Using PVC Pipe
by Bill Brennan
PVC Pipe is a versatile form of pipe which has revolutionized modern plumbing. PVC can be used for drainage, waste water or vent piping but is not suitable for water supply, in which case, copper pipe is most commonly used.
PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride which is a compound designed for strength and durability. It is resistant to corrosive materials found in cleaners and other household chemicals and also to the extremes of hard and soft water. It resists leakage and does not conduct electricity. For these reasons it is the common choice for modern plumbing and for replacing old plumbing.
There are many different sizes, lengths and diameters of PVC pipe available. Pipes are designed to fit within each other and fixed with solvent cement. PVC pipes are measured by their inside diameter.
A coupling is the term used to describe a join between two pieces of PVC pipe, in particular when they are joined with no angle. Joins can be of varying degrees however, typically they are 22, 45, 60 and 90 degrees. An angled join is generally called an elbow.
Transition pieces are available to allow connection with other types of piping. A threaded adapter is available which will allow joining between threaded galvanized pipe. For connecting to non threaded metal pipe a gasket can be used which threads over both ends of pipe and is then secured in place using stainless steel clamps.
When fitting PVC pipes be sure to wear protective eye wear and a mask. Cut using a PVC hand saw and then use a deburring tool or the tip of the saw to remove any rough edges, especially from the inside of the pipe. Dry fit the pipes together to ensure that they are a good fit before applying solvent cement. Mark out exactly where the pipes will be joined together as once you apply the cement you will need to act quickly.
Joining PVC pipe is a two step process. Firstly a primer is applied, which cleans the area and begins a chemical reaction with the pipe. Spread primer on the outside of the pipe and on the inside of the fitting. Next, spread cement over the same areas of the piping. Once the cement has been applied insert the pipe and hold for a few seconds for the cement to set. Always work in a well ventilated area and wear a face mask, as these chemicals can have quite a powerful odor. Run some water through the join to ensure that a good seal has been made.
PVC pipe is extremely versatile and hardy and the creative home improver can find many projects involving its use, including bird feeders, storage, hanging planters and more.
Once done with PVC, move inside and undertake some area rug
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