PVC Glue Vs. CPVC: Which One Should I Use?

If you are a homeowner, then you have probably had to deal with PVC and CPVC at some point. These two materials are commonly used in plumbing projects, but which one should you use? In this blog post, we will compare PVC glue and CPVC glue and help you decide which one is right for your project!

You’re probably in the middle of a plumbing task and starting to feel overwhelmed with your never-ending list of things to do, but then you realize that without the right glue, it’s all for nothing. You have PVC pipe on hand and reach for your CPVC adhesive—or vice versa. Do you really need to take time out of your day just to get the appropriate product?

Key Points:

  • PVC and CPVC are two distinct types of piping that require the use of specialized glues to ensure a secure connection.
  • CPVC is engineered to withstand higher temperatures than PVC, meaning its adhesive can be utilized for both materials.
  • While it is safe to use CPVC glue on PVC pipes, using regular PVC glue on CPVC can cause weakened seals and other potential issues.

Struggling to decide what kind of adhesive you require for your DIY project? Don’t worry, it can be overwhelming seeing all the varieties in the home improvement store; especially when PVC and CPVC are practically identical. But don’t fret! This article will provide a clear overview of these two materials, recommending which glue is best suited for each one as well as their compatibility with each other. Stay tuned to find out more!

Are PVC And CPVC The Same?

PVC Cement

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has become an essential component in plumbing systems, while chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) is the preferred material for hot water supply lines. Both materials are reliable and long-lasting solutions that offer exceptional performance in any system.

Although the names are strikingly comparable, PVC and CPVC could not be more different. This confuses many who wrongly assume that these two materials can interchangeably be used.

To clear up any ambiguity, there is one very distinct difference between them: their color! PVC typically comes in standard white while you may find CPVC in off-white, gray, or yellow hues. Though it might seem minor to most people, this distinction makes recognizing which material is being used much easier.

The most discernible distinctions between these materials lie in their formation and production. While producing PVC, manufacturers adhere to the nominal pipe size (NPS) system, which accurately measures the thickness of a pipe’s walls.

On the contrary, CPVC often relies on the copper tubing size (CTS) scale for measurements but can be calculated through the NPS system as well. Yet, despite being able to measure with both scales, CTS is not mutually compatible with NPS.

While CPVC and PVC have the same thermoplastic makeup, the former goes through an extra step: a free radical chlorination reaction. This boosts its chlorine content making it far more durable than PVC in water sources with high chlorine levels or other harsh conditions that render regular PVC unsuitable.

Beyond the distinctions between PVC and CPVC, keep in mind that CPVC can tolerate much hotter temperatures than PVC. The heat max for regular PVC pipes is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while with its counterpart it can handle up to 200 degrees Celsius – making it a superior selection when running hot water lines.

Is PVC and CPVC Glue Interchangeable?

No, unfortunately, you cannot substitute one for the other in this case. These two piping materials have distinct compositions, so it is necessary to use different glue when joining them together. Just like the pipes themselves, PVC and CPVC glue are not identical products – make sure you have your specific type of adhesive!

CPVC glue is noticeably different from traditional PVC adhesive, as it softens upon contact with CPVC materials. This unique feature enables the soluble to seep into even microscopic crevices and spaces between pipe sections, securing them tightly together for a watertight seal.

In comparison, PVC glue differs in its action from CPVC adhesive which essentially blends the pipes. Rather than melting to bind them as CPVC does, it uses other chemicals for a similar outcome but with much less heat resistance — 140 degrees Fahrenheit being its limit. Even so, this type of glue is effective and sturdy when used on PVC pipes; however, if you need more heat endurance then another product should be considered.

Can CPVC Glue Be Used on PVC Pipe?

CPVC Cement

It’s acceptable to use CPVC glue when applying it to a PVC pipe, not the other way around. This is because of the elevated temperature resistance that comes along with CPVC piping. To ensure that your project will hold up even at higher temperatures, make sure you purchase an adhesive specifically made for high-heat applications like those found in CPVC pipes and fittings. With this type of product applied correctly, you can be confident in knowing your installation will withstand any heating challenge!

Although CPVC glue can technically be used on PVC pipe due to its higher temperature limit, the opposite is not true. Applying PVC glue on a CPVC joint will likely cause it to weaken and break apart; for this reason, it’s paramount that you utilize an adhesive specifically designed for the material being worked with.

What Glue Works Best? CPVC or PVC:

Regardless of the pipe you’re using, it is always suggested to opt for a glue that was designed specifically for it. If your project involves PVC pipes, use only a PVC adhesive sealant. Alternatively, if utilizing CPVC piping then rely on specially formulated CPVC paste and avoid substituting with other formulas which may not adhere as effectively. Although some flexibility exists when connecting CPVC with conventional glues meant for regular plastic piping; it’s wise to stick within the intended parameters for optimal results in both strength and longevity of the bond.

Is Joining PVC and CPVC Possible?

Despite the fact that you can use CPVC glue on PVC, many plumbers suggest against connecting PVC to CPVC. There’s rarely a reason why someone would want to join these two types of piping together. Thus, while it is technically possible, this usually isn’t done in practice.

If you’re handling a plumbing line that can utilize PVC, it’s more prudent to remain with the material for its entirety. While CPVC could be chosen in place of PVC if applicable, such an action would incur additional expenditures as compared to sticking with PVC. However, when dealing with CPVC lines, there is no choice but to use this form of piping since it’s typically used in hot water systems and hence making soft plastic pipes unfeasible.

Joining two materials is possible if the situation necessitates it. Glue or adaptors that match the type of material used should be utilized to ensure a secure connection between both elements. It may sound daunting, but rest assured: doing so is entirely doable with the right tools!

Are you a homeowner who has recently been tasked with plumbing projects? If so, chances are you have heard of both PVC and CPVC glue. How can you decide which is the best choice for your particular project? This blog post will provide an in-depth comparison between these two types of glue to help ensure that whichever one you choose – it’s the right decision!