How to Make Solvent Cement for PVC Pipe


Solvent cement is a compound of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and plasticizers, compounded together by solvent. The hardening effect of the cement comes from the chemical reaction between the compounds used.

The usual solvents are alcohol, acetone, benzene, etc. However, to ensure that there’s no problem with environmental pollution, you can use acetone and some impurities in paint thinner (containing white spirit). In this article, I will discuss how to make solvent cement for PVC pipe. SO let s get started.

How to Make Solvent Cement for PVC Pipe

Why is Solvent Cement Used For PVC Pipes?

There are two main categories of solvent cement; those used on CPVC and those used on PVC.

PVC Solvent Cements have a plasticizer called diethyl phthalate that helps bring the PVC pipe into contact with the fitting, making for an efficient seal.

This also makes it is easier to remove at a later time if necessary since removing solvent-cement pipes takes heat and isn’t easy or quick if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Note: It is possible to use CPVC solvent cement for joining PVC pipe, but this technique has some drawbacks, as noted below. In particular, the presence of polyvinyl alcohol, as opposed to DOP (PVC), makes it harder to clean up when you’re done.

What Does Solvent Cement Do?

Solvent cement like the one shown here is used to join PVC pipe and fittings together. The cement will soften the PVC pipe (so that it is flexible enough to wrap around a fitting) and bond the two together so they don’t leak. It will also lengthen the time before they need to be removed since solvent cement allows for a tight joint that won’t come apart without special effort during normal use.

Step-wise Guide on How to Make Solvent Cement for PVC Pipe:

Step-wise Guide on How to Make Solvent Cement for PVC Pipe

Preparation of Solvent Cement

It is a mixture of cement, water, and solvent in the ratio of 1:4:3. But the exact ratio depends on the quality (grade) of cement used. The ingredients are mixed to ensure that there would be no lumps at the time of pouring it into the pipe. If any lump is formed during mixing, then break it by rubbing between palms.

1 Part Cement

Ensure that dry ingredients are sifted before measuring. A pinch from the upper and lower sides will give you an estimated idea about how much quantity you require for making solvents cement. For a bucket-sized cement mix, use 60 – 70 Kgs cement, 3 – 4 liters water, and 25-30 Ltr solvent.

2 Part Water

Tap water is used for making solvents cement for PVC pipe. But if you want to use distilled or RO purified water, then also it will be fine. Do not use hard water as it will increase the slowness of setting time.

3 Part Solvent

Chloroform or dichloromethane (whichever is available in your country) are often used as solvent material. Some people also prefer using thinner, but this one is a hazardous chemical.

It must be handled with extreme care during pouring this into pipes while mixing it with other ingredients in the right proportion. Wear gloves and do not allow to come in contact with eyes. Please do not go near it when you are smoking etc.

·      Ensure that the solvent is in its liquid state while mixing with cement and water; otherwise, there will be chances of clogging pipe joints during later stages of construction, which may create a huge problem (like re-work, rejection of concrete, etc.).

So before pouring it into the mix, make sure that the temperature of the solvent is more than 20 degrees C. If required, heat it above this limit by keeping it in sunlight or any other way if the weather is cold outside at the time of mixing cement for pipes.

But after ensuring its temperature, do not let it become hot as the hot solvent can decrease the strength of the cement mixture.

·          Ensure that solvent is fresh and in its liquid form at the time of pouring into water. Sometimes it may crystallize or coagulate when kept for long due to improper storage. In such cases, filter off with a fine filtration system (like a sieve) before use.

If we are buying ready-made solvent cement from the market, then also follow the same way as we do with cement mix at our end by checking its freshness, smell, etc·     

Store these two, i.e., Chloroform / Dichloromethane and Cement, separately in separate containers after purchase so that no chemical reaction takes place between both of them while stored for future use, which can create lumps / harden cement over a period of time.

4 Part Water

·      It is used for dilution purposes in solvent cement mix only and not part of the final mixture, as you can see in the above ratio example. 

Mixing Procedure / Making Solvent Cement:

Mixing Procedure  Making Solvent Cement

Now we will make solvent cement over a period of 3 days to achieve consistency at our end for making PVC pipes using this material.

At first, let’s prepare a mixture by adding cement, water, and chloroform (or Dichloromethane) in a 1:3 ratio on Day-1 while mixing them slowly with the fine, stirring attachment of the machine being used or use a handheld stick blender for effective mixing with least efforts. This will ensure that all three ingredients mix smoothly. 


I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to make solvent cement for PVC pipe. Thank you and have a nice day!

You may read also – How to Connect PEX to PVC

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