Using PVC cement to bond PVC pipe & fittings – BRStv How-To

June 20th, 2017
Installing a sump or any additional external equipment will normally require using PVC pipe and fittings for plumbing, and if you have never done it before, or if you are a seasoned plumbing, we have a few tips and tricks that may make the job easier.
We highly recommend dry fitting your plumbing to make sure all your pipe is the correct length, and that your fittings are angled in the right direction and orientation. At this point, a quick picture, and placing witness marks between each fitting and pipe section will help you realign the joints later.
Work one joint at a time, and apply a thin coating of primer to the pipe and inside the fitting. Let that dry for 30 seconds or until the primer is no longer glossy. Then apply a layer of cement around the pipe and the fitting and insert the pipe into the fitting, giving the pipe a ¼ turn to any witness marks you may have. The ¼ turn will help ensure even application of the cement around the pipe and fitting. After the pipe is pushed into the fitting, hold the pipe for about 15-30 seconds. PVC will slightly swell as the chemicals react and fuse the pipe to the fitting, holding the pipe into the fitting ensures you do not come back to a pipe that has been pushed out of the fitting.
Once your plumbing project is completed, we recommend 24 hours before a leak test allowing any solvents to escape and the cement to cure fully. Some manufacturers do state that you can use it sooner, just make sure to follow their recommendations.
Here are a couple of quick tips for plumbing a reef tank with PVC
• Use Primer – They do make clear primers for PVC if you do not want the purple showing
• Make straight cuts in the pipe – Clean any burrs and debris with sandpaper and a cloth
• Cement dries quick – Plastic Cement dries very fast. Once the pipe is in the fitting, you have just a few seconds to get it into its final position
• Push the pieces together and give it a ¼” twist – this helps ensure an even coat of cement around the fitting and the pipe.
• Hold the pipe into the fitting for 15-30 seconds
• Use witness marks – these can be made with a marker or a sharp scribe.

Note - The use of the correct type of PVC cement and primer is necessary and can usually be found in combo packs at your local hardware store. Since the pipe we are using is PVC we will be using standard PVC primer & cement.
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