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PVC Primer

Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
Does anyone have a technique that helps apply colored primer on PVC pipe neatly. In my neck of the woods purple primer is a requirement enforced by code. I have tried many different ways to make the work look neat and clean but it never fails to show a streaking drip line. It always makes a mess. I have even used clear primer to clean up the purple but It still looks lousy.

I have seen some installations with colored primer that look like it was done with a small paint brush with as little as a 1/8 of an inch of primer showing evenly around the pipe with no drips! I pride myself on doing a clean neat professional looking job. Colored primer always seems to spoil the look.

Any input will be most appreciated.


PS. I searched the sight for info on this. The last time that this was talked about was in 2017, but could not find specifics on how to put this stuff on cleanly.

Comments

  • ratioratio Posts: 2,073Member
    Shake the brush off pretty good, is all I can suggest. Here, too, the inspector's gotta see purple to pass you.

    I think someone has a purple glue?

  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    A purple glue ?! That would be a excellent product.
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,073Member
    I've seen plummers mix primer & glue to get that color too, but I'm not sure that way is any amount of legit.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    That makes me remember when purple primer was not yet code. We would use clear primer, and if the inspector insisted on purple primer we would dab each joint with purple for when he would come back to inspect. Still made a mess.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,155Member
    The 2015 IPC says that primer is NOT required for non-pressurized piping.

    Also, blue (Rain or Shine) glue states on the label that primer is not necessary for non-pressurized piping.

    We use clear primer even though it's not required.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    Thanks for the reply @Ironman, Sure wish I could follow those rules . I was using clear primer for a very long time before this silly code requirement came about. Unfortunately, I still need to apply purple primer as a code requirement. Inspector says so.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,155Member
    What code are you under?
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    edited April 12
    The 2015 IPC same that you mentioned above. I am very familiar with the code.
    It's not the code book so much as the code enforcement officer, ie the inspector.
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 584Member
    Only way I've found is to shake the brush off until it's almost dry. With glue you gotta be quick which can get slobbery, but the primer you can take all the time you need to make it purty.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,042Member
    I used painters tape on the vertical section of my sump pump pipe.

    Not that I'm anal or anything .....
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • bnjmnbnjmn Posts: 33Member
    When I have to use purple primer I use the smaller 8oz can with the small dobber. On a new can I pour out the first inch or so. Tap the dobber several times and shake of excess. Wipe down joints with moist rag.
    Rarely a drip or ugly joint.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 2,417Member
    @Ironman
    I dont know where you're located but on Long Island, with their numerous townships, Hamlets, Incorperated Villages and such, most like to go above and beyond what nat code says. But seemingly for no other reason than because they can.
    Same with gas pressure tests. What inspector in what town wants what pressure on what max psi gauge and for how long. I gets a little ridiculous.
  • 347347 Posts: 103Member
    Hercules makes a UV purple primer. If the inspector asks you use a UV flashlight and it comes up purple. Have yet to have a problem with any inspection.
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,632Member
    I wonder what good that code does. When my mod-con was installed, the contractor used purple primer on all the supply and exhaust PVC pipe. So it passed inspection. Now for many of those joints, the contractor forgot to use the cement after the primer. So they leaked.
  • GWGW Posts: 3,439Member
    Not sure what the spelling is on the brush

    I’ve primed and glued lots of pipe, here’s my thoughts

    1- don’t use a full can of purple- dump half the can of you want to have good results. Buy two cans. The second can to refill the first
    2- shake off the liquid into the can, kinda like the ketchup bottle motion
    3- dauber up the fitting first because the excess liquid (if any) will pool up inside the fitting, normally not a big deal if you’re paying attention to gravity
    4- now do the pipe. If the primed area is on a vertical pipe and you’re applying primer on “top”, you need to be super careful about the dauber liquid content.
    5- do not put the dauber back in the can every time, that’s a waste of your time. 3” joints- maybe, maybe not. 2” and smaller you can do several fittings/joints

    If you’re still insecure you can bring some cardboard on the job and “whip” the liquid off of the dauber. If a dirt floor, let it fly. If you are always whipping liquid off you’re not going a good job shaking back into the can

    You go through glue 3 or 4 times faster than primer.

    Primer lasts forever, glue does not.

    When you get good you only need to dump 1/4 of a new can. Operate a full can of primer and you’ll spend all day doing this stuff, while making a mess

    When you are good you’ll automatically gauge an added 1/8” to 1/4” of purple on the joints. Not enough- looks like you didn’t prime. Too deep of a ring and it look sloppy

    When applying, use your shoulder as the motion point, not your wrist, more defined circular motion using larger muscle groups. I keep my wrist and fingers stiff on 3” and up up joints
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,042Member
    > @347 said:
    > Hercules makes a UV purple primer. If the inspector asks you use a UV flashlight and it comes up purple. Have yet to have a problem with any inspection.

    So under normal light it all looks good but when you turn on the uv light it looks like a huge disgusting crime scene? :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leon82Leon82 Posts: 619Member
    Sometimes even if code agrees with you you still have to fight the inspector if they are stuck in their ways.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,155Member
    Intplm. said:

    The 2015 IPC same that you mentioned above. I am very familiar with the code.
    It's not the code book so much as the code enforcement officer, ie the inspector.

    IDK how it's handled in your state, but in VA, once the code is adopted, it's state law. The inspector can't make up his own rules. If the code allows it, then he has to follow it. He's the CODE enforcement officer, not the king. He has no power to legislate.

    I always go out of my way to work with inspectors, but when they make up stuff on their own, they are violating the law themselves and I will kindly but very firmly require them to show from the code where they're getting their requirement.

    I've been in code classes today and this was one of the things that was discussed.

    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    Ironman said:

    Intplm. said:

    The 2015 IPC same that you mentioned above. I am very familiar with the code.
    It's not the code book so much as the code enforcement officer, ie the inspector.

    IDK how it's handled in your state, but in VA, once the code is adopted, it's state law. The inspector can't make up his own rules. If the code allows it, then he has to follow it. He's the CODE enforcement officer, not the king. He has no power to legislate.

    I always go out of my way to work with inspectors, but when they make up stuff on their own, they are violating the law themselves and I will kindly but very firmly require them to show from the code where they're getting their requirement.

    I've been in code classes today and this was one of the things that was discussed.

    In parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island it is often said that you follow the code book and what the inspector wants in his particular jurisdiction.
    I have always argued this but it's like arguing with the umpire.
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,073Member
    @GW's got my process exactly, except I generally spill the first half of the can on myself instead of dumping it out.

    WRT inspectors, what's fun is when you're in the interface between two jurisdictions (say, an electrical service, which gets blessed by the electrical inspector and the power company) and they have incompatible requirements…

    You have to call in the inspections a day or two apart to give yourself time to change things around!

  • george_42george_42 Posts: 62Member
    I do not know how I do it but when I am working on drains in the basement, I seem to always get a drop of purple primer on the bathtub upstairs
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    edited April 13
    Maybe Laquor thinner will remove purple after inspection?? Primer solvent likely dissolves purple into skin of plastic though.

    Suppose partial cosmetic solution is to cover purple on pipe with some white tape. Or white paint. But then when owner goes to sell the house buyers inspector might flag it as no purple= no primer= have to re-seal all joints= reduce house price by $1500

    When I installed my central vac no inspector was involved. Used clear primer, didn't want a crummy looking job, unfinished cellar.

    UV purple sounds good.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    The purpose of purple primer is so a inspector can see that the fittings and pipe have been joined. (I feel that purple primer is ridiculous, and unnecessary.) Clear primer was always fine for many years.
    UV cannot be seen by the naked eye. It sounds good but most inspectors do not carry a UV light with them and will not approve a job with UV.
    I am very interested in the UV however and may start using it. I will need to have a UV light with me and be at the job sight when the inspector comes.

    Thank you everyone for your answers. It has been of great help.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,859Member
    To me the Purple primer does nothing to the pipe/fittings other than make a mess.
    Clear cleaner/primer softens the PVC up for the process....the purple I had did not.
    However if some purple is mixed into the actual glue/solvent cement then you know that joint was actually glued.
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 840Member
    edited April 13
    UV LED penlights are cheap. Used with UV leak detector dye in A/C piping.

    Wonder if future next step is to require orange be mixed with PVC cement to PROVE cement was used .......... or at least someone splashed some orange dye on it after the fact .........


  • GWGW Posts: 3,439Member
    Purple looks more pro gotta admit
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    Half a can mixed.
  • 347347 Posts: 103Member
    Crisis J,
    You can see a tint of purple under normal light, looks mostly clear. When you b put a UV light to it, yes you see it all.
    For the most part it looks like clear PVC cleaner.
    And, yes I carry a UV fl
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,042Member
    edited April 16
    JUGHNE said:

    To me the Purple primer does nothing to the pipe/fittings other than make a mess.
    Clear cleaner/primer softens the PVC up for the process....the purple I had did not.
    However if some purple is mixed into the actual glue/solvent cement then you know that joint was actually glued.

    I used mostly clear primer recently, but the purple stuff I've used most certainly softened the pipe.

    You can solvent weld with nothing more than primer if done with care and a super tight joint. I'm not saying you should, just that in theory, you can.

    The cement is just primer + dissolved PVC mixed together as filler, as far as I'm aware.

    If the primer doesn't soften the pvc, there's something seriously wrong.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    Years ago on smaller diameter pipe we would use sand cloth to remove the sheen on the pvc. The bright shiny stuff on the pipe. Than we would glue the pipe. It would hold water pressure.
    My thinking is that the primer removes the sheen only, exposing the raw pvc to allow for the glue to make the solvent weld.
    The dye, or purple added to the primer isn't a filler. It only serves the purpose of the visual. At Least that has been my understanding from the onset of this that started back in the mid nineteen eighties.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,042Member
    Intplm. said:

    Years ago on smaller diameter pipe we would use sand cloth to remove the sheen on the pvc. The bright shiny stuff on the pipe. Than we would glue the pipe. It would hold water pressure.
    My thinking is that the primer removes the sheen only, exposing the raw pvc to allow for the glue to make the solvent weld.
    The dye, or purple added to the primer isn't a filler. It only serves the purpose of the visual. At Least that has been my understanding from the onset of this that started back in the mid nineteen eighties.

    To properly solvent weld PVC pipe you are to first clean the pipe and remove the sheen. This is before primer is to be used.

    Primers job is to partially dissolve the plastic.

    I've also not been able to find a single glue, or pipe manufacturer that says it's ok to not use primer under any circumstances. Not a single one....

    Can anyone provide documentation that states this?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 855Member
    The thing is.....way back in 1983 was the first time my boss showed me this. One inch pvc. Cleaned it like it was copper. Applied pvc glue and waited a few minutes. Turned the water on. Worked. Was his common practice to do it this way. What did I know. I was fresh out of trade school and a apprentice. I have done it a few times here and there over the years since. I don't make it my way of doing things because it is easier to use primer.

    I was also taught in trade school that the primer was the cleaner. The primer is what cleans the pipe. So to clean it with something else before cleaning it with the primer? Not something I have ever done unless the pipe was completely disgusting.
    @ChrisJ I have also not been able to find one single manufacturer that states this either.
    Maybe attribute it to a "trick of the trade" for when you are out on a call in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere and you find yourself without any primer left.
  • delta Tdelta T Posts: 773Member
    I usually take a sacrificial rag (clean) and once the brush comes out of the can, dab it on the rag before you touch anything. Primer has such a propensity to absorb into the rag, and such a fast evaporation rate, that by the time I need the rag again, its dry. One rag lasts quit a long time. Faster that trying to dab it off in the can and less chance of staining something important.

    On a side not, 50% dish soap to 50% water will take a small primer stain out of lambs wool carpeting with a tooth brush and a little dabbing with paper towels. Not that I was EVER careless enough to spill three drops on the brand new lambs wool carpet that was $160/yd uninstalled.....no, not me....
  • SeanBeansSeanBeans Posts: 351Member
    I always whacked the primer brush on a sacrificial cardboard box, usually the little giant box from the condensate pump used on the job..

    Then nice and slow, as little pressure as possible.. if it drips, hide it or cut a new piece!
  • Sometimes I get a perfect joint with a purple filet all the way around, but more often than not, it's imperfect. The stuff goes everywhere and will be there until after I'm gone. Such an embarrassment.
    Thanks, guys for all the very useful tips. I like the rag or the Little Giant box to prep the dauber.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

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