Abs pipe and fittings are used for dwv or drain, waste, and vent piping systems. This plastic material has undergone a couple of changes over the years since its introduction into the marketplace. It used to be a solid plastic that was extremely rigid, durable, and somewhat difficult to cut and glue together. In time, manufacturers redesigned it to be a hard plastic inner surface and outer surface sandwiching a relatively soft foam-like interior. This made the pipe lighter, much easier to cut, and easier to assemble in fittings. Follow this guide to glue ABS plastic pipe and fittings together.
- Measure the length of pipe you need by measuring from the inside of the socket of one fitting to the center of the next fitting needed.
Cutting the pipe
- Always cut the pipe squarely.
- Use a pipe cutter designed for plastic or the appropriate size copper cutter with a plastic cutting wheel.
- Alternatively, you can use a miter box and miter saw to cut the pipe. The primary issue is to cut the end of the pipe square.
- Trim the burr from the end of the pipe with a deburring tool designed for plastic, a razor knife, or a mill file. Do not chamfer the end of the pipe, just remove the burr.
- Trim the burr from the inside of the pipe with the same deburring tool, a half-round file, or a knife. If the burr is not removed, solids flowing down the pipe will catch on the burr and cause an obstruction to flow.
Preparing the fitting for the pipe
- Clean the socket of the fitting with a dry rag. Do not attempt to glue the pipe and fitting in a wet environment unless you use a special ABS cement designed for use in moisture.
- Check the pipe for proper dry fit in the fitting socket. The pipe should go in the fitting socket two thirds of the way and then meet resistance.
Gluing the pipe in the fitting
- Apply a heavy layer of glue the depth of the fitting socket to the end of the pipe.
- Apply a lighter layer of glue to the socket. Avoid puddling the cement in the socket.
- While the glue is still wet, insert the pipe into the fitting firmly while twisting the pipe a quarter turn.
- Hold the pipe in the fitting for a minute or two until the glue sets up.
- Wipe the excess glue from the fitting with a rag.
Sometimes, the pipe may not fit in the fitting properly. Return it to the supplier and explain the situation. Do not attempt to use it. If the fit is too loose or too tight, the joint will be weak and may blow apart under test pressure.
Do not exceed the recommended test pressure when testing an ABS system. The code-specified test pressure is usually 5 psi.
Wear gloves and goggles when using the ABS cement. Avoid breathing the fumes. When possible, use the glue in well-ventilated areas.
Discuss this and other Home Improvement Topics in our How To Forum