How to Make Solvent-Weld Joints for Waste Pipe

Solvent-weld fittings are neater and less obtrusive than push-fit ones and they offer the facility of pre-fabrication before installation. However, making them does demand a little more skill and care and – unlike push-fit joints – they cannot accommodate the expansion (thermal movement) that takes place as hot wastes run through the pipe. A 4m (13ft) length of PVC pipe will expand by about 13mm when its temperature is raised above 20ˇăC (70ˇăF). For this reason, where a straight length of waste pipe exceeds 1.8m (6ft) in length, expansion couplings must be introduced at 1.8m intervals if other joints are to be solvent-welded. This rarely occurs in domestic design, however, and use of push-fit or solvent-weld is a matter of personal preference.

solvent weld joint How to Make Solvent Weld Joints for Waste Pipe

Although the instructions given by the different manufacturers vary slightly, the steps to making solvent-weld joints follow very similar lines. Of course, the first rule is to measure up all your pipe lengths carefully. Remember to allow for the end of the pipe overlapping the joint. When you’ve worked out pipe lengths cutting can start.

Solvent-weld jointing

1 Push the end of the pipe into the socket of the fitting as far as it will go. Mark the pipe at this point with a pencil as a guide to the length within the joint.

2 Take the pipe out of the fitting and, with a file, roughen the whole of the end surface that will be inside the fitting up to the pencil mark.

3 Take the fitting itself and roughen the inside of the socket with fine glass paper. This will provide a key for the solvent cement.

4 Now clean off the roughened surface of the pipe and socket with spirit as recommended by the manufacturer to remove all dust and debris.

5 Apply the solvent cement to the roughened end of the pipe, making sure that the whole roughened area is covered. Try and keep it off your fingers.

6 Also apply solvent cement to the socket of the fitting. Try to use brush strokes along the line of the pipe.

7 Gently push the pipe fully home into the socket. Some manufacturers suggest a slight twisting action in doing this but check their instructions first.

8 Remove any excess solvent at the edge of the socket with a clean cloth, hold the joint in position for 30 seconds.

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