Published by Brooke Sardella on Mar 14 2023
PVC Repairs with Schmear
Schmear pellets are granulated pellets of ABS plastic resin, which can be used to repair plumbing and plastic parts in your pool system such as valve ports, gauge threads and skimmers. The pellets are activated into a liquid when mixed into a solvent called methyl ethyl ketone or M.E.K. for short. This solvent can be found in your local hardware or paint store. Be warned that it is very flammable! When creating your schmear, you will want to use this substance in a well ventilated area with no smoking or excessive heat. Make sure to also wear the appropriate PPE as specified by the manufacturer, such as gloves.
How to use:
To test if your area is ABS or PVC, put a couple of drops of PVC cleaner or M.E.K. on an area and if the area is soft after a couple of minutes, it can be prepared.
To use the smear on an ABS plastic PVC, you first need to prep the area.
- Clean the area of any debris.
- Pour some M.E.K. onto a rag to clean the area that needs to be repaired.
- Go in with some medium-grit sandpaper to roughen up the area, so it will create a better bonding surface.
Mixing the schmear:
- First check the exact ratio of M.E.K. to pellets recommended on the instructions of the package.
- In a glass jar, mix the schmear by first adding the M.E.K., then the pellets, and stir with something such as a painting stick.
- The pellets will not dissolve unless they are stirred and you want to stir them thoroughly. If your repair is on a vertical surface, you want a paste consistency like toothpaste, so the solution will not run down.
- If you want a more liquid consistency such as if you were repairing a flat surface, just add more M.E.K.
*If you end up making too much of this mixture, you can close the jar and the solution will not harden. You can store it to use later and it will actually keep indefinitely!
Once the schmear has hardened onto your repair, which can be very quick, it will basically be the same material as your original part. Essentially, it melts the plastic back together, so the great thing about this fix is that it is permanent! Just give your repair about 24 hours to fully cure before testing it under water. You can purchase Hayward Schmear Pellets for PVC Repairs here.