So I installed the PVC DWV lines for a wet bar and I put a temporary cap where the P-trap would go as the drywall isn't installed yet. I took the cap off recently and I got a big whiff of that strong primer/glue smell. It went away after that, but I tried it again later and the same thing happened.

How concerned should I be given that the warnings on the labels talk about how the fumes could be explosive? It makes sense that the fumes would be trapped in the pipes as some of the glue will inadvertently get pushed into the pipe at sealing time.

1 Answer 1


The fumes should dissipate soon after gluing everything up. I have not experienced smelling strong fumes from the glue long after the pipe has been glued. You might get a faint odor, but it should not be strong smelling.

What you probably smelling is sewer gas. Sewer gas will build up in the pipes, and you would smell a strong odor coming from the pipe after it has been blocked off for a while. This gas is considered harmful, and is extremely flammable in concentrated amounts.

Since there is a trap, you could try filling it with water before capping it off again. The water in the trap will prevent the sewer gas from coming into your home. Wait a few hours, and remove the cap. If you don't smell fumes, then the source was most likely sewer gas.

  • I highly doubt it's the sewer fumes as it has the very distinct PVC glue/primer smell. The smell on the outside disapatied after about a day or two, but there was still the smell on the inside. If you look at Lowes website on how to install PVC pipes (lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/…) it even has an explicit disclaimer "Solvent fumes created during the joining process are heavier than air and may be trapped in newly installed piping systems." Aug 29, 2016 at 19:40

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