How to Repair PVC Glue Joints

PVC pipe is joined with a cement that permanently welds the surfaces together.
PVC pipe is joined with a cement that permanently welds the surfaces together. (Image: PVC image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com)

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe is used for plumbing systems, generally in non-pressurized applications such as drains. Typically connected with a specially formulated cement, a PVC joint can fail due to damage from freezing or develop a leak if the glue was not properly applied. As PVC pipe cement permanently “welds” the surfaces together, the only way to repair a problematic joint is to cut out the old one and replace it with a new one.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw
  • 6-in. PVC pipe section
  • Two PVC joint couplers
  • Felt tip pen
  • Steel wool
  • PVC pipe cement

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Cut out the old joint by penetrating the PVC pipe on both sides of the old joint with the hacksaw, removing a 6-in. section of pipe, including the joint.

Fit the new section of pipe with a new coupler on each end. Trim the new section of pipe, if necessary, to allow it to set squarely inside the couplers. Mark all four pieces of pipe (two existing and two new) at the shoulders of the couplers with the pen to indicate how far up the pipe to apply the cement.

Clean the outside ends of the pipe sections, up to the pen marks, as well as the inside of the joint couplers by thoroughly rubbing with the steel wool. Be sure to remove any loose fragments left from cutting. Wipe clean with a cloth.

Apply the cement thoroughly to the prepared outside surfaces of the new pipe, up to the pen marks, and the inside surfaces of the couplers.

Insert the cut section of pipe into the couplers and push together. Wipe off any excess cement that is pushed out. Hold in place for the amount of time specified (usually 30 to 60 seconds) on the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply cement to the prepared ends of the existing pipe, set the new piece into place, and hold.

Tips & Warnings

  • If possible, cut out the old section of pipe and take it to the store. This will ensure you get the correct type and size of replacement pieces
  • Be sure to select the correct type of cement for the type of pipe and follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely.

References

  • Plumbing 1-2-3: John Holms: 2001
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