How To Connect ABS Pipes

ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, and is made of polymers of styrene, acrylonitrile and butadiene. The advantage of using ABS is that it is resistant to impacts, and that it is tough and rigid. ABS is actually the first material to be approved for venting, drainage and waste management systems. They are affordable and easy to use. However, ABS tends to become brittle over extended use, and you might find that you have to replace your drainage or piping because of a weakened structure.

Some communities might disallow the use of ABS in piping, so be sure to check your building or plumbing code before you use ABS for piping.

Connecting ABS pipes will require connecting each link using the correct fittings, and cement.

  • Measure the required length of piping that you need. For best results, you should give an allowance of about half an inch on each end, where you will be connecting the pipes. Cut the pipe with the appropriate saw.
  • Prepare the necessary connector pieces. These can be straight or angular, depending on your need.
  • Clean the edges of any burrs (which are shavings of ABS material). Use a deburring tool for this purpose. Likewise, use the deburring tool to smoothen the edges and other rough spots. One mistake with working with ABS piping material is the use of sandpaper. Using sandpaper tends to shave off some layers of the ABS piping, and will decrease its caliber, therefore making the links weaker. This will also result in gaps in the linkages, and will result in leaks later on.
  • Likewise, do the same on the connector pieces, in case those have rough edges or burrs.
  • Clean the piping with cleaner. Make sure it is clean and dry before applying any adhesive. Do the same with the connector pieces.
  • Apply primer on the surfaces to be joined. Make sure to use a thin, even layer. Apply this onto the edges of the ABS piping and on the inner portion of the joints.
  • Apply cement on the edge of the ABS piping and on the inside of the connector piece. Carefully, but quickly, slide the two in place. Twist the pipe about a quarter turn toward any direction to even out the adhesive.
  • Wait for about a minute for the cement to dry.
  • Clean any excess cement with a dry rag. you should also clean any mess or drips you may have done in the area. Wash your hands or skin thoroughly, in case it gets into contact with the cement.

Wait for the connection to dry for a few minutes before connecting another end of the pipe. The cement will usually need to be cured about half a day before you can use it for water or for drainage. Once you have turned on the water mains, or the drainage, inspect the joint for leaks and for structural integrity. It’s usually best to install ABS piping with supports every few feet, if you intend to install a long piece of piping along a wall or structure in your house or building.


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