How to Glue PVC Pipes Together Safely for an Aquarium

Written by russell wood
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How to Glue PVC Pipes Together Safely for an Aquarium
To use PVC pipe in an aquarium, you need special materials. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When working with an aquarium, there are occasions when you need to run PVC pipe in the water so that you can pump the water from one area to another. The problem is that the cement used to secure the multiple pieces of PVC pipe together can be poisonous to fish. However, if you use a PVC cement that's potable or food grade, then you can glue the pipes together without harming your fish.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • PVC pipe
  • Razor
  • Towel
  • Potable-rated PVC primer
  • Potable-rated PVC glue

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  1. 1

    Look at the ends of the two pieces of PVC pipe that you want to connect and verify that there are no burrs or chips in the PVC. Remove any burrs with a razor.

  2. 2

    Clean the outside and inside of each pipe at the spot you want to join them, using the towel to remove any grease.

  3. 3

    Determine which pipe is going to fit inside the other pipe. Apply the primer to the outside of the pipe that will be on the inside of the connection with the brush that comes with the primer. Brush the primer onto the inside of the pipe that will be on the outside of the connection.

  4. 4

    Apply the PVC glue to the same two areas on the two pipes immediately after applying the primer. Push the two pipes firmly together with your hands and then twist the two pipes 90 degrees from the original connection. Allow the PVC to sit and cure for 48 hours before inserting the completed pipe into the aquarium.

Tips and warnings

  • It's critical that you find a potable or food-safe PVC glue and primer; otherwise you risk damaging the fish.

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