solvent Cement

Solvent cement can be used in a variety of ways when working on the plumbing you home. You can use solvent cement when working with PVC plumbing pipe in your home to install new fixture connections, new pipes or even repair some types of plumbing pipe damage. Solvent cement is not suitable for use with iron or copper water pipe; however, it can make working with ABS or PVC plastic water pipe much easier. Here are a few ideas on how to effectively use solvent cement.

Repair Loose PVC Pipe Fittings and Connections

If you have a drainpipe located under a kitchen, bathroom or laundry sink that has worked its way loose, and the drainpipe is made out of PVC plastic, you can easily use solvent cement to repair the problem. One of the reasons that solvent cement doesn't properly adhere to PVC pipes or fittings is the lack of a good PVC primer.

So, before you use the solvent cement to fix the loose drainpipe connection, pick up a can of PVC primer. PVC primer is purple in color and comes with a dauber that makes it easy to apply. After you apply the primer, simply apply the solvent cement in the same manner. Allow the adhesive to dry, and you shouldn't have any more problems with loose connections underneath your sinks.

Install New Plumbing Pipes in Your Home

If you need to install new plumbing pipes in your home, PVC pipe is much easier to work with than old iron pipe or even copper water pipe. Solvent cement will allow you to easily make airtight connections between PVC pipes and fixture connection fittings. Just as you would use the PVC primer and solvent cement to repair a loose PVC drain underneath the sink, you can use the solvent cement to chemically weld pipes to the connection fittings. However, when using solvent cement to attach new pieces of PVC pipe to connection settings, you will also want to make sure that you clean up the edges of the pipe with a piece of sandpaper. This will help the solvent cement better adhere to both the PVC pipe and the female connection fitting.

Repair Small Hairline Cracks in PVC Pipe

If you have a piece of PVC water pipe that is not located on the water main in your home, you may be able to use solvent cement to repair a very small hairline crack in the pipe. For instance, if you have a fairly straight crack in the PVC pipe that is shorter than about 1 inch in length, applying a generous amount of PVC solvent cement to the crack might actually fill the crack and prevent it from causing a leak. When choosing a solvent cement to repair a small hairline crack, choose a good silicon-based type. These types of cements are usually a little more expensive, but they are much better at repairing small cracks in PVC pipe.