Can I Use CPVC Glue on PVC? Rules, Facts & FAQ
A common scene often plays out during home improvement jobs. You go to grab something you need and realize that you do not have it. This can necessitate frequent trips to the hardware store, which can waste time, rack up the bills, and cause mounting frustration. In some cases, you have something similar that you could use as a substitute. Anything to avoid yet another trip to the store. PVC and CPVC are close enough, right? CPVC glue for PVC pipes? Close enough.
PVC and CPVC might sound similar, and in many ways, they are, but they are not the same. So, can you use CPVC glue on PVC? The answer is yes but with some caveats. You need to be careful, and you should always try and follow manufacturer recommendations in order to avoid some unpleasant mistakes.
You Can Use CPVC Glue On PVC
Yes, it is possible to use CPVC glue on PVC. CPVC is a newer product than traditional PVC. The glue that is designed to join two CPVC pipes can be effectively used on typical PVC pipes. CPVC glue works by softening the PVC piping. After the surface has been chemically softened, the bonding agent sinks into the pipe and provides an extremely strong bond that goes beyond a simple adhesive.
If you have CPVC glue lying around and you are in the middle of a job working with PVC pipe, you can safely use the CPVC glue and save yourself some money and a trip to the store.
You CANNOT Use PVC Glue on CPVC
The inverse is not true. You cannot and should not use regular PVC glue on CPVC. The two materials have different chemical compositions and material makeups that make PVC glue ineffective for CPVC fittings. Just like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, all CPVC glue can be used on PVC, but not all PVC glue can be used on CPVC. That is an important distinction to remember because unwittingly putting PVC glue on the newer CPVC can leave you with loose fittings, construction that won’t meet code, and possibly even pipe failure and leaks.
PVC glue is not as strong or tough as CPVC glue. Putting the weaker PVC glue on CPVC pipes can leave you with a weaker bond than required. When it comes to pipes, plumbing, and fittings, you do not want there to be any weak spots or doubts after a job is done.
Always Follow the Recommendation When Possible
Even though you can use CPVC glue on PVC pipes, it is always recommended to use glue that matches the material. PVC manufacturers and PVC glue manufacturers will always suggest that you use PVC glue on PVC pipe and CPVC glue on CPVC pipe. PVC glue is designed for PVC, and CPVC glue is designed for CPVC. Using the proper glue on the proper pipe will eliminate all doubt about the effectiveness, and it will reduce the odds that you mistakenly use PVC glue on CPVC, which can have adverse effects.
Check your particular fittings manufacturer for recommendations on what products to use to bind and bond your materials.
PVC vs. CPVC
The terms PVC and CPVC are extremely similar, and people often mix the two up. So, what is the difference between PVC and CPVC? PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. PVC is the older material from which CPVC was derived. CPVC stands for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. CPVC is a newer material and was changed from PVC by adding a higher percentage of chlorine to the base.
This additional chlorine content means that CPVC is stronger and, importantly, can withstand higher temperatures than PVC. PVC temperature limits top out at 140 ˚F, whereas CPVC’s temperature limits are 200 ˚F. That means CPVC is more often used in areas where temperatures can exceed the 140 ˚F limit of PVC. CPVC is also more expensive than PVC, which is why it has not completely usurped the older material. In areas that have no risk of reaching 140 ˚F, such as inside the insulated part of a home, there is little use for CPVC due to the price differences.
While you can use CPVC glue on PVC pipes, you should be careful not to use PVC glue on CPVC pipes. CPVC glue can effectively bind PVC pipes, but PVC glue cannot effectively bind CPVC pipes. To avoid any confusion, it is always recommended to use the proper glue with the proper material. Use like with like. However, in a pinch, you can safely grab CPVC glue for PVC just be sure to check and double-check all the labels to avoid making a costly mistake.
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