How to Break PVC Cement


PVC is a hard plastic that is used in the manufacture of sewer and vent pipes in the home. The joints--called couplings--are also made of PVC, and are installed using both PVC primer, and PVC cement (glue). When the coupling has been installed into the sewer line and the glue has thoroughly dried, the joint is as strong and hard as any other part of the sewer line, and cannot be pulled apart, or the cement broken. Consequently, the joint can only be removed by cutting it out of the line. However, the joint cannot be used again.

Things You'll Need

  • Felt tip pen
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Damp rag
  • PVC pipe
  • PVC straight couplings
  • PVC primer
  • PVC glue
  • Mark three inches each side of the cemented joint--use a black felt tip pen.

  • Cut through the sewer line at both marks using a hacksaw. If room permits, use a power saw as it will be easier to make a straight cut.

  • Remove the cemented coupling. Scrape around the cut pipe ends with a utility knife to remove burrs. Also use fine sandpaper to remove stubborn burrs. Wipe around the outside of the pipe by both pipe ends, to remove dirt.

  • Connect the two pipe ends together (if desired) with two PVC couplings and a new piece of PVC sewer pipe cut to the length between the two pipes. Apply PVC primer to the existing pipe ends, as well as the new pipe ends, and also the insides of the two PVC couplings. Then apply PVC cement to the new pipe ends and one inside end of both couplings. Push the couplings onto the ends of the new pipe and hold for 30 seconds. Then cement the existing pipe ends and the remaining inside ends of the couplings, and push the couplings between the existing pipe ends--hold for 30 seconds.

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  • "Home Improvement 1-2-3"; Benjamin W. Allen, Christopher Cavanaugh; 1995
  • Photo Credit pvc image by Greg Pickens from
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