How to Open a Can of Plumber's Cement

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper

  • Vise grips


Avoid getting cement on your skin. Wash it off immediately if this happens.

When working with PVC pipe, it is necessary to join the sections together with plumber's cement. The process includes priming the parts before cementing them together with the cement. The cement provides a water-tight bond between PVC couplings and the pipe. The plumber's cement, along with the primer, comes in a can that has an applicator in the bottom of the cap. Opening a can of plumber's cement requires some care to avoid spilling it on you or the surrounding surfaces.

Step 1

Place newspaper over a flat surface, such as a work bench. The newspaper will help prevent any cement from getting on the surrounding surfaces.

Step 2

Grasp the can of plumber's cement in one hand. Hold the can firmly so that it does not turn when removing the cap. Grasp the cap with your free hand and turn it counterclockwise to remove it from the can.

Step 3

Adjust the jaws of a pair of vise grips around the perimeter of the can top if the top does not budge. This often happens on cement that has been used before. Adjust the vise grip jaws so they lock firmly around the top without crushing it.

Step 4

Hold the can firmly in one hand and turn the top counterclockwise with your free hand, using the vise grips for extra leverage. Remove the vise grips once the top begins to turn.

Step 5

Pull the top away from the can slowly, scraping the edges of the attached applicator against the inside of the can. This helps remove any excess cement from the applicator and prevent dripping.


Kenneth Crawford

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.