How to Replace Galvanized Pipe With PVC Elbow

Written by steve sloane
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How to Replace Galvanized Pipe With PVC Elbow
Cut the CPVC pipes to length using a tube cutter. (scissor cut white plastic pipe image by Graf_es from

No longer accepted for installation by building code, galvanised pipe is one type of water supply pipe used in older homes. New water supply pipes can be made of plastic known as CPVC. Installing a CPVC 90-degree elbow joint to an existing galvanised pipeline requires removing one section of galvanised pipes on each side of the elbow to the nearest joint or coupling, and then installing transition couplings that thread to the galvanised pipe on one side, and cement to CPVC on the other. New CPVC pipe then runs and cements to the new 90-degree elbow joint.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Marker pen
  • Hacksaw
  • Pipe wrench
  • Steel brush
  • Transition fittings (2)
  • Crescent wrench
  • Tape measure
  • CPVC pipe
  • Tube cutter
  • PVC primer
  • CPVC 90-degree elbow joint
  • PVC cement

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  1. 1

    Turn off the water supply to the home at the main shut-off valve. Turn on the lowest faucet in the house to drain the water line.

  2. 2

    Mark the galvanised pipes on each side of the elbow joint that will be replaced, at a point where they can easily be cut. Use a hacksaw or metal tubing cutter to cut through the pipes at both marks.

  3. 3

    Remove the old elbow joint. Place a pipe wrench on one of the cut pipes, close to where it is screwed to the nearest coupling. Turn the wrench counter-clockwise to loosen the pipe from the coupling. Unscrew and remove the pipe by hand. Remove the pipe on the other side of the elbow joint, following the same process.

  4. 4

    Tighten the wrench around one of the couplings where the cut pipes were attached. Turn the wrench counter-clockwise to loosen the coupling from the pipe. Remove the coupling by hand. Remove the other coupling in the same fashion. Clean the galvanised threads that attached the couplings, using a steel brush.

  5. 5

    Screw on a transition fitting to each thread by hand. Tighten the fittings in place using a crescent wrench. Measure the distance from the fittings to where the new elbow joint will be located, and cut two sections of CPVC pipe to these lengths. Use a tube cutter to make the cuts, and make sure each cut is straight.

  6. 6

    Apply PVC primer to each outside end of both sections of CPVC pipe. Also, prime the inside ends of the transition fittings, and the inside of the new CPVC elbow joint. Apply PVC cement to one outside end of both pipes, and the primed inside ends of the transition fittings. Push the pipes into the fittings and hold them in place for five seconds, while the cement dries.

  7. 7

    Apply cement to the other ends of the two pipes, and the inside of the elbow joint. Push the pipe ends into each end of the elbow joint, and hold them in place for five seconds. Turn the water back on at the shut-off valve.

Tips and warnings

  • The transition fittings have rubber seals in their centres that meet the ends of the galvanised pipes, when those pipes are screwed into the fittings. They will create watertight seals.

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