Working with PVC Pipe

  • 01 of 09

    Working with PVC Pipe

    An assortment of PVC fittings. Steve Hallo

    PVC Pipe is the industry standard building material for drains and vent lines. It is popular because it is easy to cut and fit. It is also much cheaper than cast iron, which can still be found in many older homes.

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  • 02 of 09

    How PVC Works

    Glue and cleaner are used to "melt" the fittings together. Steve Hallo

    The process of fitting PVC together makes it easier than older materials used in pipe fitting. The pipe and fittings are held together by a glue. The glue interacts with the top layers of the plastic to almost melt the pieces together.

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  • 03 of 09

    Measuring for PVC

    Steve Hallo

    When measuring PVC always measure from inside-to-inside of the fittings. This will ensure that the pipe is butted into the inside of the fitting, forming an absolutely ​watertight seal.

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  • 04 of 09

    Measuring and Cutting PVC

    Steve Hallo

    Measure and mark the PVC pipe to be cut using a marker or any other instrument to leave a noticeable mark. In this photo, a chop saw is used to cut the pipe. A hacksaw, Sawzall, or almost any other type of saw can be used to cut the pipe with. This is another reason PVC is so popular.

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  • 05 of 09

    Clean Off Burrs

    You may want to use a glove when clearing burrs, they can be sharp. Steve Hallo

    Cutting the pipe will leave burrs and flakes of plastic on the end. Take care to wipe these off. This is to ensure that the pipe has nothing between it and the fitting when they are glued together.

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  • 06 of 09

    Drilling Through Studs

    Steve Hallo

    If you can not run the pipe between studs, you will have to drill through them. Check with local building codes to determine the proper place to drill. Codes can vary from city-to-city. Never notch out a stud for piping.

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  • 07 of 09

    Cleaning and Glueing PVC

    Steve Hallo

    The fitting process starts by preparing all the surfaces to be glued. Cleaner or primer are used to do this. This will prep the surface for the glue and help enhance the chemical-fitting process that will take place. Brush the cleaner all around the fitting and pipe to remove all dirt and stains. A good way to ensure the pipes are clean enough is to remove the lettering ​from the side of pipes. Be sure to prep all surfaces being fitted.

    When the pieces are clean, liberally apply the glue to all...MORE surfaces being fitted.

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  • 08 of 09

    Fitting the Pieces

    Steve Hallo

    With all the pieces cleaned and applied with glue, it's time to physically fit it all together. Push the pipe into the fitting. Sometimes the pipe will slide out of the fitting, so keep pushing the pieces together for about 30 seconds.

    It is standard practice in the industry to have the lettering of the pipe facing out so it can easily be read. This will help identify the pipe size and material (PVC comes in different thicknesses).

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  • 09 of 09

    Level the Fittings and Pipe

    Steve Hallo

    Using a torpedo level, make sure the face of the fitting is straight and that the pipe is level. This will help prevent back-pitching. Back-pitching will cause future draining problems, so it is paramount that the pipes are leveled correctly.