PVC cement help


Silver Supporter
May 1, 2016
Hopkinton, MA
I have to redo the whole piping section of my filter/pump/heater. What would you suggest is the strongest cement/glue to join the pieces together? We are in Massachusetts, in case the changes in weather make a difference to which one to use. Figure I'll get this all done during the quarantine.. will get the piping from our local Ace Hardware


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
Oatey brand cement. You must use the purple primer first to clean and prep the PVC surfaces and then the blue cement for standard SCH40 PVC. I always clean the surface with a wet rag to make sure there is no debris or dirt. Then I go over each surface with primer twice, allowing the primer to sit for a few seconds between swipes. Then you apply the cement (two go-arounds on each surface) put the pieces together with a 1/4 turn difference from where you start to where you want them aligned and then, as you are pressing them together, you make the 1/4 turn. You must hold them together for 60 secs as the cement dries because the natural surface tension forces will want to push the two working pieces apart. Let the joints dry for at least a couple of hours before pressurizing them. The cement is fully cured and hardened within 24 hours.

Measure twice, cut once - ALWAYS dry-fit everything together to make sure all of your pieces fit and reach their intended points of contact and come up with an assembly plan in your head. Once you start cementing, it can not be easily undone.

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
Measure twice, cut once - ALWAYS dry-fit everything together to make sure all of your pieces fit and reach their intended points of contact
Dry fitting can be helpful, but it can also cause problems as usually you won’t be able to fully insert the pipe into the fittings when they are dry. Once the glue has been applied the pipes will go a quarter or a half inch deeper into the fittings and that can cause your carefully cut and fit joints to no longer line up.

Coming up with a plan is a good idea, but usually I will cut and glue as I go, working from one end of the pipe run to the other, rather than trying to cut and dry fit everything in one go.

Overall PVC is really pretty easy to work with and you’ll get used to it pretty quickly. Try to start with the easiest section, with the fewest joints so you can get the hang of it before you start working on the harder sections. And err on the side of too much glue, rather than too little. If some of the glue squeezes out it’s not the end of the world and you can wipe it off while it’s still wet, but too little glue will cause a leak that will be difficult or impossible to fix without cutting out the joint and completely redoing it.
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