PVC question


I'm replacing a broken flow-switch on a hot tub, and since I've never used PVC cement before, I want to make sure I don't screw this up. The flow-switch has a fitting (hope that's the right word) on either end that slides over 1.5" PVC pipe. It's all standard schedule 40 PVC.
Now I have everything I need, and I've watched some how-to videos on youtube, and it all looks straight forward, except for one thing. The fitting on the end flow switch is ever-so-slightly tapered - it gets slightly narrower as it goes in. I'm pretty sure it's designed this way so that you get a nice snug fit. However, doing a dry run, as I push the pipe into the fitting, it will not go all the way down to the hard-stop. I'm not sure it needs to - looking at the broken piece, there is a small gap there (BTW, the flow switch was cracked from having water frozen inside - nothing to do the PVC joins). In the videos I've watched, you just push the pieces together, rotate 1/4 turn and hold in place until set. However, I'm unsure how far to push in. In the dry run, if I push in as far as I can, the pieces are so tight that I can't turn them at all. Once there's PVC cement on the pipes, I'm sure it will be even harder to push these things together.
The hard stop is maybe 1.25" in. With force, I could push the pipe in a little over 1", but it was a bear to get out again. Without forcing it, it goes in maybe about 1/2 to 3/4 inch, which doesn't seem far enough.
Any advice?
Thanks.
-J
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When you put on the cement, it acts as a solvent, and a lubricant.. The fitting will easily go right to its hard stop

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I'm NOT a plumber but I am in the process of replacing the pipe from the meter to the house and doing it with PVC pipe.
What I have read seems to indicate that one should use blue primer, which softens the PVC somewhat, then apply glue, then assemble it in the way you describe.
I haven't done it yet but I am assuming that the primer softening the PVC is so that that 2 pieces mate together better.
Good luck with your project.
Lewis.
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The cement will help things a LITTLE, but if it doesn't have to go all the way, that's good as it may not make it all the way even with the lubrication of the primer and cenment. You will have only a couple of seconds to get things together, and you shouldn't have to hold anaything more than 10 seconds max before it is too late to make any changes.
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1) Prime the pipe. Regular PVC primer is purple, and it cleans the pipe so that the cement can make contact with the pipe surface. Otherwise you run the risk of hard spots that bind when you try to put it together, and leaks after the job is done.
2) It doesn't matter if the pieces barely go together at all when they are dry. When you apply glue, they will easily go all the way together. You will be able to fully seat the pieces with little effort. Be sure to hold them together for 15 seconds or so before you let go, or it will just as easily pop back out again.
Read the instructions on the glue. You want a light glue coat on the female part, and heavy glue on the male. I like to rotate it a 1/4 turn as I push them in, not after they are seated. Once they seat, I don't move them at all. It's an easy process. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, then try gluing some scraps together before you glue the actual work. You will then see how easy it is, and be confident that you can get the actual work glued together properly.
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Get a few couplings and some lenghts of pipe and pratice before you do it.
Jimmie
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Awesome! Thanks for the quick responses. After I posted I did some more searching on the internet and found the answer, but it's great to have the confirmation. Practicing with some scraps is a great idea.
Thanks.
-J
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Although as suggested, the pieces ought to go together when 'lubed' with cement, in my experience I have found some occasional fittings that come out of the mold with male end or female port that is not round. Using excessive cement to soften the pair may or may not permit assembly, so the sensible procedure is to determine which piece is oval and correct it. If your pipe is perfectly round, check it with some standard els, couplings, or whatever to judge how the joint assembly should slide together. If everything seems smooth, the fault is in the new flow switch. Uncommon assemblies like that are more prone to have imperfect moldings. You can exchange it for one that is a better fit (that's what I would do) or carefully file your pipe to fit better. One thing you don't want to have happen is to have gobboons of dried cement getting into the switch assembly.
Joe
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