2 Major Types of Pipe Adhesives: Which Plumbing Glue Should You Use?

PVC pipes usually fit snugly together without much effort, designed that way. However, it doesn’t mean the seal between the fitting and the pipe itself is completely airtight. You should have the right pipe adhesive if you are working with pipes, regardless of the purpose. A professional plumber near you should know which type of adhesive suits your piping system at home. 

Types of pipe adhesives 

First, you need to know what kind of pipe adhesive you should use. On the one hand, all types of pipes use similar adhesives. However, each adhesive serves a specific purpose. Here are some of the most common pipe adhesives you might work on at some point in your life: 

PVC primer and cement 

These are often used on slip connections and should be used together for best results. PVC primer and cement are some of the strongest PVC adhesive pipes available on the market. It is easy to apply and sets in only a few minutes. 

The primer prepares the pipe by softening the surface and removing any glaze. People often use colored primer as “proof” to comply with the plumbing code. On the other hand, PVC cement is the “glue” that breaks down and bonds the PVC pipes in place. 

Joint compound and thread tape 

DIY enthusiasts often use thread seal tape. It is usually made from Teflon, making it easy to clean up. Another pipe sealing option is the joint compound, also known as the pipe dope. It is a liquid substance that fills up gaps to prevent leakages. It can be unscrewed anytime because it technically doesn’t fully dry. 

This type of pipe glue works better on metals than PVC pipe types. Make sure to wrap the thread seal tape several times and brush the joint compound thoroughly all over to ensure no leaks. 

How to choose a pipe adhesive 

When it comes to choosing a pipe adhesive, you should know what you will use in the first place. There is no need to worry when using PVC adhesives as it is easy to apply and can save you money in the long run. 

Nonetheless, some important factors to ask yourself when looking for the right pipe adhesive include the following: 

  • What pipe material are you going to use it for? (PVC, CPVC, CTS, copper, steel, etc.)
  • Is the connection a threaded end or a slip? 
  • Are there any local code requirements needed to accomplish? 
  • What is your end goal in using the adhesive? 

Having said these, here are tips in choosing a pipe glue for your plumbing concerns: 

  • Check the pipe and fitting material first (PVC, CPVC, CPVC CTS) 
  • Check the end type of the pipe. (Slip or threaded ends?) 
  • Check if there are any code requirements to ensure that you pass inspection. (ex. Some codes require using a colored primer as visual evidence that primer is used) 
  • Decide on the purpose of why you are fixing your piping in the first place. If you build a sprinkler in your backyard that you will take down when the summer season ends, you should not use permanent pipe adhesives such as PVC primer and cement. 
  • Contact a professional plumber in Franklin, TN, for your plumbing needs. 


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