PVC Pipe Not Fully Seated After Cement Applied? (Fix It Now!)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

PVC pipe is a common material that is used throughout commercial and residential buildings. PVC is affordable, durable, and easy to work with. Performing maintenance repairs and installing new plumbing with PVC is easy and requires just a few essential tools, necessary pipe and fittings, and the primer and cement needed to hold your structure together.

Ensuring your PVC pipe connects fully to your fittings is essential for an airtight and watertight seal. If your PVC pipe is not fully seated once you have applied the primer and cement, you must remake the connection. Never try to twist or rotate the PVC pipe that has been cemented into place. Instead, cut out the pipe section closest to the fitting, and start the process again with a fresh piece of pipe and new fitting.

Remember, each pipe and fitting will fit to a dentation line, about the depth of the pipe thickness you are working with. A 3/4 inch pipe will need to seat about 3/4 inches into the related fitting. PVC cement can glue incredibly quickly and usually starts to set in place after 15 to 20 seconds. If you have not fully seated your PVC pipe to the fitting, use a hacksaw to remove the plumbing arrangement parts and begin anew.

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What Happens If PVC Pipe Is Not Fully Seated?

Making sure the parts of your plumbing are fully connected is essential. PVC pipe is designed to seat neatly into fittings and other pipes to create a tight seal. Water and gas are commonly pumped through PVC pipe, so a properly seated joint is essential. Further, many PVC connections will handle high temperatures and high pressure. If the PVC fitting and pipe are not properly seated, you essentially have created a weak point at a pivotal junction and connection. This weakness can lead to costly and catastrophic leaks.

Can You Glue PVC Again If It Is Not Seated the First Time?

If you have already primed and glued your PVC pipe and fitting, but you have realized your PVC is not fully seated correctly, you cannot glue the fitting and pipe a second time. To fix your mistake, you must start over with a fresh piece of PVC pipe and a new fitting. Because the PVC cement is so fast drying, you will likely have to cut out the part of the piping you just glued. It is best to cut the pipe at a smooth interchange where you are not cutting through a fitting.

Next, start the process again with fresh pieces of PVC pipe. You may also have to use a coupler to splice together the pipe where it was cut. You want to apply fresh primer and fresh PVC cement to a new piece of pipe and fitting to ensure a secure and airtight seal. Discard the original PVC pipe and fitting.

How Far Does PVC Go Into Fitting?

The depth in which a PVC pipe will go into the fitting largely depends on the size pipe and fitting you are using. Usually, inside of each fitting, there is a small indentation that will force the fitting to stop. Generally speaking, the size pipe you are using will dictate how far into the fitting it will go.

If you are using a 1-1/4 inches pipe, expect the pipe to fit about 1-1/4 inches into the fitting. A 3/4 inch pipe will go about 3/4 of an inch into the fitting. When putting the PVC pipe and fitting together, you will feel a point where the pipe will not push into the fitting any further.

How Do You Align PVC Pipe?

When fitting two PVC pipe pieces together in a joint, it is necessary to have a snug and secure fit. Before priming and cementing the pipes for a solid fit with one another, first test the fitting with a dry fit. Without gluing the joint, simply piece the two PVC pipes together. Draw a line at the point where the joint feels the most snug and is aligned correctly. The line should span over both pieces of the pipe and fitting. Take the fitting apart.

Next, apply the primer to the PVC. Then, apply the specialized PVC cement. It would be best if you worked relatively quickly because of the fast drying time. You usually have about 20 seconds to work.

Carefully place the two ends of the PVC pipe together and twist the sections until your indicator line matches each side. When the line matches each side of the fitting, you know you are in the right alignment. Hold the joint in place for about one minute to ensure the cement has secured the two pieces of pipe.

Having a secure connection that is snug and airtight will last for years and prevent leaks in the future. Using a line to mark the correct pipe alignment can ensure that you have the right positioning the first time, which will prevent you from cutting the pipe out and starting over.

How Long Does PVC Cement Take to Adhere?

After applying the primer to the PVC fitting, you will need to apply specific PVC cement. The cement will usually start to adhere to the coupling after about 15 to 20 seconds. You may still have some flexibility to move the fitting and the pipe up until 30 seconds. PVC cement is an extremely fast-acting and fast-drying cement.

Unfortunately, both the primer and PVC cement are extremely acidic materials that can only be used on PVC pipes once. If you realize that you have glued pieces of pipe together and are not fully seated, you must cut this portion of pipe out and start new. Apply new primer and new PVC cement to the new connection.

What Supplies Do I Need To Work with PVC Pipe?

Working with PVC pipe requires very little equipment and tools. Many people already have the basic supplies needed to work with PVC pipes. To tackle your next plumbing project, you will need:

  • PVC Primer – This material will help clean the PVC’s surface and create a rough texture for the cement to adhere to.
  • PVC Cement – Specific PVC cement is used to create a watertight and airtight bond between the PVC pipe and fittings
  • Hacksaw – Use a hacksaw, sheers, or other fine-toothed saws. Never use a power tool to cut PVC. The power tool can heat the PVC, causing it to melt.
  • Necessary PVC Pipe and Fittings – Be sure to find the right size pipe and fittings. You may be able to mimic your existing plumbing or use a reducer to change the size of the PVC line you are using.

Depending on the type of project you are working on, you may require additional tools. It may be necessary to work with a tape measurer, level, and a utility knife. If you are working on a project with corners having a miter box will be helpful. Further, you may want to have a pair of pliers to ensure a tight connection between the PVC pipe and the fittings.

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Related Questions

What Happens If You Don’t Use PVC Primer and Glue?

When gluing together a joint in your PVC pipe, it is necessary to use both primer and PVC-specific cement. The primer goes onto the PVC pipe’s smooth exterior and helps create a clean and rough surface. Having a rough surface on your pipe gives something for the PVC cement to adhere to. Using a primer is the first step to make a solid joint for gas or water.Next, you want to use PVC-specific cement. This cement is made with special chemicals that adhere to the plastic that PVC is made from. There are active chemicals and ingredients in the PVC cement that form an airtight and watertight seal. Without using both a PVC primer and cement, you run the risk of a loose joint and possible leaks.

What is a PVC Alternative?

PVC is a very popular material that is cheap, durable, and easy to work with. These characteristics are the biggest reasons why PVC is commonly used in both commercial and residential applications. Some alternative materials are starting to appear in homes. For supply lines coming into your home, both copper and a material called PEX are commonly used.Copper is a heavy metal material that can be quite costly. PEX, comparatively, is incredibly flexible but also durable. It can easily be routed around corners and is relatively resistant to cold temperatures.For drain lines existing in your house, some common materials include concrete, metal, and clay. Concrete and clay pipes run the risk of deterioration over time but are incredibly strong and durable. Metal lines can withstand some changing temperatures and be stable to work with, but they can be cumbersome and challenging to navigate through tight spaces and turns. Further, metal pipes tend to freeze, leading to cracked and burst pipes resulting in thousands of dollars of damage.

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