How soon can I turn my PVC pipe system on?

Plastic Pipe Technical Help

Here at Plastic Pipe Shop Ltd we'd rather, for your sake, as well as ours, that when you receive your goods, they are exactly what you expect, and exactly what you need. With that in mind, we've introduced a new technical section into our site here with lots of tables, data and "how to" guides.

One of the most recent additions, is a guide to determine how long your cemented plastic pipe fitting, will take to set. We decided to put this on as, since most of us in the company have at one time or another been pipefitters and we have all been in the situation where it's a rush job, and someone needs the water back on yesterday! Estimating when it is safe to do this, is always a bit of a black art and if done too soon, it can lead to a world of pain, trying to rescue half glued fittings or having to wait 24 hours for the delivery of others.

If you are in a situation where you have to get the flow back on as soon as possible, it is best to try to ensure your pipework is clipped and braced as best as possible. When plastic pipe is glued, there are two functions formed. The first is the seal. This is formed very quickly. The second is mechanical strength, which is the one that really takes the time. Although the seal is formed quickly, any shearing of the joint due to forces pushing, pulling or twisting the pipe, will compromise it even quicker. So if your pipework is well braced when you put the water on, there is less chance of movement and less chance of the seal breaking as a result.

Just a quick note, that if putting your pipework back into operation before the full recommended cure time, you will experience some leaching of the solvent into the fluid. For some applications, such as aquaculture this can be fatal, so ensure you can run the fluid to waste first to flush these nasties out.

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