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Gluing PVC pipe - smell

BillA's picture

Last winter I had to replace some broken CPVC pipe in a cabin that froze. My wife said she could smell the glue in the water afterwords, and that it remained for several weeks. We don't use the cabin much in the winter so the water doesn't move much. So now I will be teeing into 1" PVC pipe at my well in my permanent resdidence. Don't want the same effect (although I never did smell/taste it). So I wonder if I just gooped up the pipe too much on the inside and left a large bead of excess glue on the inside of the pipe. The question: Are there any tips/tricks for gluing up PVC to get a secure bond yet minimize the excess that may form on the inside of the pipe?

I don't know Bill (post #190291, reply #1 of 6)

My experience gluing up pipe is limited-alot of yrs of it but only as a dumb carpenter.

I would think the initial smell might have talked her into the latent taste and smell.

But, the sides of the pipe and the fitting are the important seal location.  The end of the pipe and the bottom of the fitting are not.

A good sweep around the pipe, not trying to get any on the end or in the pipe, the same sweep on the fitting avoiding dropping a bunch in the bottom.  Works for both the primer and the glue.  Push together and a slight twist is what I was taught and seems to work.

Don't ask about sweat'n copper-I don't do it.  It's one thing for a customer to call about a drain leak.  A whole nother ballgame if it's a supply.

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To minimize the amount of (post #190291, reply #2 of 6)

To minimize the amount of excess glue that tends to get pushed in ahead of the pipe end, always scrape a small bevel on the end of the pipe. Otherwise, the sharp corner of the pipe scapes and pushes the primer, glue, and softened pvc ahead of itself.  This also makes it hard to twist the fitting on the pipe when you need to make a fine adjustment after assembling the joint.

Ridgid makes a nice cone-shaped scraper that will form the small end bevel on various sizes of pipe. It works for both the inside and outside corners.

interesting. so you bevel (post #190291, reply #3 of 6)

interesting. so you bevel both the OD and ID edges...?

My guess is that most of the (post #190291, reply #4 of 6)

My guess is that most of the taste/smell is from the pipe itself, not the glue.  Plastic pipe will have a slight taste/smell for some time after installation, especially if the water is stagnant.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

To get enough glue to hold... (post #190291, reply #5 of 6)

If you've ever looked into a PVC joint after glueing, there is always some extra that gets pushed into the inside of the pipe; if there isn't, you probably haven't used enough primer or glue. Fortunately, it's pretty fragile and a thorough flushing will usually push it through the pipe and out the end, so after a glue-up, open at least one faucet or other valve all the way, then turn the water back on at the source and let it run full-force for a few minutes. Once dry, the glue itself is odorless and tasteless; it's the solvent that keeps the glue liquid that smells. Once it has "evaporated" (which probably isn't the right word, but you get my drift) and the glue has dried, the smelly stuff is all but completely gone.

Next time you have to glue up some PVC wait until your wife is away from the house, use the same PVC glue and primer, glue up the joint, ventilate the area, flush the pipes, and tell your wife that you're now using a new glue that doesn't smell or taste and I'll bet she notices the difference immediately and thanks you for using "the better stuf that doesn't leave a smell or taste." If "anxiety is 90% anticipation," then anticipation is probably 90% of her sense of smell and taste...

Buy the pipe as much in (post #190291, reply #6 of 6)

Buy the pipe as much in advance as you can, then leave it in the sun for a few days.  If possible, jury-rig something to flush water through it occasionally.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville