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Thread: Made a mistake...wrong cement

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  1. #1

    Default Made a mistake...wrong cement

    Halfway into my drain project I realized that I have used PVC cement for my ABS pipes...do I have to redo everything, or is this still ok?

    It seems to work fine, and I tested to connect two pieces of ABS again using the PVC cement and then tried to remove the abs pipes...but they were sticking together very well...

    I would really hope it is ok...

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Sorry, you'll have to redo the job. Here's the deal. ABS and PVC are not actually glued in the regular sense of gluing. The so-called "glue" is actually a solvent that melts the surfaces of the pipe and fitting for a few seconds. When you slide the joint together, the two surfaces blend together. The process is properly called "solvent welding". It is much the same as welding metal. One process uses heat to melt the two surfaces the other uses chemical reaction. The problem you have is that ABS and PVC are different materials and each requires its own solvent to melt the surfaces. Although your joints seem to be stuck together, the joint will not hold. I think there is a product that will work on both ABS and PVC, but I have no first hand knowledge of it. Sorry to rain on your parade, but at least you found out before covering the pipes and finding out when the joints failed.

  3. #3

    Default Oh no!

    Oh No!
    I can't believe this....

    I've spent so much time doing this project and now I have to redo everything...

    Does everyone agree that I need to redo this whole thing?

    Right now, three days after I "glued" the pipes together, it is still impossible to tear them apart...

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member chris fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    near phoenix AZ


    I agree with Gary, you have to redo the job.

  5. #5


    It will be fine till the pipe flexes. So if it gets some hot water in it or it gets bumped into, and so on. It will not come apart now but with in a few months I will say that you will start to have leaks.

    Gary is right that there is some glue that will work on both. I have used it but only for joining PVC to ABS. If I’m using ABS then I use ABS stuff. If I’m using PVC them I use PVC stuff.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    What would be worse, would be to find this out after drywall and carpets.
    Now that would be a disaster.

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    Quote Originally Posted by froddan
    Halfway into my drain project I realized that I have used PVC cement for my ABS pipes...
    Read the label and all the fine print on your can *very* carefully and be absolutely certain before breaking out the big hammer. I usually buy "All Purpose" cement for anything other than CPVC, and maybe, just maybe, you have actually done something similar.

  8. #8

    Default Oatey 1-Step CPVC Cement

    Thanks for all responses.

    The kind that I've used is:

    Oatey 1-Step CPVC Cement - a Yellow Can.
    Lo-V.O.C. CPVC FlowGuard® Gold™ 1-Step Yellow

    What kind of upsets me (except for my own stupidity) is that a worker at HD recommended this when I bought the ABS pipes

    You guys are the pros so I guess I don't have a choice but to start over....it is quite interesting to me that it will brake soon considering it is super tight right now.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking Abs drain lines??

    I agree with ----LEEJOSEPHO----

    All purpose glue is all purpose glue........

    I hate to be contrary but if this was on
    some common drain lines, wouldent that gule do just fine??

    I have had to tie into old abs and add on with new pvc many times
    with just common OATY MEDIUM PVC glue, with never a problem...

    If they are never under anything but static pressure
    I would venture to guess that those joints would never
    leak and I doubt that anyone could ever pull them apart....

    but it is your gamble....

    why dont you look into that glue you used
    a littel further before you tear it all out.

    if that glue is good enough for high pressure cpvc,
    it ought ot be good enough for a toilet

  10. #10

    Default Some hope...or gamble


    At least you gave me some hope...and I appreciate it.

    What I have used the 1-Step CPVC cement for is 1 1/2" drain lines from a tub-shower to the main stack and also a sink that connects to the same line.
    It is not very long, but I've installed a clean-out and several turns etc.
    There is certainly no pressure and the drain rests nicely on the studs.

    I'm sure most of the experienced plumbers will say NO, and I appreciate any advice. I guess my positive thinking tells me that the technology used 10 years ago could probably not create such a strong bond as this is today.

    The can says "ALL WEATHER CPVC CEMENT", so it can't be that bad.

    I ran scolding hot water through it to test, and so far so good...but who knows...it might break later

  11. #11
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold


    the advantage of redoing it all now while all the steps are fresh in your mind is that the re-do will be a breeze. When you take your measurements you'll say yeah that is what I got last time, and every cut will be easy. Second time 'round you don't have to spend all the time that a beginner DIY spends on microdecisions and hesitation.


  12. #12
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Licensed Grump


    Quote Originally Posted by froddan
    The can says "ALL WEATHER CPVC CEMENT", so it can't be that bad.
    Oh it can, it's CPVC cement...the solvent weld is a totally different chemical process.

    Effectively you could as well use Elmers glue.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."


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