If you are a new homeowner with your first plumbing problem, then you need to know exactly what PVC parts you need to purchase make the repair. If you take a minute to learn the correct industry names for the parts that you need, then you will have a much easier time when you go shopping at your local hardware store.
Here is everything you need to know before heading out to the hardware store:
PVC Threading Styles
All PVC repair parts come with one of two different types of threading:
PVC Slip Joints
Slip joints are those that are smooth and do not have any threading. Both the male and female slip joint connections are both smooth. Slip joint connections are used when you are connecting two pieces of PVC pipe together.
When you want to connect slip joints to PVC pipe, you will need to first apply PVC primer and then PVC glue. The primer is used to clean the pipe of any contaminates. The PVC glue melts each side of the pipe in order to chemically "glue" it together. The final product is a water-tight plumbing connection.
PVC Threaded Joints
Threaded joints are those joints which have screw-together threading. Threaded joint connections are used when connecting PVC pipe to plastic plumbing connections. An example of where you will use a threaded joint is when you are connecting a PVC pipe to a well pump inlet.
If you want to connect threaded joints to each other, you will need to use something known as plumber's tape. Plumber's tape is not actually tape, but rather it is a plastic material which serves to fill-in any holes in the seal between the two parts. The plumber's tape will keep your connections from leaking. You should not use PVC glue on threaded joint connections.
Couplers and "T" Connectors
To join together multiple pieces of PVC pipe, you will need to use a coupler or "T" connector. A coupler is used to connect two pieces of pipe in a straight line. A "T" connector is used to connect three pipes together.
Couplers and "T" connectors are typically slip joints because they are connecting to pipe rather than plastic parts.
Elbows and Specialty Connections
Elbows and specialty connections are used to make plumbing designs that move around corners, or to allow for access into the plumbing line. One example of a specialty connection is a water inlet that is used to prime well jet pumps. These parts are often called "priming T's" and are installed just before a pump. They are used to prime the pump with water.
Before going to the hardware store, first take the time to look over the parts that you will need to join together. Are they threaded? Are they smooth slip joints? Additionally, make sure that if you use threaded joints, then you need to purchase plumber's tape. If you use smooth connections, then you need to purchase PVC primer and glue. Talk to your local plumber, such as Biard & Crockett Plumbing, for more information.