PVC for Dummies
Welcome. On this page I will show you a PVC plumbing job for those of us who are not so inclined. I took on this job on 4/28/03. PVC is fairly easy to mess with as long as you know a few simple things. So follow along. And please do any work at your own risk. I am not responsible if you flood your house and you wind up swimming around in it! :)
Here's the problem: the main line coming in from the meter keeps getting busted cause it's too close to the surface and too close to the driveway. Here's the picture:
Step one. Figure out what you need (or want to do) and get the parts. I decided that this would be a great opportunity to kill a few birds with one stone here. I want to fix the slowly leaking line, put a spigot here and to make thing so much easier, put a main cutoff all in one place. I go to the store and get the parts:
This includes several elbows, a length of PVC pipe, (make sure you know what your existing pipe size is, in my case 3/4") a T piece, a shutoff valve, a brass spigot, an elbow with a regular end and a screw-on end (for the spigot to screw into), some sand paper, teflon tape, a can of purple PVC primer, and can of PVC cement. These PVC parts a pretty cheap, so buy a few extra incase.
Start by cutting the piece of PVC pipe into pieces you need. Then use the sand paper to take off all the flaky bits.
Next I put the purple primer on all surfaces that will be glued (as you can see in the picture above and below). It might be a good idea to go ahead and put the pieces together before hand so you know how it will need to be assembled when its time to glue.
Start by gluing some of the pieces together. Take the cement and brush it around inside the fitting(s) and on the outside of the PVC pipe. Below is the shutoff valve. I am putting cement on the inside where the PVC will go in.
Then firmly stick the PVC pipe into the fitting(s). Make sure it goes all the way in until it stops:
While the glue is drying on some of the pieces I take the teflon tape and wrap some around the base of the spigot several time. Then screw the spigot into the special elbow. The teflon tape gives a good seal:
Next you can see that the piece is starting to come together. I have the spigot and shutoff ready to go:
Next I shut off the water to the house. I have to go all the way to the street, (big front yard) pry open that meter hole with all the spiders and stuff, and use that special tool for shutting it off. Soon I won't have to worry about doing that ever again! Then I cut out the exact size piece out of the existing leaky PVC:
Next I sand down the cut ends and dry them off. Before I commit to gluing the pieces on I use a couple of extra pieces to just see if the pipes have been sanded enough and smooth enough. This is very important. Don't want to get screwed up at the last minute with glue everywhere! Next I make sure the pipes are fairly dry, then use some purple stuff then cement then viola!
Now after I let it sit about an hour to dry properly and switch back on the water. Thing look good but I see that it's leaking slightly where the spigot screws into the special elbow. NO PROBLEM! I simply turn the switch on the cutoff valve and unscrew, put more teflon tape on the spigot and tightly screw it back in. Then I turn the water back on with the twist of the red handle. No running down to the street and all that junk again!
You might have asked yourself why I raised it up off the ground. Well, remember I said people kept driving over it? I raised it and I am going to put bricks in a circle around it then fill it in with dirt and plant a couple of plants there! Now it will be visible and useful! I can wash my car in the driveway without having to run a hose from the back yard!
The key is sanding and making sure you have the PVC pressed all the way into the fittings! Good luck!