Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

How I (Johnny) Connect PVC & Galvanized Pipes

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Everyday all across the country people connect PVC and galvanized pipes when they tear out rusted out, leaking galvanized pipes. The problem is most people do not know how to make a good connection between the new PVC and the balance of the old galvanized pipe. I have seen all kinds of rubber couplings used ranging from straight rubber couplings, to rubber tees, and elbows. I have also seen where PVC was threaded directly to the galvanized pipe. How I (Johnny) Connect PVC & Galvanized Pipes

Connecting PVC to galvanized using threads is a weak connection. While screwing a male threaded adapter into a female threaded galvanized connection isn’t the end of the world and will probably work fine being just a little on the weak side the opposite way is pretty bad. Screwing a coupling onto the male galvanized threads will give you a female thread that a male PVC adapter could thread into.

Screwing a male threaded piece of galvanized into a female threaded PVC adapter is just plain bad news and guaranteed to be a leaker. 99.99% of all PVC female threaded adapters that have male threaded galvanized pipe threaded into them will have duct tape and mighty putty applied to the joint as well in an effort to stop the leaking connection. Screwing a coupling onto the male galvanized threads will give you a female thread that a male PVC adapter could thread into.
Fernco
Many handyman types opt to make connections using a rubber coupling such as those made by Fernco. These couplings are made of thick rubber and secure to a pipe using a hose clamp to tighten down on the pipe. A few different companies make these Fernco type connectors, but Fernco is probably the most popular and is often what is asked for at the supply house counter. These couplings are also available as elbows, tees, and wyes but none of these should be used. They are very weak flexible connections that will often end up kinked or, misaligned causing clogs to form. When the line clogs and you call a company to snake the line where do you think the blade on the end of the snake will go other than right through the side of that tee, or elbow? Hide the connection in a ceiling and you’ll have a leaking mess that the drain cleaner says is not his problem. And really it isn’t his problem that you have deficient pipes that do not meet the code.

The best possible connection interestingly enough is still a Fernco but not the same type we discussed above. Fernco also makes a Shielded or, Banded coupling which has a stainless steel band wrapped around a thin rubber coupling. This type coupling is what should be used to make the connection as the band offers support, which keeps the pipes in alignment and are not available in the unapproved styles of elbows, tee’s, and wyes. If the pipe should clog a snake would pass through the connection without any problems. Look for Fernco Proflex, Fernco Strongback RC, or, Fernco RC couplings to make your connection.

4 Comments

  1. Hi!

    I want to connect a 2″ male threaded PVC pipe into a 2″ female threaded galvanized coupler. What do I use on (both?) threads?

    Teflon tape, teflon paste, tape AND paste, nothing, what?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help!

    • Hello, Xwpis.
      Yes you can just use Teflon tape to connect those two. First you need to clean the threads with the wire brush to remove any dirt or corrosion from the surface, if any. Then wipe the thread and coupling with a clean rage, and wrap about 4-5 times around the male PVC pipe thread with Teflon tape. Plug the female-threaded galvanized coupling onto the teflon wrapped PVC pipe and start to hand-tighten by clockwise. When you feel that you can no longer turn the pipe by hand, then switch to pipe wrench and turn the fitting 1 – 2 turns to secure the PVC fitting. If you wish, you can apply PVC cement along with primer, however this is not necessary if you see no leaks when testing.

  2. My water main is 1 inch galvanized I need to cut it and connect a tee for a water shut off. what type of tee would be needed to connect to a non threaded galvanized pipe.

  3. You actually make it appear so easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually one thing that I believe I’d by no means understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your subsequent publish, I’ll try to get the grasp of it!|

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