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Recent innovations in plastic pipe and push fittings has made do-it-yourself plumbing something that anyone can do. With knowledge from this video, and the right products from your local independent home improvement retailer, you’ll be able to run water lines and connect plumbing fittings like a pro in no time.

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In the past few years, there have been some pretty remarkable innovations in both plastic pipe and push fittings. These new plumbing products have made it easier than ever for the average do-it-yourselfer to run water lines and connect fittings like a pro. No longer does it require calling a plumber or sweating copper with a torch. All that it takes is the right products and some helpful advice from your local independent home improvement retailer.

Today, we’re going to show you how to solvent weld CPVC tubing. We’re going to introduce you to a revolutionary plumbing system called PEX and we’re going to show you the latest push fittings that will bring it all together. So let’s get started.

CPVC plastic pipe stands for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. It is the gold standard of plastic pipe due to its durability and dependability under pressure ... water pressure. The term used for joining CPVC pipe and fittings is called solvent welding, which you can think of as gluing.

The first step to solvent welding CPVC pipe is to cut the pipe to length using a hacksaw or a PVC cutter. Once cut, remove any burrs and wipe any dirt or debris off the area of pipe that will be connected to the fitting. A file is the best tool for this.

Next, apply the purple primer to the end of the pipe and to the fitting that it will be joined to. This cleans the pipe and fitting and prepares the area for the solvent cement to bond. Spread an even layer of solvent cement over the purple primer on both the pipe and the fitting, then assemble the end of the pipe to the fitting by pushing the pipe into the fitting and giving it a quarter turn. Hold the pipe and the fitting in this position for 30 seconds and that’s it. The joint is sealed. That was easy enough.

Although it was first used in Europe in the 1960s, PEX tubing is a relative newcomer on the block when it comes to plumbing water lines. PEX stands for cross-linked, high density polyethylene. What it’s known for is how easy it is to join fittings through compression, and its bendable nature, which provides flexibility in long runs and reduces the number of fittings that are needed in a run.

To join PEX tubing to a fitting requires a special PEX crimping tool like this one, and crimping rings that fit over the tube and the fitting. Joining the tubing to a fitting is as easy as inserting the fitting into the pipe, putting a crimp ring over the joint and crimping in using the crimping tool. That’s as easy as it gets folks.

But wait, I stand corrected. Perhaps the easiest and most versatile fitting in the plumbing universe is the push fitting, which is what I’m holding here. While it may look like an ordinary elbow or a brass "T" fitting, it’s far from it. These push fittings are as easy to use as the snap together erector set you played with as a kid. All you do is push the end of the tubing into the fittings until it seats, and that’s it. No soldering. No solvent welding. No crimping tool needed. And the best part is you can use these fittings to join copper tube, CPVC or even PEX tubing ... all into the same fitting as you see here.

What makes push fittings work are all the tiny teeth inside the fitting that grip the pipe and compress it against a plastic "O" ring inside the fitting. And unlike copper or CPVC, you don’t have to dry out the water line before using these fittings. They even allow the fitting to turn once it’s joined, which can be useful in certain applications. And if you need to remove the fitting, just use this remover tool and the pipe comes right out. They can even be used over and over again, which makes it great for temporary repairs. And while they may cost more than your standard fitting, in certain retrofit or repair applications, they are worth it.

Well there you have it. With these products, even the novice do-it-yourselfer can obtained finished result like a pro, and it doesn’t require much of a learning curve.

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  1. 1.cut pipe

    Cut pipes to size with a hacksaw or a PVC cutter.

  2. 2.smooth ends

    Smooth the cut ends with a file.

  3. 3.add purple primer

    Apply purple primer to the end of the pipe and the inside of the fitting

  4. 4.pvc cement

    Apply PVC cement to the end of the pipe and the inside of the fitting.

  5. 5.attach fitting

    Push the fitting onto the end of the pipe and give it a quarter turn. Hold it in position for 30 seconds.

  6. 6.pex pipe

    For PEX tubing, place on a crimp ring and slide in the fitting.

  7. 7.crimp ends

    Use a crimping tool on the crimp ring until snug.

  8. 8.push fitting

    Push fittings are great because you simply need to push the pipe into the fitting. No chemicals required.


Project Faqs « back to project

How do I join fittings to plastic pipe?

Use a solvent welding glue, which softens the pipe and fittings so they can melt... More »

Can I attach metal fittings and plastic fittings?

Yes, there are transition fittings that make this... More »

Can the plastic pipe fittings be removed after they have been glued?

No, they are permanently joined and cannot be taken... More »

How do I join PVC fittings to PVC pipe?

Use a solvent welding glue, which softens the pipe and fittings so they can melt... More »

I need to retrofit some plumbing lines. What are the advantages of choosing plastic (CPVC) pipe over copper?

First, it’s traditionally about half the price of copper. Second, it’s not affected by the pH conditions of water or soil. Copper can fail if... More »

Do you recommend a plastic pipe cleaners and primers?

These are applied to a pipe and fitting, before applying the solvent weld glue to ensure a strong bond. Their use is always a good idea, especially... More »

What is the difference between PVC and CPVC plastic pipe?

CPVC can be used on hot and cold lines, while PVC is for cold water only. PVC is usually used as a... More »

How should I cut plastic pipe?

Any fine tooth saw will work, but make sure you remove any... More »

If I’m soldering a copper pipe fitting onto an existing water line, do I have to remove all the water from the pipe first?

Yes. You must first remove all existing water in the line before soldering. Water cools the pipe, which doesn’t allow it to heat up to the proper... More »

How do I seal connections I make with plastic conduit?

Use PVC cement found in the plumbing... More »

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