Select the proper cement for the work, pipe cleaner and primer. Obtain any needed safety equipment (gloves, eye protection, etc.) prior to starting work. Make sure you are following local plumbing codes regarding cement and primers. If job conditions are unusual, for example, freezing, or hot and windy, additional precautions should be taken. Choose a dauber/applicator that is sized properly for the work to be done. Daubers, brushes or applicators should be 1/2 the diameter of the fittings being joined(2” brush/applicator for 4” pipe). This reduces the time required to apply the cement, resulting in better joints.
For small diameters of plastic pipe, cutters are available to product easy straight cuts. Larger pipes should be cut with a tool producing square cuts.
Cut the pipes neatly and square - this is very important as most of the joint strength is obtained at the bottom of the tapered pipe fittings. Straight cuts, like the one on the left, ensure that the pipe can bottom out properly in the fitting, producing the strongest possible joints. Pipes must also be deburred before assembly.
Deburr the pipe, inside and out. - Burrs left from cutting can act to scrape needed cement out of the joint, which can cause leaks. Use of a blade,file or cloth is recommended to deburr the pipe ends. As the fittings are tapered, a clean and even cut is essential so that applied cement is not scraped from the joint during assembly. Do not sand or abrade the walls of the pipe or fitting - this may change the dimensions of the pipe. Plastic pipe and fittings are manufactured with very close tolerances.
Check the dry fit of the pipe and fitting to be cemented first. To check for the “interference fit”, insert the dry pipe into the fitting. On typical plastic pipe and fittings a resistance should be felt 1/2 to 2/3 of the socket
Use pipe cleaner to remove any inks, grease, dirt, waxes and/or oils from the pipe surfaces.Wipe pipe and fitting with cleaner, using a clean rag on larger pipe sizes. This is done to ensure that oils, inks, dirt and/or grease are removed and are not incorporated into the joint.
Use a primer to soften both pipe and fitting prior to cement. Apply a coat of primer to start the softening of the pipe and fitting. Primer may not required in pipes under 3" nor is recommended for thin wall, styrene or ABS pipe. Check local codes. A primer starts the penetration - swelling process before the cement application. While the use of a primer results in a better bond, it will require a longer cure time initially
While the primer is still wet, use a proper sized applicator to quickly and evenly coat the cement to the pipe and fitting. Best results are had when the cement is "flowed" on the pipe surface - not thinly brushed.
Apply the solvent cement with the proper size brush (natural, not synthetic) or roller. While daubers are sometimes provided with canned cements, they are in no way correct for use on larger diameter pipe and fittings. The rule of thumb for proper size applicator is one that is approximately ½ the width of the pipe diameter. (That is, for a 2” diameter pipe, use at least a 1” wide brush and for a 6” diameter pipe, use a 3” wide brush, etc.) Apply the cement rapidly yet be sure to completely cover all required surface area of the pipe and fitting. If conditions are such that fast evaporation will result, pre-cool pipe fitting and cement, work in shade if possible, and apply additional coatings on pipe when necessary prior to joining the pieces.
Caution: When cementing bell-end pipe, be careful not to apply an excessive amount of cement to the bell socket, as the pipe has a thinner wall in this area and a puddle of excess cement is capable of weakening, and even penetrating, the pipe. Working quickly, insert the pipe into the fitting until it bottoms, giving the pipe a ¼ turn to help evenly distribute the cement. The cement on both the pipe and fitting must be fluid at this time or a failure may occur later. The pipe and fitting must now be compressed tightly for 15 seconds to 3 minutes as the swelling action of the tapered fitting tends to push-off the pipe. Assistance or mechanical means may be required on larger pipe sizes. The cement should appear to "wet" the surfaces of the pipe and fitting when assembled. Wipe away excess cement that is pushed out of the joint with a dry rag. A wet bead of cement on the outside of the fitting is a good sign, as it indicates that sufficient cement has been used, and that the cement was fluid when assembled. Excess cement on the pipe can, however, weaken it, so it must be wiped off. When working with bell end pipe caution must be used to ensure that excess cement does not puddle in the end of the socket. A puddle of cement can weaken the pipe wall.
Notice the close fit of pipe and fitting in this cross section of a good joint.
The set joint must be treated carefully during the initial curing time, and not mechanically disturbed. Allow the cemented joint to cure according to the recommended time. Do not use compressed gas to test pipe as a failure may have explosive force. Allow the pipe interiors to vent the solvent vapors, and avoid using sparking or open flame equipment (power drills or torches) near areas where solvent vapors may exist - an explosion could occur.
Cure times are variable, and can be difficult to exactly predict. The cure time depends on the cement used, the size and tolerance of the pipe and fitting, the air temperature and the test pressure.
Tighten the caps after completion of the job. The cleaners, primers and cements will last much longer.
A typical failure of large plastic pipe jobs occurs when a dry joint is made. When the pipe assembly is delayed, by using a small dauber, or other causes, the cement will "flash-off" its solvents and fail to weld the plastics, producing a dry joint. The active solvents are very quick to evaporate, and are required for the cement to work properly. You have no additional time to produce a large joint than a small one - Work quickly! A dry joint has this appearance:
One can see that the cement layer is thick, uneven and torn, and that no weld was achieved. A common additional problem with dry joints is the semi-fluid cement makes bottoming the pipe difficult, if not impossible. As a result, the joint is likely to fail. In this case, the small can dauber was used on a 8" PVC joint, and a failure occurred.
In the above example, a good joint was made, including primer, purposefully cut and broken for analysis before cure. A second joint was made, cement only, and delayed to produce a classic dry joint. The proper joint has only a thin layer of cement inside the actual joint, with a majority toward the open end of the tapered fitting. The dry joint has the typical poor distribution of torn unbonded cement. Below is a CPVC joint that was tested to the point of pipe wall failure. This is one example of what a well made solvent cement joint can do.
The E-Z Weld #208 Multipurpose cement is designed for do-it-yourself plastic pipe projects, ordinary plumbing applications and as an emergency repair tool, because it is suitable for all plastic pipe jobs and materials – ABS, CPVC, styrene and PVC. In this way, a consumer will not accidentally use PVC cement in a CPVC hot water application - which could be prone to failure. It is made from the same materials, solvents and resins, under the same care and conditions as the other certified products in the E-Z Weld cement line. The resin used is CPVC – the higher performance version of PVC, allowing for hot water usage, as would be encountered in a typical CPVC installation. Because of this, there should be no compatibility problems of this material with ABS, CPVC, styrene or PVC pipe and fittings. The amber color of these products is due to the CPVC resin used in the cement.
ASTM standards are written only for specific plastic pipe adhesive systems: ( ie. ASTM – 2564, Standard Specification for Solvent Cement for Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Plastic Piping Systems) Due to the lack of a single ASTM standard for a multipurpose or all-purpose product, third party certification agencies have no written method to refer to. As a result, no NSF or IAPMO approval process is currently available. Depending on local codes, the multipurpose product may not be suitable for use and a different product should be used.
The cement is more than adequate for use on pipes up to 6” in diameter, although we recommend use of clear or purple primer on PVC and CPVC pipes 3” and over. As in soldering, the strength of a properly made and cured joint will greatly exceed all normal working pressures such as those used in a typical installation. As in all solvent welding, if the system passes its initial required hydrotesting, any future failure is unlikely. Solvent cemented joints are not subjected to chemical erosion, as the weld is essentially the pipe materials being joined themselves. As long as the pipe and fittings are compatible with the liquids being transported, the properly made and cured joint will be as well.