Does PVC Pipe Glue Work on All Plastics?

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The drying time of PVC glue depends on factors like pipe size, temperature and humidity.
The drying time of PVC glue depends on factors like pipe size, temperature and humidity. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Plastic pipes come in many different forms and purposes. Based on their function, the plastic is just as diverse as the pipes themselves. PVC pipe glue is one of many types of pipe adhesives. With this product, you can assemble a network of pipes, depending on your plumbing needs.

PVC Pipe Glue

Simply put, PVC pipe glue does not work on all plastics. Much like wood glue is used mainly as a wood adhesive, PVC pipe glue -- more accurately known as solvent cement -- is meant to be used on the plastics in PVC pipes. These pipes are used in waste, drain and vent systems. Some examples include water mains, irrigation and sewage lines.

Plastic

PVC pipe is made from a plastic called polyvinyl chloride, so PVC pipe glue is meant solely for this material. This plastic comes with several advantages. It is recyclable. It is also very durable, as it does not degrade when exposed to sunlight. This makes it usable for indoor and outdoor systems. It is also much lighter than its metal counterparts.

Solvent Cement and Primer

Although polyvinyl chloride glue is geared for a single plastic, the application process differs based on your location. Sometimes, you may be required to use primer before applying the glue. Primer is not necessary unless specified by your local building code, so familiarize yourself with these regulations before proceeding with repairs. The primer is chemically similar to the glue, but its job is to soften the pipe before gluing.

Alternatives

PVC pipe glue may not work on all plastics, but you do have other options. Specifically, you can use an all-purpose solvent cement. This product -- meant for pressure conduit, potable water and conduit piping -- will work on all different types of piping, including PVC. This is useful if your repairs include another pipe plastic, in addition to PVC.

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