1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Did not wait hours after gluing water system. When to expect the pvc cement to cure?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PeteTheSwede, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. PeteTheSwede

    PeteTheSwede Just Hatched

    Mar 1, 2016
    I built a watering system using cups yesterday. It's hooked up to the house water with the help of a pressure regulator and gauge. Since the system will be under pressure, I glued every piece with blue pvc cement. Once installed, I was too excited to wait until the next day to turn on the water to check for leaks and adjust the pressure to the cups properly. I did flush the system a few times before putting on the end cap.

    When I let out the chickens this morning, I figured I would flush the system a few more times. I noticed a an odor of the water from the pvc cement coming out the pipe, so I made sure to flush the system a few extra times before heading to work. But it was hard to eventually tell if the smell went away since my hands already had a faint odor of the cement already. The water I first smelled had been sitting in the pipe all night, so any nasty contents could have been leached out already. However, now I'm worried that I might be poisoning my chickens because I did not wait 24 hours before filling the system with water.

    Should I be concerned? Should I can empty the system and take it out of commision for a few days?

    Essentially, what are your thoughts?
  2. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    PVC glue outgasses very quickly when exposed to air, but if you noticed it in the water then I would be concerned.

    I typically sniff test any glued systems and charge them up when there is no more smell from the glue. Not sure if it makes any difference, but solvents can be pretty nasty to the nervous system and taking the hour to air out any pipe typically removes any 3 AM thoughts of poisoning your chickens.

    The 24 hour wait time is based on the fact that you are melting two pieces of PVC, twisting them together, and allowing them to bond before subjecting them to 250 PSI. The chemical effect to a 150 lb human is negligible, and within NSF standards. I'm sure they've never tested for chickens, but based on body weight, I would scale it back.

    I will usually leave both ends of the piece being glued open, elevate one end, and allow as much sunlight to create a draft and air it out. Most people probably wouldn't care, but I spent a lot of time in construction and can always spot the guys who spent too much time in a plumbing trench being exposed to solvents.

    Good luck.
  3. PeteTheSwede

    PeteTheSwede Just Hatched

    Mar 1, 2016
    Those construction guys you speak of are exposed to the solvents by breathing it in. In this case it's digesting, though I doubt it's particularly healthy digesting it either. However, the toxic levels of the water is unknown. So far my chickens have not figured out the cups properly and have therefore not been all too exposed to it. I have flushed the system each morning since I installed it as well as once in the afternoon, just to remove the water that's been sitting in the pipe for an extended period of time. The smell seems to have gone away once the fluch is complete, but a small amount occurs right before I flush. I'm hoping that after a week or so, this is no longer an issue, just in time the chickens properly learn how to use it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by