Joining Methods for ABS Pipe
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, better known as "ABS", is a very installation friendly piping system that requires little time or special tools in order to make a water/air tight joint. ABS is used solely for drainage, waste and vent(DWV) in plumbing systems and is not used in pressurized applications.
ABS Glued Joint
The use of an approved solvent cement(glue) is the primary method for joining ABS pipe and fittings, and does not require the use of a primer. When the solvent cement is applied to the pipe and fittings it quickly begins to soften and dissolve the plastic surface and once coupled together, it will create a joint that is actually stronger that the pipe itself.
When creating an ABS glued joint:
- Always ensure the pipe is cut squarely and deburred so that maximum penetration into the fitting is achieved;
- The surface of the ABS where glue is to be applied must be free of water, dirt, oil and identification stickers;
- Always apply glue to both surfaces, IE: on the end of the pipe and inside the fitting hub;
- Once the glue is placed on the ABS, a completed joint should be made within 30 seconds or the solvent will begin to set. This time will be reduced in hot dry weather;
- Insert the pipe completely to the bottom of the fitting's socket and give a quarter turn, holding the joint securely for several seconds;
- Always allow at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours depending on the ambient temperature and relative humidity, for the for the joint to set before testing it.
Threaded ABS joints
Although schedule 40 ABS pipe is not permitted to be threaded by using taps or dies, there are both male and female threaded adapter fittings that may be used to connect to other piping systems or to provide a cleanout access.
When creating a threaded ABS joint:
- Never use any petroleum based thread sealant compounds(such as pipe dope) as it will deteriorate the pipe, use only Teflon tape or other ABS approved thread sealants;
- Never over tighten the joint as the fittings are prone to cracking, a good rule of thumb is one full turn past hand tight.
Adapting ABS to other piping systems
When renovating or repairing a drainage system it is often necessary to join ABS to other piping materials, this is easily accomplished with a variety of transition fittings, as seen below: