To fix a leaking pipe or to upgrade an old one, a budget-friendly polyvinyl chloride or in short PVC pipe can be of use. But, how to connect PVC to copper? It is mostly used in the kitchen or bathroom plumbing area. A simple mistake to join two pipes can flood the entire space and double the work. Therefore, doing it right the first time is necessary.
How to Connect PVC to Copper the Easy Way
First, you need to make sure the main water supply valve is turned off to stop the flow before starting the process. Otherwise, you will get drenched in the water when you open the joint. Then, open the tap to allow the excess water to flow out.
Now the next step depends on what choice you would like to make considering your convenience. There are few ways to connect copper pipe to PVC. Like
Using Push-fit Fittings
An easy and fast way to connect PVC to the copper pipe without welding or to glue is using push-fit fittings. To be locked in place tightly, the pipe is just pushed into the fitting to get it watertight sealed. Also, you can simply pull the pipe from the fitting if an adjustment needs to be made.
It became a standard way of connecting copper pipe to PVC. You can get it from any hardware store. There are many different manufacturers for them with a wide variety of fittings. You can use valves of different models to have rotating water flow with a tight connection.
The SharkBite fittings line brought a radical solution in the water pipe connecting problem. The line includes more than 130 different kinds of fittings in a variety of sizes which gained much popularity among the customers.
Using Threaded Adapters
The critical part to remember in using threaded adapters is that you must use a male plastic end with a female metal end. It’s because a male metal adapter can crack a female plastic adapter if pushed too far that can create stress. Now, coming to the next step of connecting, use Teflon tape or pipe dope to tighten the threaded joints.
It’s said that the lubricating characteristic of thread tape is intended to prevent irritation on metal fittings and makes the joining smooth. But using the tape on PVC can give you the false sensation of the fitting not being tight enough. So you might end up over-tightening the connection. Never over tighten the two joints and never put too much Teflon tape on. That can break the edges of the plastic adapter.
Sometimes putting a new reel of Teflon tape on to an existing pipe might get tricky because of the space limitation. So, what you need to do is first wrap some Teflon tape on to a pencil or pen then proceed to wrap it around your thread. This technique is much more comfortable.
Gluing or Soldering
Though these techniques are not highly recommended because sometimes it gets messy and you can damage the pipes as well. But still, if you have the tools at home and confidence at heart, then surely go for it. Metal and plastic do not make a bond that well. But we live in the 21st century, so nothing is impossible.
Attaching copper to PVC requires the right glue for this task. Using the wrong type of sealant can damage the valve used. You can find specially formulated adhesive from the hardware store. First, clean the two pipes with a rag. Spread the glue evenly where you want to join them and place them within three minutes. Hold them together for one minute, putting pressure on and let them dry for at least 48 hours.
In case of soldering, solder a female threaded fitting onto the copper pipe, screw in a male threaded plastic fitting and finish up gluing the joints. But you need to be careful to make it leakproof because once you are done, there’s no going back.