Plumber’s cement for the mend

Plumber glue: Your guide to problem-free plumbing repairs

Always use plumber glue when doing plumbing jobs around the house. It’s the best way to ensure joints won’t leak later. This inexpensive, easy-to-use adhesive is the secret to problem-free repairs.

What is plumber’s cement?

Plumber’s glue, also known as plumbing cement, is a strong adhesive designed for use in wet environments. Examples are joining plumbing fittings and fixtures, aquariums, and even watercraft. It is waterproof – and some varieties will even cure underwater, making them very useful for repairs in wet conditions.

Several varieties of plumber’s glue are available for different materials, so make sure to choose the correct type for your project. 

Many homes now have PVC plastic for most of the plumbing. If you’re working with this type of pipe, PVC primer and glue will permanently weld the plastic parts together. However, this adhesive will not bond to metal pipes.

If you have a different type of system in your home, you’ll have to check which product is suitable. Some very versatile types of plumber’s paste have been developed that will adhere to copper, aluminium, and plastic pipes. 

Step-by-step instructions for using plumber glue 

When beginning to work with plumber’s glue, wear gloves and safety glasses, and make sure you have sufficient ventilation to disperse any fumes. Then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the parts to be joined fit together tightly and that there is no grit, grease, or other contaminants on the surfaces to be glued.
  2. Lightly sand these areas and then wipe them down with a damp rag to remove any dust.
  3. Apply some plumber’s paste to the surfaces to be bonded and press them into place.
  4. As you continue working, try not to disturb or move the glued parts any more than necessary while the plumber’s cement cures.
  5. Clean up tools and equipment in warm soapy water and wipe away any excess adhesive with a cloth or paper towel.
  6. Remove dried plumber glue by using a scraper or knife to remove the bulk of it, then apply some acetone to a cloth and wipe away the residue.

Some plumbing parts are best left unglued. For example, the S-trap under a sink may periodically need to be removed for cleaning or to retrieve small items that went down the drain. These traps are usually just held by screws.

Loctite plumber and marine clear adhesive: The quick fix

If you need a powerful, waterproof adhesive to make a quick repair, try Loctite Epoxy Marine. This two-part epoxy glue is easily dispensed from the dual syringe. Once mixed, it will produce a rigid, water-resistant bond in about two hours. The epoxy can even be applied and cured underwater, so it’s ideal for repairing PVC, copper, and galvanized pipes. It won’t shrink and cures to a white finish which can be sanded or machined.