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How to replace PVC pipes and fittings

How to replace PVC pipes and fittingsPVC pipes and fittings are used in all kinds of horticultural installations - thanks in part to the high chemical resistance and strength of the material - and are therefore indispensable in this sector. Even though PVC is a strong material, it is possible that a pipe or a fitting need to be replaced. In this article, our specialist explains how to replace PVC pipes and fittings.

The difference between PVC-C and PVC-U

When you need to replace pipes or fittings, it is important that you use a part made of the right material. There are two types of PVC material: PVC-C and PVC-U. These materials are both strong and dimensionally stable. However, there are also important differences, namely temperature resistance, chemical resistance and flammability.
  • Temperature resistance: as the temperature of PVC increases, the strength and stiffness of the material decreases. PVC-C is more resistant to higher temperatures because it is a post chlorinated material. The extra chlorine atoms make PVC-C resistant to temperatures up to 100°C. PVC-U, on the other hand, is less resistant to high temperatures and is best used at temperatures up to 45°C. 
  • Chemical resistance: PVC is resistant to most acids, saline solutions, water-soluble compounds and alkalis. However, PVC-C has a better chemical resistance than PVC-U. 
  • Note: PVC is not resistant to aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons. More specifically, avoid contact with acetone, acetic acid, benzene, benzol, bromine, chlorine, chloroform, ether, naphthalene, oleum, nitric acid, toluene, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and sulphuric acid. 
  • Flammability: PVC is very flame-retardant and self-extinguishing. These properties are even more pronounced in PVC-C. 

Points of attention when replacing PVC pipes and fittings

  • Always check pipes and fittings thoroughly for cracks or other imperfections to prevent them from leaking at a later stage. 
  • Never use material with external deviations or material that does not fit properly. 
  • If a PVC tube needs to be shortened, it is best to use an electric saw or hand saw. Then burr the end with a sponge or sandpaper
  • Always draw the insertion length of an attachment on the tube beforehand to make sure that you mount the attachment far enough to the tube during gluing. 
  • Before attaching, clean the material with a cleaning and degreasing agent so that it is grease-free and grips the adhesive well. 
  • Apply adhesive to the fixed part(s) of the pipe and directly turn the pipe or attachment to the correct position. The glue dries quickly, so remove excess glue as quickly as possible with a fleece wiping cloth
  • Always use the correct PVC adhesive to attach parts to each other. Use a thick adhesive for pressure pipes and a thin adhesive for drain pipes. 
  • When you need to attach certain attachments to each other with a cuff, you can use acid-free Vaseline. By lubricating the rubbers, the cuff slides more easily over the PVC pipe. 
  • The joints of the PVC pipes and the way they are suspended or buried largely determine the overall strength of the installation. Failure to follow these instructions may result in a serious weakening of the installation. When processing PVC pipes, you must be aware of both the installation instructions and the local regulations. 
  • In underground applications, the soil must be free of stones and possible subsidence. If necessary, use backfill sand and ensure even compaction around the pipe. A heavier pressure class is recommended for applications in soft soils. 
  • Under +5°C, transport, handling and processing must be carried out carefully (no gluing is recommended) and under -5°C, transport and handling must be avoided. 
  • If you ordered PVC fittings, but do not use them immediately, store them in a dry room with as little sunlight as possible, high temperatures and temperature changes. Also make sure that the PVC attachments are not contaminated. 

Questions on the replacement of PVC pipes and fittings
Do you have any questions about replacing PVC pipes and fittings, or would you like tailor-made advice? Then contact one of our product specialists for technical projects, or ask your question using the form below.

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