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?

2 Answers 2


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
  • 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? Dec 28, 2012 at 18:53
  • 1
    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, 2012 at 19:43

As a licensed civil engineer, I would add that longer straight runs would be better with gasketed pvc (probably only available in +4" sizes) due to thermal expansion.

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