I thought PVC was easy...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by djohnson, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. djohnson

    djohnson New Member

    Messages:
    8
    I did some pvc work once before on my pool equipment and it was so easy. So, now that I needed some PVC work done on a shower drain for a remodel, I thought that it would be no problem.

    I was removing the old shower drain and wanted to add a new one. I cut the 2" drain pipe between the trap and drain. I bought a drainage coupler and some new 2" pipe. I also got Oatey blue glue and purple primer.

    I got the existing pipe all square and ready to go. The coupler wouldn't go more than 1/2 way onto the pipe dry, but from what I understood, the glue would make it go further. I primed the outside of the pipe, inside of the fitting, and I followed the instructions on the glue and did one layer on the pipe, one on the fitting, and another on the pipe.

    I pushed the coupler on, but it still didn't seat all of the way down. Additionally, when I was pushing, glue and primer came into the pipe, not running, but more in shavings, like it was dry.

    I decided that I must have goofed up along the way and that I should start over. This time I bought a new coupler (one that is taller, figuring that it would give more surface for a stronger weld). I recut the pipe and got it all squared. I used a file to slightly bevel the outside edge of the pipe.

    I repeated the same steps as above for priming and glueing, but I did it much faster. As I made one pass around the outside of the pipe with the glue, it started to look dull before I got the swab all of the way around the pipe. Does that mean that it was starting to dry? I was literally wiping the brush around as quickly as possible.

    The coupler would still not seat all the way down on the pipe. I gave it all that I had, pushing down. I probably did more of a full twist than a 1/4 twist as I was fighting so hard to push the coupler down. It is about 1/4" or maybe 3/8" gapped.

    Is this connection bad? What am I doing wrong?

    (Oh, and please forgive my arrogance in thinking that this was going to be so easy. I have been humbled.)

    Attached Files:

  2. djohnson

    djohnson New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Maybe this picture is better.

    Attached Files:

  3. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Isn't the Oatey blue glue a fast setting mix? It might just be drying too fast on you.

    If it were me, I wouldn't want to leave the shower drain to chance. I'd cut and re-set with a medium setting cement. (But I'm no pro like Rugged below)

    If you really don't want to do that, you could pressure test the current connection.

    Also, I don't think you need to go all Jackson Pollack with the primer, there. A little dab'll do ya.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  4. You used a pressure fitting instead of a DWV fitting for your connection. If you took seconds and not minutes to make up that joint, and you applied glue and cleaner evenly in the correct following of steps,

    I would not be too concerned about that pipe not fully making it to the stop ledge inside the fitting.

    If it was a horizontal connection, I'd say take it apart and push it together harder. I don't forsee a problem with it being vertical.
  5. djohnson

    djohnson New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Thanks for the information. I used the blue glue because a plumber that I knew said it was easier to work with. Perhaps I gave that advice more credit than it was worth.

    I used the pressurized version of the coupler because the drain version was so much shorter and when I did my first attempt, it didn't seat either. I thought that having the taller one would give more surface area to weld to the pipe and a more solid fitting. Since the drain version was shorter and didn't seat all of the way, I was worried that there wasn't enough contact area.

    If it wasn't a second floor bathroom that it going to get tiled over, I would be so paranoid.
  6. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    If you applied the cement correctly, pushed and turned and held it in that position for 30 seconds, and if it doesn't leak now, you should be fine. You can re-do it 100 times and it will still "feel" as if it's not seating. The cement is actually PVC resin and will fill in any small openings.

    I've had high pressure joints that I believed didn't seat properly, and was sure were going to leak, but they didn't.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  7. djohnson

    djohnson New Member

    Messages:
    8
    "and if it doesn't leak now..."

    That's my other problem. When I did this for my pool plumbing, I hooked it all up, thew on the motor and knew it was good. I also had the comfort of working outside and above ground, so any future problems would be easy enough to spot and repair without much chance for damage.

    I am a little less sure of how to test this one. I gather from looking at the rest of the forum that the only way to test for leaks here is to install the rest of the pipe going up (even taller than it needs be) and then try to flush a ton of water down it? I guess I'd just dump buckets down there?

    Also, the tub drain is branched off of the same line (with a Y). It is also open just above the U trap at the moment. If I start pushing a ton of water down the shower drain, any chance that some of that will come out the tub drain?

    (No, the shower has never pushed water back out the tub drain in the past, but they are usually at the same height.)
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