Can ABS-to-PVC (white-to-black pipe) transition glue, like this: Oatey Green Transition Glue

(Image from Home Depot)

be used on PVC-to-PVC pipe joints (white pipe only) ?

3 Answers 3

  1. That glue is rated only for non-pressure pipes (drain and vent, not water), so if that is your situation, continue to the next step.
  2. Some locales require the exact type of glue be used and don't play loose with the types allowed. If this isn't a concern for you, go to the next step.
  3. According to Oatey "Green transition cement can be used to join ABS to PVC or any variation of the two, but only if local building codes approve the application." I read that as it is acceptable to join a PVC+PVC connection.

Personally, I'd buy the right glue for like $5 and use that.

  • I'm not familiar with plumbing codes but curious what they could possibly say that would make this not ok? If code says glue must be labelled for use with PVC and the label says ABS or PVC in any combination ...then it's labelled. No? Surely there is no code that bans versatile glues labelled appropriately for more than one use?
    – jay613
    Sep 24, 2022 at 0:53
  • NJ allows it in the 2018 code (up.codes/viewer/new_jersey/nj-plumbing-code-2018/chapter/4/… Primers and solvent cements shall be suitable for joints in PVC piping. Primers shall be purple in color and solvent cements shall not be purple in color.), but it is possible (though unlikely) to be unacceptable at the county or city level. Not a lawyer, plumber, or New Jerseyan, so take that into consideration. :) Sep 24, 2022 at 1:49
  • I can see that not using the product in accord with its labeling might knock it out of code. Following product instructions is a big NEC thing, maybe it's big on plumbing codes too. Getting the correct product would be the wisest step. Sep 24, 2022 at 12:43
  • #3 is what I was web-searching for, just couldn't find the correct search terms, thanks! Sep 24, 2022 at 12:50
  • @UnhandledExcepSean good call, I think I found a couple of parts in that code that are probably more authoritative on this subject, and I put it in an answer.
    – jay613
    Sep 26, 2022 at 12:54

Normal PVC cement is not cement at all, it is solvent. PVC on PVC you are doing solvent welding, the solvent melts the PVC then totally evaporates, leaving 1 continuous piece of PVC plastic and no solvent whatsoever.

Get it? It is not ANY kind of glue. It has no sticky stuff, no filler, and when its job is done it is simply gone.

Code requires you to do solvent welding when joining PVC to PVC, so you need to use proper PVC "glue" that isn't glue.

Since ABS does not chemically interact with PVC, that stuff is actual glue. It will produce an inferior, non-welded connection.

Welding is better than gluing.

  • if it totally evaporates, what's the (left over) grey stuff visible on white PVC welds / seams?
    – P2000
    Sep 24, 2022 at 4:02
  • @P2000 I've used the purple primer and clear solvent before, and I also see ooze coming out of the joint, though usually stained purple not gray. I can imagine that some of that ooze at least is melted plastic from the action of the solvent. An MSDS on Oatey's clear solvent shows some PVC and Colloidal silicon dioxide in the mix, too, so there could be solids in the goop. But I do understand that the solvents do disappear completely over time. Sep 24, 2022 at 12:42
  • Good point, Harper, on code requiring welding for PVC-only joints! Sep 24, 2022 at 12:43
  • Yes, "some PVC and Colloidal silicon dioxide" that must be it.
    – P2000
    Sep 25, 2022 at 15:45

With credit to @UnhandledExcepSean for leading me to it, and to @Harper for explaining why in his answer, the following bits of code for NJ appear to give an authoritative answer, and I would expect to find similar requirements in most states:

NJ requires certain types of connection for PVC-PVC, allowing solvent cement but not allowing OP's glue.

Also, NJ 4.3.9(f) says ABS to PVC joint must be used outdoors and at least 3 feet away from building, which I suspect OP's PVC-PVC joints are not.

  • Quoting (and summarizing) the actual code sections would get my vote.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 26, 2022 at 16:39
  • I saw that but since the connection wasn't ABS/PVC, it is not directly applicable, but the reasoning behind it is. Sep 26, 2022 at 18:28

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