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Skill Level & Time to Complete

  • Beginner - Depends on your particular project 
  • Intermediate - Depends on your particular project
  • Advanced - Depends on your particular project
  - Always wear gloves and safety glasses when working on pipes. Among other things, metal burrs can cut you, sewer water can be infectious, and hot solder can burn you.
  - Solvents and glues used for plumbing can emit dangerous volatile fumes. Work in only well ventilated areas when using these products.
  - Before doing any plumbing job, always know where the main shut off for the water supply is; just in case.
  - Plumbing parts, fittings, fixtures, etc. are not as standardized as they are in other industries. Whenever going to buy a new part always try to take the old part with you so that you can be sure you are getting the right thing.


Materials List
Tools List
   Tubing Cutter
   Channel lock pliers
   Utility knife
   Miter box or
   Power miter
   Felt tipped pen
   Felt tipped pen


1. Because of the many types of plastic piping that are available and the many uses for plastic pipes, you should make certain that you are using the proper plastic piping for each application.

Water supply lines should only be assembled with either rigid CPVC, or flexible plastic pipe, both of which are safe for both hot and cold water supplies. Water supply pipes come in three-eighth, one-half, and three-quarter inch diameters. Flexible piping, which is also called PB piping, is far easier to run from place to place, but it is not accepted by code in all areas.

2. PVC, which is less expensive than CPVC, is useful for drainage lines that lead water out of the home. Its strength, light weight and durability make it ideal for drainage… and easier to work with than cast iron pipes. Because of its ease of use and installation, PVC piping can also be used as both interior and exterior electrical conduit.
3. To ensure that your piping makes a tight fit, you should measure between the bottoms of the receiving pipe sockets. Then mark the length with a pencil or felt-tipped pen.
4. There are a few choices in cutting the plastic pipe. To cut rigid pipe, you can use a tubing cutter and tighten the cutter every few rotations until the pipe snaps off. You can also cut the pipe with a hacksaw in a miter box. Use a scrap piece of wood to raise the pipe to an effective cutting level. Lastly, you can use a power miter. Whether using a hacksaw or a power miter, a saw with a high number of teeth per inch will make a cleaner cut.

Also, be sure that your cut is perfectly square as that will make the most secure, leak-proof joint. Remove burrs from the pipe with a sharp utility knife and lightly smooth the ends with 120-grit sandpaper.

5. It is very easy to cut flexible plastic piping with a plastic tubing cutter. Simply line up the cutter with your marked line and snap the cut. Alternately, you can use a miter box and a sharp utility knife or hacksaw.


6. For rigid pipe, test fit your joints and mark the proper fit across the two pieces so that you maintain the fit, and mark the depth of the fit.
7. Pull the pieces apart and clean the ends with cleaning fluid. Allow the cleaner to dry and apply plastic pipe primer to the ends of the pipes and to the inside of the fitting sockets. The primer dulls the gloss on the plastic to make a secure seal.
8. Use cement that is specific to the pipe that you are using. There are many varieties available, so be sure that you choose the appropriate type of cement for your application.

Before the primer has had a chance to dry completely, work quickly and carefully to apply non-diluted solvent cement to the end of the pipe and the inside of the fitting socket using the dauber that is included in the can. If you are applying cement to pipe with a diameter greater than 3 inches, use a brush applicator that is one-half the pipe diameter.

9. Insert the pipe into the fitting socket so that the lines mismatch by about a quarter turn. Twist the pipe so that the lines match up and the pipe is tight to the end of the fitting socket. Hold the pipe in place for about half a minute. Wipe away excess glue with a rag and allow the cement to dry for 24 hours before applying any pressure.
10. Flexible, or PB pipe, is joined with grip fittings that connect two pieces of pipe with compression. Mark the proper depth of your particular grip fitting on the pipe and dull the end with emery cloth.


11. Insert the pipe into the grip fitting, and tighten the fitting by hand. Use two opposing wrenches to secure the fitting another quarter turn.

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