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Cutting and Cementing PVC Tubing and Fittings

How to cut and cement PVC tubing and fittings

PVC Pipe


When sizing a length of tube, measurements should be taken from the base of the pipe-stop on the inside of the fitting. As of each section of tubing is cut, it should be dry fitted before the next measurement is taken.


The tubing should be cut as straight and square as possible. A miter box should be used if available. All rough edges must be removed with a utility knife, coarse sand paper, or a pipe deburring tool. Diagram showing how to cut and finish PVC pipe

Dry Fitting

Once all the pieces are cut, they should be dry fitted to check for correct fit. The markings on the fittings can be utilized to assure proper alignment.


PVC solvent cement actually welds the fitting to the tubing. A chemical reaction permanently joins the molecules from each surface to produce an airtight seal.

Before cementing, both the tubing and the fitting must be free of PVC burrs, dirt, and grime. The components should be wiped with a clean cloth if necessary. Cement should be applied to the tubing only as cement applied to the fitting will be pushed ahead and create a rough bead on the inside of the fitting. This bead will reduce airflow and could cause a clog. The tubing should be inserted all the way into the fitting and twisted a quarter turn to evenly distribute the cement. All excess cement should be removed with a rag. The glue should be allowed several hours to set before the vacuum system is used.

Low Voltage Wire

One of the greatest benefits of central vacuum systems is that the power unit is turned on and off automatically. Every power unit has an on/off switch that is activated by completing a circuit at the inlet valves. Simply inserting the hose in the inlet valve turns on the power unit.

To facilitate this, low voltage wire must follow the tubing system. At the junction of a branch line and the trunk line, the wires can be spliced together as demonstrated in the figure.

Diagram showing low voltage wire at junction of pipe

There must be an uninterrupted route from each inlet valve to the power unit. The wire should be attached to the tubing with the wire ties at least every four feet.

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