7 Tips to Know Before Working with PVC Pipe Materials

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

When you ask contractors what are the best materials to pipe a house, the trustworthy ones will tell you it depends on the application. It is almost certain, however, that polyvinyl chloride or PVC is near the top — if not outrightly at the top — of any contractor’s list of the best sewer pipe materials.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to build an underground drainage pipe or are researching drain pipe materials for above-ground drainage systems. A technical report prepared by the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association demonstrates how suitable PVC is for sewer and drainage pipe applications.

PVC Pipe Materials: A Top Choice for Sewer and Drainage Applications

The report enumerated the issues common to sewerage piping systems to understand how PVC fares as a sewer pipe material and to find out what is the best pipe maintenance method or procedure for PVC pipes.

It found that PVC sewer pipes, when properly connected, assembled, and installed to ensure system integrity, are resistant to tree root intrusion and infiltration. Its chemical inertness also ensures that PVC is resistant to corrosion; sulfides often accumulate in the slime layer of sewer pipes, leading to the generation of corrosive sulfuric acid with which PVC does not react and thus remains impervious.

Sewer pipes are also often subject to slime accumulation, grease deposition, grit accumulation, and obstruction. PVC sewer pipes are no exception. However, the report showed that PVC is resistant to abrasion and can safely undergo typical sewer water pipe maintenance strategies such as cleaning pigs and balls, hydraulic flushing, high-pressure hydraulic cleaning, and rodding (with root augers, root saws, and blades).

Indeed, PVC pipes are so durable they have a life expectancy of a hundred years with proper care, including periodic inspections, scheduled preventive maintenance, and successful emergency clean-ups and decongestion.

Thus, if you’re wondering what materials do you use to make an eco-friendly pipe, PVC should make the cut. PVC’s longevity due to its resistance to corrosion, intrusion, infiltration, and abrasion should make it one of the most eco-friendly pipe materials around.

Tips When Working With PVC Pipes

Note that the above-cited report implies that PVC pipes are suitable for sewerage and drainage applications if they are connected, assembled, and installed correctly. Therefore, if you don’t prep your pipes and join them properly, your PVC piping system won’t last as long.

To prevent issues, check out the following tips for working with PVC pipes. Even if you’re not installing your PVC pipes yourself, knowing these will help you assess if your contractor knows how to prepare and install PVC pipes correctly.

1. You Must Use an Appropriate Cutting Tool.

Seamless pipe joints require flawless cuts — and this is only possible when you use the correct cutting tool.

If you’re working with smaller-diameter PVC pipes, use a plastic pipe cutter. A rotating plastic pipe cutter or a ratcheting pipe cutter should do.

When cutting pipes with a diameter larger than two and a half inches, it’s best to use a power miter saw. A miter saw makes smooth and precise cuts and is fast, too.

2. Always Deburr Your PVC Pipes.

Even if you use the best power miter saw on your PVC pipes, they will never have perfectly smooth edges. Therefore, deburring or removing the rough edges on pipe sections is an essential step before you use them.

The burrs at the interior of a pipe’s lip can obstruct the flow of wastewater, thereby leading to vortices that may cause constant but undue stress on a particular section of your pipes. This can be particularly concerning if they transport semi-solid waste fluids because, over time, the continuous assault of particles may cause the beleaguered section to crack or fracture.

3. Cleaning Is Essential When Creating Solid Joints.

You must clean your pipes and their fittings before you join them together. Dirt, dust, grease, and debris will interfere with joining pipes and fittings.

Wipe down your pipes and fittings, then use a PVC pipe cleaner on their interior and exterior surfaces. This will get rid of any dust that may have accumulated in storage or debris generated by cutting and deburring. A PVC pipe cleaner will also eliminate grease and lubricants left over from processing and manufacturing.

4. Prime the Joints Before You Glue.

PVC cement or glue fuses PVC pipes to pipe fittings. To ensure the cement will create an impermeable bond, however, you must prime your pipes and fittings before cement application.

When joining a fitting to a pipe, prime the inside of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe (just the section that will be in contact with the fitting). The PVC primer softens the PVC surface and enhances the bonding efficacy of the PVC cement.

5. Use the Correct Product and the Right Amounts.

Note that there are PVC cleaners that are also PVC primers. If you’re using a dual-purpose product (one that cleans and primes at the same time), do not use a separate primer. That will over-prime the PVC.

You must also follow the prescribed amounts of PVC primer and cement. Too much of either product will weaken the pipe, whereas too little will lead to a faulty joint.

6. Apply Cement While the Primer Is Wet.

It is as the above says. Don’t wait for the primer to dry, and apply the PVC cement while the primer is still wet. This will ensure the PVC is soft and porous enough for fusing.

7. Join While the Cement Is Wet.

Finally, you must join the pipe to its fitting immediately after you apply the cement.

When Working With PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are suitable for use in both underground and above-ground drainage systems. Installed correctly and with regular maintenance, they can remain functional for a hundred years. Hiring an expert PVC installation specialist can thus be just as crucial as sourcing excellent PVC pipes.

Polyfab Plastic Industry LLC is a trusted plastic pipe manufacturer in the United Arab Emirates. We provide end-to-end piping solutions and expert plastic pipes installation support and assistance. If you need superior-quality PVC pipes and expert plastic pipe technicians for your next project, contact us here.


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