How to Use Solvent Cement

What You'll Need
Pipe joint compound
PVC primer
PVC pipes and fittings to connect

If you want to install PVC plumbing pipe in your home, you'll need to use solvent cement to connect the pipes to the connection fittings. Solvent cement, or PVC glue as it is commonly referred to, is an adhesive that is used to create an airtight seal that holds PVC pipe and connection fittings together. Using solvent cement to connect pieces of PVC pipe and fittings is not difficult at all, and something you can do yourself. This easy to follow step by step guide will show you everything you need to know in order to use solvent cement to connect your PVC plumbing pipes.

Step 1 - Know How to Cut the PVC Pipe

Before you do anything, you need to ensure that you cut the PVC pipe correctly. So, use a sharp hacksaw and cut the PVC pipe as straight as possible. When cutting PVC pipe, you might find it helpful to use C-clamps to secure the pipe as you cut it. This will help to ensure that the pipe doesn't move while you're using the hacksaw and will also result in a much cleaner cut.

Step 2 - Sand and Debur Edges of the PVC Pipe

Take a piece of sandpaper and sand and debur the edges of the PVC pipe. When you cut PVC pipe with a hacksaw, there are plastic  shards that will almost always be present on the edges of the pipe. Using the sandpaper will help eliminate these. Also, using the sandpaper on the edges of the pipe will allow for a much easier fit between the pipe and the connection fitting.

Step 3 - Use PVC Primer on Pipes and Fittings

The last thing you need to do to the PVC pipe and connection fitting before applying the solvent cement is to apply a PVC primer to them. PVC primer is used to help create a better bond between the connections. It does this by helping the solvent cement better adhere to the plastic surface of the PVC pipe. In order to use the primer, open the lid on the can and remove the it. On the bottom of the lid, you'll notice that there is a dobber. Use this dobber to spread primer around the edges of the PVC pipe and inside the connection fitting.

Step 4 - Dob the PVC Glue on the Pipes and Fittings

Just as you did with the PVC primer, open the can of solvent cement and look for the dobber attached to the lid. Then, use the dobber to apply the solvent cement to the outside edges of the PVC pipe and the inside of the PVC connection fitting. When applying the cement, apply just enough to create a strong bond in the connection, but do not use too much as it will make it hard to seat the PVC pipe inside the connection fitting.

Step 5 - Connect the PVC Pipe to the Fitting

The last thing you'll need to do is to insert the piece of PVC pipe into the connection fitting. To make this easier, twist the pipe as you apply pressure to both the fitting and the pipe. Continue doing this until the pipe is properly seated inside the connection fitting. Once you're no longer able to push the pipe in the fitting, then your done.