I saw it at Lowe's when I was picking something else up - the piece I
was replacing had a colored dried liquid that isn't clear like PVC
cement. It could be same stuff - different packaging - at least I hope
There are 3 different basic types and variations within the groups.
UNIVERSAL that can be used on both.
I have used muchly of all three types.
Yes there is a difference in formulation but I can't say what happens
when the wrong one is used.
Then of course there is ABS....
PVC solvent is usually clear or blue.
CPVC solvent is usually orange.
The primer is usually purple.
From what I've read, this lets inspectors see at a glance whether you used
the primer (required by code for PVC and CPVC), and whether you used the
appropriate solvent for the type of pipe you have.
Other than color, I don't know if there's any difference in the two types
of solvents. But, I would tend to think so since there is only one type of
primer, but two types of solvents.
If the pipe and fittings are still accessable, I think I would cut it out
and redo it. The pipe and fittings are extremely cheap compared to the
damage that a water leak could cause.
OOPS. I may have used primer, but if I didn't, am I off the hook:
The only plastic pipes I have fiddled with are the sump pump output,
the AC condensate drain, and the water heater leak-into-the-sump pipe.
Does that part of the code doesn't apply to any of those things?
BTW, I wanted to add pipes to my black sump pump pipe, but now all I
see is white pipe. Is that what I'm supposed to use?
The primer is only needed for the white PVC pipe and the cream colored CPVC
pipe. You don't need to use primer with black ABS pipes.
Having said that, I have glued up many PVC fittings for small projects
without using the primer. While it's not recommended, you can still get a
good connection without primer. There's just a greater chance of having a
leak. The primer simply cleans oils and dirt off the pipe and softens it a
little to help the solvent work better.
PVC pipe (the white stuff) is popular in some areas, while ABS (the black
stuff) is popular in other areas. I like PVC better, even though it's
harder to find in my area, but that's just my personal preference.
I haven't seen your sump pump pipe, so I don't know if it's ABS or flexible
black poly pipe. ABS is hard, straight, and rigid with glued fittings. The
poly pipe is somewhat flexible and is usually connected with pipe clamps at
Assuming you have ABS pipe, you might want to check other stores in your
area, especially small mom and pop hardware stores. If ABS was once popular
in your area, odds are you can still find it locally somewhere.
Otherwise, just pick up a couple of rubber "fernco" couplers and switch to
PVC pipe for all future work. All typical homecenter stuff.
OK, great. (Although only the sump was black. The AC condensate was
cream and the water heater overflow was white, but the latter pipe was
brand new and not dirty, and the other stuff I probably idd use the
primer. I know I have some and I've used it!hat
Yeah, I have the rigid black abs
I was raised to believe that white pipes shouldn't mate with black
pipes. I'm driving from Baltimore to Texas and back early spring.
Maybe I'll make a tour of the hardware stores until I find what I
need. (I'd better make a list now!)
Thanks a lot.
The purple primer seems to last forever, but the solvents usually "gel" up
after several months once they have been opened. So even when I had a big
project like plumbing our house, I prefer to buy the smaller cans of
solvent (usually about $2 each). I'll usually get two or three small cans
instead of a single big one. If the first one gel's up, I can open a new
The one exception is when doing larger drain pipes 2" and up. The larger
cans have larger applicators which work better for the larger pipes. But,
you also tend to use more solvent with the larger pipes too.
Red (copper) and Yellow (brass), Black (ABS) and White (PVC) are just
another type of pipe. Embrace the new world... You can mate any pipe with
any other pipe these days. :)
I wouldn't make a special trip for supplies like that. It's easy enough to
switch to a different pipe if ABS isn't available in your area. Besides,
you'll undoubtedly forget a part you need, or make a mistake during
installation and have to redo it. :)
Or, you could order the parts you need online from a place like:
None of these pipes are hot water pipes... and none are constantly
pressurized. You should be fine, even if you used bamboo instead of
pipe. ;-) I don't even have a water heater over-pressure valve pipe
on mine...namely because if it does blow, I'm screwed just as much
Your AC drain has no pressure at all, unless it clogs with mold or
something. In which case, the cement on the pipe is the least of your
also, CPVC is usually used for hot water. PVC works just fine for
uh... how does a piece of pvc prevent what is described in your
and I quote:
"Water heaters are equipped with pressure-relief valves -- typically
placed on the top of the heat. The valves are designed to open
immediately to relieve pressure if steam builds up in the heaters.
Although rare, pressure explosions of water heaters do occur.
In 1993, for example, a 40-year-old water heater exploded in a home in
South St. Paul, Minn. The 200-pound tank shot through a floor, ceiling
and roof like a missile.
The explosion shot the heater 150 feet in the air. It destroyed the
home, slightly injured two people and killed the family beagle."
And the link to the picture is from a promo video for the relief
device...it's from the 30's IIRC, I've seen it on TV a few times.
Very old video.
I must be missing something there. How does a piece of PVC pipe enter
into it? I saw nothing in the report about it preventing an exploseion
or in the thread leading up to your post. Could have missed it but...
The only function a PVC pipe would have would be to direct the TPR
discharge to someplace IAW code.
I saw the results of a steam explosion in my neighbors house. He
resurrected an old wood cookstove and put it in his basement. It had a
pipe coil to heat water and must have had a bit of water still in it.
Capping the pipes was a mistake. Couldn't have been much water as the
damage was mostly to ceiling and few chips in the concrete walls.
Sstill had shrapnel everywhere.
When we plumbed our house, we were required to install a drain line from
the pressure relief valve to an area outside the house. It was against code
to just leave it exposed, or even to direct it to the drip pan (also
required by code, and had to have it's own drain to outside as well).
Pressure valves can open if the pressure build-up in the tank gets too
high, or they just leak sometimes. If the valve is working correctly, the
tank should never explode. But, you could still have some serious water
damage if the drain isn't plumbed somewhere where it's safe to drain.
Also, you're "supposed" to test the pressure valves once a year or so to
make sure the valve doesn't get stuck. That's why they have the little
lever on them. Lift the lever to flush out the valve and piping, then let
it close again. If it doesn't open or leaks afterwards, it's time to
replace the valve.
I thought I had read somewhere that PVC was no longer allowed for supply
lines in a home? I used CPVC for both hot and cold, and PVC for all
underground lines running to the pump and various buildings.
Using all CPVC also had practical benefits. I could stock up on pipe
fittings of a single type instead of needing PVC fittings for cold and CPVC
fittings for hot. I also only needed the CPVC solvent.
It was inside a wall and I have already closed it up with new drywall -
I guess I have done this a couple times elsewhere and so far so good. I
will make sure and get the proper solvent and cement for future
If you haven't painted yet, I'd still cut out the drywall and redo it.
Drywall is cheap, maybe $5 for a full sheet?
But, if you've already painted, put trim and cabinets in place, etc. I
guess you'll just have to hope for the best. It's probably highly unlikely
you would have any problems in the future anyway. The solvents work by
"melting" (or welding) the plastic together. Once it sets up, if it doesn't
leak now, I doubt it will leak in the future. But, you'll always have that
question in the back of your mind... :)
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