PCV Removal

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Jul 16, 2008
Is there a way to remove the PCV once it's glued together? Can you use a little heat to remove it and re use it? Let me know...

I was thinking about that when I plumbed mine. PVC once on is on... What is the problem? Is it a leak or are you redoing something let me know because with leaks, you can use the glue you used to put it together just turn your system off and run your glue around where it is leaking. That is what I did. You can also buy a puddy type formula to put around a leak if that is your problem. Mine were not major leaks just small drops.
Taking it off you pretty much have to be able to put as much torque on the joint as possible. Its rough. Heat hot enough to melt the glue might melt the PVC as PVC is rated for cold water applications only. You can always cut out a section and add a union which I will have to do if my pump ever goes out. I should have thought ahead but its no biggie.
I have a leak but I need to redo what I did anyways to much PCV for such a small job.... If not I might just use some Silcone
I would say use the glue that you did the pvc with. Silicone is okay when it has time to dry properly. Your tank will be down for at least 24-48 hours. If done right 48 hours. What I did was... I turned the tank off, dried the leaking area, used the glue 3 or 4 times around it not too much though, then waited about 15 minutes then turned back on. I had two leaks. I had to do that process to one spot three times. I got it though.
I guess it depends on the silicone you have/are going to use as to how fast it dries.
PVC is basically a one and done type of fitting.
The proper removal tool is usually a hacksaw or cutting wheel, etc.

If it's a leak on the joint then it was not glued correctly and should be removed and redone. You can put a ring of glue around the outside of the leak but it will come back eventually. Same goes for putty or epoxy. It will eventually leak again.

It's just easier to glue up a new piece. If you have the room you can glue a union, coupling, or some other fitting in the line to make changes. With unions at the tank and pump connections (valves can be nice here too) any cleaning or modification is a snap.

If you are unsure of proper glue method:
All PVC or CPVC joints should be made with the pipes totally dry (ie. no water inside or out.) Apply the primer then glue and push the joint together fully while making a 1/4 turn on the pipe or fitting. The 1/4 turn helps spread the glue and prevent leaks. Hold the pipes in place for 15- 20 seconds for the glue to "set", otherwise the joint will try to back out. "Cure" time relates to how much pressure you want the final joint to be able to resist, and the room temp. Try this link for general guides.
FAQ :: Oatey.com
Generally at 70'F and pipes at 2" and under, 1 hour for aquarium applications is fine. Make sure you have good ventilation while gluing and drying. The solvents in the glue are not something you want to be breathing. The glue vapors are highly flammable as well.

FYI, for high pressure uses in fire systems, etc., insurance companies are requiring a cure time of 24 hours before water is applied to the piping or any leaks/damage will not be covered by the policy. Although the manufacturers of the pipe and glue claim you can restore the systems to service in as little as 30 min. in most cases. (darn lawyers)
Good info there ya go. However I have to disagree that the leaks will leak again. I have done the glue around the outside of the fittings on some pipes at my parents house and they have yet to leak in 5 years. Im sure that sooner or later they will leak however they have not yet. It would be better to redo/cut out yes. I could not in my application whereas I had live rock coming the next day. When I redo/mess with my pump, whenever that may be... I might have some pieces already put together to put into the setup.
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