Connecting PVC and Copper Piping

Connecting PVC and Copper Piping: A Step-by-Step Guide (Even a N00b Can Do It!)?

Connecting PVC and copper piping may seem intimidating, especially for beginners who have no prior knowledge or experience in plumbing. However, with the right tools, materials, and guidance, even a n00b can successfully make a connection between PVC and copper piping. This guide will provide a step-by-step process for connecting these two materials, along with common FAQs to help address any concerns or questions that may arise.

Tools and Materials Required

Before starting, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and materials for the job. These include:

  • PVC pipe and fittings
  • Copper pipe and fittings
  • PVC cement
  • PVC primer
  • Copper flux
  • Copper solder
  • A pipe cutter
  • Emery cloth or sandpaper
  • A propane torch
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • A fire extinguisher (as a precaution)

Types of Connections

There are different types of connections that can be made between PVC and copper piping. These include using PVC slip fittings and copper sweat fittings, using push-to-connect fittings, or using compression fittings. Each type of connection has its pros and cons, depending on the specific application and requirements.


Before making the connection, it’s important to properly prepare the pipes and fittings. This involves cutting the pipes to the correct length using a pipe cutter, and then deburring the ends of the pipes using emery cloth or sandpaper to remove any burrs or rough edges. The pipes and fittings should also be cleaned and dried before proceeding.

Steps to Connect PVC and Copper Piping

The following steps should be followed to connect PVC and copper piping:

  1. Measure and cut the pipes to the required length using a pipe cutter.
  2. Deburr the ends of the pipes using emery cloth or sandpaper.
  3. Apply PVC primer to the outside of the PVC pipes and the inside of the PVC fittings.
  4. Apply PVC cement to the outside of the PVC pipes and the inside of the PVC fittings. Be sure to apply enough cement to cover the entire surface area of the joint.
  5. Insert the PVC pipe into the fitting, making sure to twist it slightly to evenly distribute the cement. Hold the joint firmly in place for a few seconds to allow the cement to set.
  6. Apply copper flux to the outside of the copper pipes and the inside of the copper fittings.
  7. Heat the joint using a propane torch until the flux starts to bubble and turn brown. This indicates that the joint is hot enough to solder.
  8. Apply copper solder to the joint, allowing it to melt and flow into the joint. Continue heating the joint until the solder has completely filled the gap between the pipe and fitting.
  9. Allow the joint to cool and set for a few minutes before turning on the water.


Here are some frequently asked questions about connecting PVC and copper piping:

  1. Can PVC and copper piping be connected directly? No, PVC and copper piping cannot be connected directly because they have different thermal expansion coefficients. This means that they expand and contract at different rates when exposed to heat or cold, which can cause the joint to leak or break.
  2. Do I need special tools or equipment to make the connection? Yes, you will need a few specific tools and equipment to make the connection, including a pipe cutter, emery cloth or sandpaper, a propane torch, and safety glasses and gloves. You may also need a fire extinguisher as a precaution.
  3. What should I do if the connection leaks? If the connection leaks, turn off the water supply and disassemble the joint. Check for any visible defects or issues with the pipes or fittings, and then clean and prepare them again before reassembling the joint.
  4. Can I use PVC cement to connect copper piping? No, you cannot use PVC cement to connect copper piping. PVC cement is specifically designed to bond PVC materials, while copper piping requires a different type of adhesive or connection method.


Connecting PVC and copper piping may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, even a beginner can successfully make the connection. By following the steps outlined in this guide and addressing any common FAQs, you can ensure a safe and reliable connection between these two materials. Remember to take your time, follow safety precautions, and always double-check your work to avoid any issues or leaks down the line.

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