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Written By: Gary on March 21, 2010 One Comment

My condo is about 10 years old and (in Michigan at least) they’re allowed to use plastic PVC pipe in some instances. At least it passed inspection, so I assume it’s allowed. It’s never really bothered me except where the fresh water goes into the tank of the toilet, there is this flexible hose that goes into a metal clamp and it’s just cheap looking. I can’t think of anything else that I’d really complain about the construction of my condo (other than a few missed spots when they painted). Also, the hose seems like it’s bent with a bit too much tension, which might be part of the problem, but I really don’t know about these kinds of things, I’m not really the handy-man type.

In the bathroom the hose got bumped during normal cleaning and leaked a little as a result. I touched the hose and it stopped, so I jammed it back in there and put a little bucket underneath it. It seemed fine after a few months so I pulled the bucket and noticed it dripped a little later so I put it back (tried this twice). So I’ve left the bucket there for ages and it’s been there for years. I’ve never seen any moisture whenever I’ve looked, but it’s really not in the way, so I’ve left it.

This past week, cleaning the other bathroom, I barely bumped the same toilet hose and it started dripping. I tried to shove it back in but it’d start again, the more I fussed the more it dripped. It even started dripping out of the other end a little, so I turned the water off to that toilet and used the other one for the last few days.

multi-turn-valve.jpgI went to get the parts to fix it today. The guy at Home Depot (Larry) seemed to know what he was talking about so I asked him. I described it to him and he said it didn’t make sense, the hose should come off. So I showed him the pictures I took on my phone, and he agreed it really didn’t look like the hose would come off the one end; he specifically said he’d never seen anything like it. So he sold me a new valve, a new hose and some Oatey PVC primer/glue. If it was more normal, I’d only have needed the hose ($5) but as it was, I spent less than $20 on everything; but if it works, I’ll replace the other one and never need the bucket again…oatey-30248.jpg

I Googled for a few different types of directions, my biggest concern was 2 things: One, if I screwed up I’d have to cut the pipe near the wall (to remove the old connector) and if the pipe gets too short, it’s time to start removing dry wall. The other being that there was a little water dripping out, so I was afraid it would impact the process. I found absolutely nothing on if I should worry about the dripping water and the pipe length turned out not to be a problem.

I found two good references: Gluing PVC Pipe and Fittings and the FAQ at the Oatey site (the “glue”) and the eHow on using purple primer and PVC glue.

I thought I’d have to saw off the old connector (this was going to be my least favorite part) but it was just pushed on with some kind of a pressurized sealed fitting (or else it took no effort to break the glue seal) and I’d seen something similar in metal before (I’m guessing). So no sawing off the pipe, I just cleaned up what was there. By the time I was ready, the dripping had stopped.

braided-hose.jpgSo I cleaned off the pipe, made sure it was dry, and applied the purple primer to both pieces (the applicator is built into the can). Waited a few seconds (less than 10) and applied the “glue” (technically I “solvent welded the PVC pipe”, not “glued”) to both parts (two times). Pushed the connector on, while giving a quarter-twist, and held it for two minutes.

Now I just wait two hours and it should be ready to go. I wish I’d taken a few pictures before I started the process…

I actually think it’ll be ready sooner than that (I’m well below the water pressure PSI it’ll handle and it’s much warmer than needed), but better safe than sorry.

The purple primer can was really really full and it spilled easily, I’m glad I had newspaper down. The only other thing that could have made this easier would have been to have someone else here, the water shut-off is three floors down and when I turn it on when IF it starts leaking I won’t know until I come all the way up here and then have run all the way back down to turn it off (and then run back up here to clean it up).

I’ve still got an hour to wait until the unveiling (or maybe the flood)…

Later: So I hooked up the hose and turned on the water and everything seems to be fine. The water seemed a little discolored at first, I didn’t expect that with the PVC pipes, but I ran all the faucets for a while and all seems great now!

FYI, the pictures of the parts (valve, hose and “glue”) are similar to what I used. Finding the exact one was kinda hard, the glue is the same (Oatey PVC Cement w/ Purple Primer #30248).

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