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What are the advantages and disadvantages of both systems of joints for "non-pressure" pipes that are buried?

O-ring joints are more expensive, but easier to do on buried pipes.

Glue on the other hand is permanent (that is a plus and a minus at once).

What else?

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Typically, o-ring fittings are used for larger diameter pipes (4 inch and larger) where the runs consist of longer distances with a low density of fittings. Examples would be outside of the building civil work and inside (below grade) storm drainage.

When you have smaller diameter pipes and a high density of fittings, such as a bathroom group, glue fittings would be used.

Some advantages of o-ring fittings are:

  • fittings can be reused
  • quicker to install for large diameter pipes (> 6")
  • no time constraint for adjustment of fittings

Some advantages of glue fittings are:

  • fittings stay in the place they were set to
  • available for small diameter pipes
  • quicker to install when there is a high density of fittings
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Is there any problems on using o-rings with a high density of fittings and 100mm pipe (4 inches)? Ex: a pipe moving from vertical to horizontal (90° curve), changing direction (45° curve), joining other pipe (Y junction) and then connecting to inspection boxes all in a short run? –  Luiz Borges Dec 28 '12 at 18:53
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No problem, glue is just easier as you don't have to deal with pushing the jacketed fittings together which can take some pressure. You should confirm that the pipe/fitting material is approved for your application with your local code. –  pdd Dec 28 '12 at 19:43
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