How to Unglue PVC Pipe

A Hand ungluing PVC.
It's the white plastic pipe commonly used for plumbing and drainage. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. Comstock / Getty Images

Whether you made a mistake or you're replacing an old fixture, you need to unglue PVC pipe. This is impossible. Nothing will dissolve the solvent between the pieces of PVC [source: This Old House]. Don't worry; there's a solution. Follow these tips to learn what to do when you want to unglue PVC pipe.

Here's what you'll need:


  • Hacksaw
  • Purple primer
  • Clear PVC cement
  • A new fitting and coupling

Here's what to do:

  1. Cut out the problem joint Use a hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe flush along the fitting of the joint that you wish you could unglue [source: This Old House].
  2. Get a new fitting and coupling Find a new fitting that satisfies your new needs. Find a coupling that matches the old fitting you didn't cut out and the new one you're adding [source: This Old House].
  3. Prime the PVC Apply a thin layer of purple primer to the ends of your PVC fittings. Also apply the primer to the inside of the coupling. Let the primer dry for a few minutes [source: Maki].
  4. Glue the new joint together After the primer is dry, coat the primed areas of the pipes and coupling with clear PVC cement. Some multi-purpose cement glues aren't approved for all pipe uses, so make sure you're using a PVC-specific type. Push the pipe into the coupling while turning it a quarter turn. Make sure the fittings don't pop out before the adhesive hardens. If possible, wipe away any excess glue from the outside of the pipe before it dries [source: Maki].



Can you unglue PVC pipes?
You can use a purple primer to unglue it. For this, apply the primer and let it dry for a while. When it’s dried, apply the PVC cement to the joints and couplings. Now, turn the pipe stealthily to stretch it out of its glued area. Another DIY way is to use a hair-dryer on a high heat setting to melt the glue. When given heat for a few minutes, the bond should break and fittings will pop out.
What is the preferred tool for cutting PVC pipe?
An easy and preferred tool to cut PVC pipe is a handsaw. You can use any saw for cutting, but a backsaw or hacksaw is an ideal tool with greater flexibility.
What glue works best on PVC pipe?
Using ordinary adhesives to join PVC pipes will not work. So, for a good fitting, Oatey glue is the best PVC glue. It has heavy-duty chemical solvents that provide leak-proof air-tight fittings. Moreover, it is specially formulated to melt the PVC surface for instant hardening to give added strength.
Can you use silicone to seal PVC pipe?
Yes, silicone is a fast and easy way to seal your PVC pipes. However, you should not apply silicone on a wet pipe. First, dry out your PVC pipes completely and then apply the silicone.
What can you use instead of a PVC glue?
If your application is not very demanding, you can use hot glue, contact cement or super glue as they also provide good adhesive strength to the PVC joints. However, they may not be reliable in the case of a pressurized water line that demands strong adhesion.