Used PVC glue on ABS pipe, now what?
I grabbed a can of Christy’s Red Hot Blue Glue off the shelf of my local big box store and gave the label a quick glance. My eyes found DWV so I was off and running to get my plumbing project done. As I was lying on my back in the crawl space, literally gluing my final fitting, my eyes caught the letters PVC (in red) on the label of the can.
So I have completely plumbed a bathroom, (two sinks, toilet, bath and all vents using ABS pipe and glued it all together with PVC glue, now what?
I’m guessing I need to rip it all out, buy all new fittings and pipe and start all over. Any chance this isn’t the case?
I think you are ok. Do a test piece and try to pull it apart.
Try a few test spots (where repairs would be easy) -- bend/yank the joint. If it holds it holds. I've got some PVC pipe glued to ABS with God knows what sort of glue, and it's been holding for probably 25 years now.
Especially you shouldn't need to reglue any vent joints that aren't under stress somehow. You might want to consider redoing buried wet joints, or at least swab some ABS glue around the joints.
Thanks for the advice; I've setup two tests to see how strong the PVC glue will hold ABS pipe.
Test 1: I cut a piece of 2" ABS pipe in two and then used the PVC glue to attempt to glue it back together.
Test 2: I glued to pieces of ABS pipe together (side by side)
While neither of these tests reflects a plumbing fitting, I think the tests should expose if a weld actually takes place on the ABS material. If the pieces come right apart then I'll need to seriously consider redoing the job. If the test pieces are actually welded and I can’t get them apart then I'll consider if I can rest at night leaving the job as is. I should probably also do these same tests using ABS glue for a real side by side comparison.
Do note that solvent-welded plumbing joints don't acheive full strength for about 24 hours. I've seen joints that were about 4 hours old be easily taken apart.
I setup the tests using PVC glue yesterday and will check them this evening giving them the full 24hr cure time. This morning I setup a duplicate test using ABS glue which states 4 hour cure time.
To test them, I guess I'll attempt to pull them apart to start and if they stay connected get more aggressive with them. I'll report back the test results later today.
Sounds like you are on the right track
by doing some testing.
Not familiar with Christy's Red Hot Blue Glue. But I have used "All Purpose" cement which has PVC, and ABS among others listed on the can.
Bummer on the glue choice, but at least you caught your potentially disasterous problem before you closed everything up.......
Good luck, hope you can't pull, push or pry your tests apart!
I couldn't take it any longer so I cut the test short by 2 hours, total cure time for the test was 22 hrs.
I had my wife try to pull the ABS pipe, glued with PVC cement, apart and she succeeded on all counts. She is pretty light weight, about 110 lbs, so I think I have to redo the job.
The test using ABS glue held the strongest as expected with about 8 hours of cure time. She still broke the two apart which surprised me.
ABS pipe with ABS glue can be pulled apart after 8 hours???
It's been many years since I used ABS, but that really surprises me. I know I can't pull apart properly glued PVC pipe after 10 minutes. Could there be something amiss with the way you're gluing?
Re-doing the job is obviously the best option, but you might get by with a trick plumbers use with abs sometimes--melt a couple of styrofoam cups in abs glue to make pasty glue/solvent, and swab it around the joints.
Nahhh-on second thought, it's almost sure that expansion/contraction caused by temp changes in the drains would eventually pull the joints loose.
Better buck up and do it over. Save the melted-cup trick for when you accidentally drill a small hole in the pipe.
Go back and read his 2nd post where he descibes his test setup--he's talking about using pvc glue for abs pipe, but the test did not use pipe and fittings--he tried butt-end gluing of two pieces of abs and another setup where he glued two pieces of abs pipe side-by-side
Then he apparently is duplicating the test with abs glue on abs pieces. No surprise that the joints could be pulled apart, because it's not really a pipe-to-fitting joint.
I hate to be negative but, back in the late 60s or early 70s we used to glue everthing together regardless of the pipe or glue, then out came a ban on glueing pvc or abs with the wrong glue, they also prohibited the use of universal glue, the reason was that the joints could fail in time, a lot of areas still have that ban if effect.
I think your best bet is to at least replace the joints that are concealed, sorry.
Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.
Those ABS pipe joints were good and tight with the PVC glue but I'm sure in time I would have had trouble.
I cut the pipe out and re plumbed the enitre DWV system in that bathroom. About $250 loss and a days labor and were back on track.
How much ABS did you use that it cost $250 in materials alone!?!
My $250 was an estimate as I purchased new pipe and fittings as well as used some I had on hand.
4" pipe 20 ft
3" pipe 10 ft
2" pipe 10ft
1.5" pipe 20ft
4" t-wye 3 each
4"wye 1 each
4x4X3 T-wye 1 each
4" sweep 90s 2 each
4x4x2 santary T 1 each
2x2x1.5 santary T 1 each
1.5 sanatry T 2 each
1.5 vent 90 4 each
2" P-Trap 1 each
on and on and on...
You get the idea.
cementing abs pipe
No doubt you "did the right thing" in re-running all that pipe, but I think maybe you wasted the time and money. Your "test" was essentially invalid because you did not assemble the test pieces with true DWV m/f joints, you just butt-joined them
Your wife would not likely have been able to break the joints if they were properly done. You probably wouldnt have, either (unless you change into a red-caped suit in a phone booth to go to work). ;-)
Your wife would not likely have been able to break the joints if they were properly done. You probably wouldnt have, either (unless you change into a red-caped suit in a phone booth to go to work). ;-)...
I have to disagree, the joints that he was takling about were NOT properly done by using the wrong glue.
There"s a good chance that you can pull that joint apart (with fittings) a week later after glue up, done it many times even when it was glued correctly
Well this post just made me loose my lunch. my whole house is assembled with Red Hot Blue glue to ABS. I never once had any sign that it wouldn't hold. It would set within seconds and the joints are definitely solid. The DMV mention on the can got me because as you can tell by my screenname I'm a home owner. Should I loose sleep? I came across this because my inspector found some blue glue on an adapter connecting a trap arm. I didn't tell and he didn't notice my flush appearance. What to do now... if anything. well lesson learned.
I’m a licensed plumber out of Washington and have seen millions of dollars in damage done by failed joints caused by ABS pipe being welded with PVC glue.
The chemical composition of these glues are completely different and are designed to react In a way to weld the pipe. If you see this in your home get it replaced! You will thank yourself in the long run.