Cements & Primers For Plastic Pipe

16 Aug


Solvent Cements & Primers
What is the difference between pipe cleaner, primer/cleaner and primer?

All pipe surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned with pipe cleaner. The cleaner is formulated to remove surface dirt and any oils or grease that exist on the pipe from the manufacturing process. Primer/Cleaner and Primer contain more aggressive solvents and will soften the pipe surface to allow the solvent cement to penetrate more effectively. Primer is often required by plumbing codes and sometimes a purple colored primer is needed.

What temperature should solvent cements be applied?

While it is recommended that the cement be applied between 40-100 degrees F, weather conditions may not make this feasible. A strong solvent welded joint can be made at temperatures below freezing, as long as the cement is fluid, cure times are extended and other handling precautions are followed.

What is the difference between PVC, CPVC and ABS?

These are three different types of plastic pipe used in plumbing applications that are joined by solvent cementing: PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride); CPVC (Chlorinated PolyVinyl Chloride); and ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene). PVC and ABS pipe are normally used for Drain, Waste and Vent (DWV) systems, while CPVC is used for water distribution systems. It is important to choose the correct solvent cement based on the type of plastic pipe being used.

What is the recommended cure time?

The cure time is dependent on several factors. The pipe size, socket fit, ambient temperature, relative humidity, solvent cement used and the system operating pressure should all be considered when determining cure times. The following chart can be used as a guideline to determine joint cure time:

Pipe Size Movement of Joint 10% of Rated Pipe Pressure 100% of Rated Pipe Pressure
HOT WEATHER- 90 to 150 degree F Surface Temperature
1/2 thru 1-1/4″ 1/4 hr. 1 hr. 4 hrs.
1-1/2 thru 2-1/2″ 1/2 hr. 1-1/2 hrs. 6 hrs.
2-1/2 thru 4″ 3/4 hr. 2-3/4 hrs. 8 hrs.
Over 4″ 1 hr. 3-1/2 hrs. 10 hrs.
MILD WEATHER- 50-90 degree F Surface Temperature
1/2 thru 1-1/4″ 1/3 hr. 1 hr. 5 hrs.
1-1/2 thru 2-1/2″ 3/4 hr. 1-3/4hrs. 8 hrs.
2-1/2 thru 4″ 1 hr. 3-1/2 hrs. 15 hrs.
Over 4″ 1-1/2 hrs. 4 hrs. 20 hrs.
COLD WEATHER- 0-50 degree F Surface Temperature
1/2 thru 1-1/4″ 1/2 hr. 1-3/4 hrs. 7 hrs.
1-1/2 thru 2-1/2″ 3/4hr. 3 hrs. 10 hrs.
2-1/2 thru 4″ 1-1/3 hrs. 6hrs. 18 hrs.
Over 4″ 2-1/2 hrs. 12 hrs. 30 hrs.

What type of applicator should be used to apply the solvent cement?

Most solvent cements come with a dauber included in the can. This dauber can be used to apply cement to pipe sizes up to 3″. Above 3″ diameter, it is recommend the applicator (brush, roller, etc) be 1/2 the pipe diameter.

Should a gelled or lumpy cement be used?

It is not recommended that you attempt to thin solvent cements. The solvents in the can will evaporate if left open for extended periods of time, causing the product to thicken or gel. Do not used gelled or thickened cements on plastic pipe.

What cement should be used for PVC, CPVC and ABS pipe?

It is important to carefully select the proper solvent cement for your application. PVC cements should be used for PVC pipe and fittings, CPVC cements should be used for CPVC pipe and fittings and ABS cement should be used for ABS pipe and fittings.

Should primer or primer/cleaner be allowed to dry before applying solvent cement?

Because the primers will soften the pipe surface, it is important to apply cement to the pipe and fittings while the primer is still wet for maximum bond strength.


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