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Purple Primer VS. Clear Primer?

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Purple Primer VS. Clear Primer?

Unread postAuthor: motorfixer1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:15 pm

So, I was browsing one of the sites that advertises on here, as well as sells launchers and related items the other day. Across the bottom of the page there was a comment written about ugly purple primer stains and that they use only clear primer because they know what they are doing. I will not name the site because they donate for advertising space but I'm reasonably sure that you all can figure it out for yourselves.
I have been fitting PVC for many years and only have used purple primer for a few reasons:
1. It is reasonably priced and readily available in gallon containers.
2. It is dyed at the factory for a reason, to ensure the amount and coverage are sufficient.
3. Clear primer is solely meant for construction use, I.E. furniture, vacuum lines, ventilation, etc. where the coverage and distribution of primer is not critical.

I recently spoke with an aquantence of mine that installs repairs and maintains water purification systems in all sectors of municipalities and industry, and has been a licsenced pipe-fitter for almost 30 years. He had only heard of clear primer during training courses and that the use of it was most certianly not recommended for joints that carry any sort of water pressure. He said for the trouble of finding clear primer and the risk of using it he would not even think of gluing a single joint with the stuff!

I have to agree that the stains that purple primer leaves behind are most certianly unsightly, however any competent pipe-fitter can solvent weld joints without slopping the stuff all over.

Food for thought?
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:25 pm

It is entirely possible to stand pipe on end and apply primer very carefully. This way when it runs and drips, it does not go where it will leave ugly stains.

Here is a 1 inch joint on my Marshmallow Cannon.
Image

From the back this primer is invisible.
Image

Another option is to fully paint a fitting to dye it. If you use the proper cleaner, you can make the dye any color you wish. Here is a reducer dyed with clear cleaner (Primer) with refrigerant oil dye (leak detector) added. It is yellow green in daylight and beautiful under blacklight.
Image
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Last edited by Technician1002 on Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:26 pm

I think it merits some research into rather or not clear primer is acceptable for applications involving pressurized pipe. Assuming the clear primer is rated the same as the purple primer (likely being the exact same stuff but without the purple dye) then I see no problem with it.

Having said that, you're also right that a competent pipe fitter can do the job without getting primer all over the place. Especially in a hobbyist situation (where you're only doing a few solvent welds, not hundreds) it would be easy enough to tape off the areas surrounding the fittings to be solvent welded (with painter's tape perhaps) to prevent primer stains, making clear primer unnecessary.

I wouldn't discredit the online store for their remark; it's a sales tactic intended to give them credibility, and although everyone might not agree, they aren't lying or falsely advertising.

Just my (inflation-adjusted) two cents.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:33 pm

I looked for the cleaner with the same ingredients as primer. It does soften the surface the same as primer. I found tape tends to wick the solvent under it. I have much better luck controlling drips by gravity. On this threaded coupler, I stuffed a paper towel in it while I painted the glue joint. As you can see, it did run into the threads and then was absorbed by the towel. It did not run uncontrolled through the fitting.
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Unread postAuthor: motorfixer1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:23 pm

I think it merits some research into rather or not clear primer is acceptable for applications involving pressurized pipe. Assuming the clear primer is rated the same as the purple primer (likely being the exact same stuff but without the purple dye) then I see no problem with it.

Hey Pete, from what I understand the clear primer has the exact same properties as the purple stuff, its just not dyed. When I learned to solvent weld, the instructor told us the dye was added to gauge how much and where primer is being applied.
I wouldn't discredit the online store for their remark; it's a sales tactic intended to give them credibility, and although everyone might not agree, they aren't lying or falsely advertising

I definatley do not discredit the store for their remark as they are donating advertisers on this site, however its not a matter of opinion and the noobs that are solvent welding for the first time might be mislead by a "sales tactic" and learn something incorrect from that sort of sales gimmick, thats all. The makers of PVC primer put the dye in there for a reason. Thats all I was trying to say!
I like the inflated two-cents by the way! :D
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Re: Purple Primer VS. Clear Primer?

Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:27 pm

Your acquaintance is addressing a somewhat different set of concerns.
He has little to gain from using clear primer, as the odd mishap under a sink or behind a wall is of little concern, so I can understand why he wouldn't choose to use clear primer.

However, if selling launchers professionally, that should come with professional appearance - and no matter quite how careful you may try to be, a stain would relegate your work to being sold as "B-grade".

Each has its uses. If carefully applied, clear primer should be as safe as purple.
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Unread postAuthor: motorfixer1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:10 pm

Your acquaintance is addressing a somewhat different set of concerns.
He has little to gain from using clear primer, as the odd mishap under a sink or behind a wall is of little concern, so I can understand why he wouldn't choose to use clear primer.

However, if selling launchers professionally, that should come with professional appearance - and no matter quite how careful you may try to be, a stain would relegate your work to being sold as "B-grade".

Each has its uses. If carefully applied, clear primer should be as safe as purple.


Ragnarok, I feel that the point of this thread has been missed. My aquantence is an experienced pro that has used the described materials for their intended purposes for many years, as have I. The pros of purple primer have been laid out clearly. It clear primer was more suitable for solvent welding, the MFG's would make it that way as to save millions of $'s every year.
As for selling "launchers" professionally, any high school kid with the use of his dad's shop and a small amount of computer knowledge can slap some internet bought PVC fittings together and sell them for a small at best profit and claim to be an expert. While lacking regard for properly using the construction materials for purposes that they were never intended. Professionals don't sell their launchers they enjoy them!
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Unread postAuthor: velocity3x » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:43 pm

Purple and clear PVC primers are the same product........ except for the purple pigment. Most agencies controlling construction require purple primer so that an inspector can readily determine if a pipe joint has been properly prepared......no other reason.

Professionals don't sell their launchers they enjoy them!
:roll:
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:11 pm

motorfixer1 wrote:Ragnarok, I feel that the point of this thread has been missed.

No. Not really.

Sure, purple primer is harder to get wrong from a "safely applied" point of view. But it's also infinitely easier to get wrong from a "neatly applied" point of view. If you need your work to look good, and you've got to do it hundreds of times over, you can hardly be blamed for going with clear primer.

In this case, what your acquaintance says about the fact he would never use clear primer has to be put into the perspective by saying that (presumably) visual flaws in his work are of little concern.

I am simply arguing a case for clear primer. Maybe as a devil's advocate, maybe not (I'm not telling you) - but if this is being debated, the merits of both sides should be considered fairly.

As for selling "launchers" professionally, any high school kid with the use of his dad's shop and a small amount of computer knowledge can slap some internet bought PVC fittings together and sell them for a small at best profit and claim to be an expert.

But this is NOT what the site owner is doing. There aren't many people out there better described as a "spudding expert", and his work is certainly of high quality.

Professionals don't sell their launchers they enjoy them!

Then, by definition, they are not professionals. (I am using professional in the sense of "doing it as a profession", not as a synonym for "expert".)
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Unread postAuthor: ThornsofTime » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:23 am

has to be said.... use the purple... PAINTCHA DAMN GUN. problem solved :D
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Unread postAuthor: linuxexorcist » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:04 pm

I agree with velocity3x, the dye is to determine where primer has been applied to prevent accidentally making an unprimed joint
Clear primer should be fine, the only difference is the dye, and every spudder knows that ugly primer stains are, well, ugly.
Any experienced hobbyist who is only making a few joints should be able to use clear primer safely.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:11 pm

Most building codes require the primer stain to be showing on pw systems, so the inspectors know it's done properly. This is irrelevant in our circumstances. Clear primer is fine if you apply it correctly.
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