• Common Methods of Cleaning Out a PVC Ball Valve - DIY Guide



    cleaning out a pvc ball valve

    Working with liquid in a piping system can be satisfying yet challenging. Problems can occur that make the job harder, such as leaks, freezing, contamination, and clogging. Unplugging a PVC ball valve can be difficult if the valve is cemented into the middle of a pipeline. If you use unions or even a true union PVC ball valve, cleaning out a PVC ball valve is as easy as cleaning the dishes!

    If you need a clean, uncontaminated system for potable water or brewing systems, you will need to clean out any valves regularly. These valves can collect debris over time, so keep an eye on them! Plugged valves are extremely detrimental to any piping system. In this blog post we will cover how to clean out a plastic ball valve, from unclogging to disinfecting.

    Types of Ball Valves

    First, we will take a look at a few different types of ball valves. Some are easier to clean than others, with a variety of body types available.

    One-Piece PVC Ball Valve

    This is the most common type of PVC ball valve, with a one-piece body and a quarter-turn handle. These valves can be either threaded or socket. Threaded ball valves can be attached using pipe dope or teflon tape, which can be unscrewed. This makes maintenance straightforward, but make sure you shut off water flow before removing your valve. Ball valves with socket ends are more difficult, as they cannot be removed from the system.

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  • PEX Piping vs Flexible PVC



    pex piping vs flexible pvc

    In this day and age, there are many interesting and creative piping methods. One of the most popular materials for home plumbing right now is PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), an intuitive system of tubing and fittings that is flexible enough to move around obstacles in floors and walls while also being tough enough to withstand corrosion and hot water. PEX piping connects to plastic or metal fittings at hubs in the system with crimps instead of glue or welding. When it comes to PEX piping vs flexible PVC, which is the better option?

    Flexible PVC is exactly what it sounds like. It is a type of flexible tubing with the same sizing as regular PVC and that can be attached to PVC fittings with flexible PVC cement. Flexible PVC is usually much thicker than PEX tubing, as it has schedule 40 dimensions and wall thickness. Keep reading to find out whether PEX tubing or flexible PVC is better for your application!

    Material Composition

    These two materials may seem similar due to their flexible nature, but their composition, application, and installation, are totally different. We will start by looking at the materials. PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene. It is made from high-density polyethylene that has cross-linked bonds in the polymer structure. This sounds complicated, but it just means that this material is flexible and can handle high pressures (up to  180F for plumbing applications).

    Flexible PVC is made from the same basic materials as regular PVC: polyvinyl chloride. However, plasticisers are added to to the compound, making it flexible. Flexible PVC can withstand temperatures from -10F to 125F, so it is unfit for hot water. Despite this, it is still extremely useful in several applications, which we will cover in the next section.

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  • Replacing a PVC Ball Valve Handle



     

    traditional pvc ball valve socket endsPVC ball valves are a simple, yet effective way to control flow in a countless variety of applications, including pools and irrigation. They resist corrosion to an extreme degree and can handle a reasonable range of temperatures and pressures. PVC, however, is not rated for hot water use and can become brittle with age, so sometimes leaks occur. PVC ball valves most often fail around the handle. Luckily, replacing a PVC ball valve handle is easy!

    These types of ball valves have stems with O-rings that can fail when pressure or temperature limits are exceeded. On some of the older, more common styles (shown on the right), the handle itself can crack quite easily. Whether or not this causes leaks, it is awfully inconvenient and can make valve operation difficult if not impossible. Keep reading this article for tips on how to replace a ball valve handle.

    Replacing a Push-On Handle

    The two major types of handles found in PVC ball valves, regardless of body or end type, the those with a screw and those without. In this section we will focus on those without a screw. These handles snap on the top of the valve's stem. Despite not being screwed on, they remain in place very well.

    Before removing the handle, make sure your system is shut off. To remove it, you just need to firmly tug at the handle until it pops off of the valve. You can often find replacement handles for sale on their own if you know the model number of your PVC ball valve. If you cannot find just the handle, you may want to just buy a whole valve. This will give you a back-up valve body if you ever need it.

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  • How to Connect PVC Without Glue



     

    blue pvc cement or primer with red crossIf you've ever worked with PVC pipe cement and primer, you will understand how messy they can be to work with. They are sticky and drippy and  hard to clean up. However, they are also extremely useful when connecting PVC pipe because of the airtight bond they form. Here at PVC Fittings Online, customers often ask us if connecting PVC pipe without glue is possible. Our answer depends on what this PVC joint will be used for.

    What Kind of Connection Will This Be?

    PVC cement (or glue) is not like normal glue, which grabs onto substances and acts as a bonding agent itself. PVC and CPVC cement actually break down the external layers of the pipe, allowing the material to literally combine. This permanently bonds PVC pipe and fittings. If you are trying to use PVC pipe to transport fluid or gas, PVC cement or special push-on fittings are necessary to assure there are no leaks.

    Not all applications require a permanent seal like this, however. If you are putting together a structure out of PVC, you will likely have a large number of joints and connections. Putting cement on all of these PVC joints could be time-consuming and messy. This would also make it impossible to disassemble the structure later, so it may not be the most practical option. Let's look at a few options for non-permanent PVC pipe connections.

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  • A Guide for Choosing Plumbing Piping Materials



    types of piping materialsLearn About the Different Types of Piping Materials

    Sometimes plumbing projects can be daunting, especially for someone who is new to DIY plumbing. If you are making home renovations or replacing old piping, the first step is to figure out what material to use for piping. Choosing piping is a tough task, but can be made easy if you know the pros and cons of all the major types of piping materials. That's what we will be looking at in this post.

    Before you can decide what type of pipe to use, you need to consider what it will be used for. Is it delivering water? Draining it? Will it be outdoor? Indoor? Underground? High pressure or low? As you can see, you need to answer a lot of questions before making a decision. We can't answer all of those questions for you, but we can help you make that decision once you have the answers. Keep reading to learn about each of the major players in the plumbing pipe scene.

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  • DIY PVC Kids' Table and Stool - Fun PVC Furniture Projects



     

    One of the best things about PVC pipe is how strong it is! For just a few dollars you can have a material strong enough to support human weight.  This is especially true when dealing with children, as they (obviously) do not weigh as much as adults. If you want some lightweight indoor or outdoor furniture for a low price, try making it out of PVC pipe! As stated before, PVC is strong and inexpensive, making it perfect for a DIY PVC kids' table and more!

    This blog post covers several innovative DIY projects. The first is for a durable and colorful DIY PVC kids' stool and table.  The other two show how to make full-sized furniture out of PVC, but you can always alter dimensions to make them perfect for the little ones. These projects can be even more fun when you make them with the kids' help, so enjoy yourself and get creative with these DIY PVC furniture projects!

    DIY PVC Kids' Table and Stool - Make:

    DIY PVC kids' table and DIY PVC kids' stool
    This professional-looking build shows how to make the perfect DIY PVC kids' stool and table. This table can be used for arts & crafts, homework, eating, or whatever else children use tables for! It uses large drain-sized PVC pipe for the legs and stool.

    This is a slightly complicated project, however, as it requires some precise cuts for the table and stool surfaces. Before buying materials for this, be sure you read the instructions and are capable of putting it together! Below are all the PVC materials you will need for this project.

     

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  • The Different Types of Adhesives Used in PVC Piping Applications



    Different Types of PVC Pipe Adhesives

    If you've ever worked with PVC pipe, you will know that it fits together quite snugly on its own. The PVC sizing system is designed in a way that prevents most slipping from occurring, but this does not mean the seal between a pipe and fitting is air (or even water) tight. Whether you are making a plumbing/irrigation system or simply building a structure out of PVC pipe, adhesives can help! There are many types of PVC pipe adhesives, but how do you decide which to use?

    A few things to consider when shopping for PVC pipe adhesives are whether the connection is slip or threaded, what the code requirements are, and what you hope to achieve with the adhesive. The most important thing to remember is that applying PVC adhesives is simple and will save you money if you do it before you encounter a problem! In this blog post we will talk about the different types of PVC adhesives, when to use them, and how to apply them correctly.

    Slip vs. Threaded Ends

    The biggest factor to consider before buying PVC pipe adhesives is end type. A slip connection consists of a socket fitting and regular PVC pipe, which "slips" inside it. A threaded connections has male and female threads (commonly referred to as MPT and FPT) that screw together. These end types require different adhesives. You cannot use thread tape on a socket fitting, as it would take up too much space. You cannot use PVC cement on threaded connections, as it chemically bonds PVC together, destroying the threads.

    Slip connections are easy to make, as all you need is a simple push to make a connection! These types of connections can be made permanent by using PVC primer and cement, two substances that go hand-in-hand. Threaded connections are made with sealant tape or thread sealant ("pipe dope") which create a tight seal between threads. PVC pipe adhesives for threaded connections allow the user to unscrew the connection if desired. It is important to pick the right adhesive for the job.

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  • Project Guides - DIY PVC Outside Movie Theater



    The summer may be over, but the outdoor fun doesn't need to be! The end of summer means less pesky bugs out and nice cool temperatures. This is perfect for bonfires, hayrides, and movie nights! Movie nights, in particular, are a great way to get friends and neighbors together for some simple relaxing fun. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, grab some popcorn and read on to learn how to build a DIY PVC outside movie theater!

    Making your own PVC movie theater is easy and inexpensive, costing much less than pre-made projector screens. PVC materials are also durable, so you will be able to reuse your DIY PVC theater countless times. Another fantastic PVC quality is its lightweight construction, meaning your PVC theater screen will be easy to set up and put away. Check out these three comprehensive DIY guides and get the best value on PVC materials right here at PVC Fittings Online!

    1. Easy DIY Outdoor Movie Screen (The Shabby Creek Cottage)

    Small PVC Movie Theater ScreenThis guide is fairly basic, but allows you to make an effective and extremely portable DIY PVC theater projector screen. It consists of a simple frame made up of 1-1/2" PVC pipe and fittings. This build uses wide legs to stay standing, but this alone may not be enough to keep it standing if the wind picks up. You may need to invest in some strong stakes! This PVC theater has a 7' x 6' screen, making it significantly larger than a standard TV screen, despite being the smallest of the screens on this list. Below is a list of PVC materials needed for this project.

     

     

     

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  • How to Replace a Toilet



    how to replace a toilet - toilet replacement guideWhen it comes time to replace a toilet, you may be tempted to hire a plumber. Resist this urge! Toilet replacement may seem like a messy or tedious job, but it doesn't need to be. If you go step-by-step, replacing a toilet is a simple process that can easily be completed in an afternoon! This guide will show you how to replace a toilet and what parts you will need.

    Parts Needed for Toilet Replacement

    Before you start removing the old toilet, make sure you have everything you need to put the new one in. If you are missing anything, you could have to go several days without use of that bathroom. Some of these parts may be included with the new toilet, but we have included links just in case you need them! Below are some parts for toilet replacement/repair.

     

    Now that you have all the necessary parts, you are ready to get started with the replacement! Make sure you have an adjustable wrench on hand to help with the bolts.

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  • Creating a Lemonade Stand Using PVC



    DIY PVC Lemonade Stand Main Image

    Nothing says "summer" like lemonade! As a child, there are few better ways to make summer memories than by setting up a lemonade stand and serving delicious, ice cold refreshment to your neighbors! The lemonade stand is a tradition that has stood for generations as a great way for young people to learn about work ethic and business basics. Making lemonade is easy. What isn't always so easy is making the stand itself. Building a stand out of wood can be difficult and expensive, as it requires sawing, screwing, and nailing. PVC pipe is a fantastic alternative to wood, so why not make a DIY PVC lemonade stand?

    What makes PVC a good building material are its weight, price, and simplicity. Its hollow, yet strong design allows PVC to be lightweight, so transporting your DIY lemonade stand will be a cinch. PVC is also a fraction of the cost of wood boards. A 10-ft. section of piping will only cost a few dollars, depending on the diameter. Screws and nails are not needed to make connections with PVC. You don't even need PVC cement in many cases, since PVC pipe is designed to fit snugly into fittings.

    These three projects are all great methods for building a DIY PVC lemonade stand. We have chosen three projects of varying complexity and size, so you should be able to find something just right for you! Full instructions are linked, as are the PVC parts required for each project. Happy building!

    1. Minimalist PVC Lemonade Stand (Simple Simon & Company)

    Simple DIY Lemonade Stand PVCWe've placed this project first on our list because it is the simplest build. However, the title "lemonade stand" is a little deceptive, as this build does not have any type of counter. It is, however, a good-looking front facade! With the addition of a small table behind, it will do the job just fine! It only uses a few, easy-to-find materials. Find all of the PVC materials you need for this fun lemonade stand below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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