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Old 10-17-2014, 01:09 PM
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Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

I have been looking at options for creating a PVC hanging gym for Kiwi. I see that Home Depot sells varying thickness/diameters of a white PVC pipe and connectors. Is this the type that is safe for parrots or do you need to get it somewhere else besides the hardware store? Any special prep instructions for cleaning (before first use)? What kind of adhesive do you use, or do you just "snap" together and it holds by itself?

Also curious about the clear PVC? Is that safe for parrots? I though it may be cool to use for toys, but again unsure if it's safe.

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:57 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

Either the white (cold water) or yellow (hot water) PVC piping is suitable for making play gyms.....normally the various parts & pieces are chemically welded together with ketone based solvents.....the soft, pliable tubings and other soft pvc items/materials/toys have had oils/plasticizers added to them, to make them soft.....if you are old enough to remember 1960s & 70s vintage car/vehicle steering wheels cracking & shrinking, that was the plasticizers migrating/drying out of the PVC wheels (sticky feel).....PVC in its natural state is rock hard & adding/mixing different oils in causes the PVC to soften.....

As to solvents/cements, you'll want an adhesive marked for cold pvc pipe for white piping & cement/adhesive marked for cpvc piping for yellow cpvc (hot water).....there are also multi-purpose adhesives that work on both types of pipe.....

When welding pipe for water lines, you would want to clean your parts/fittings with a primer, but that would not be necessary for non-pressurized fittings/assemblies.....

Have fun.....
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:14 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

Soooo.... the clear PVC is not safe but the white is?
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:25 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
Soooo.... the clear PVC is not safe but the white is?

You can get food grade tubing & medical grade tubing, but they are a bit higher in cost per foot.....not sure Home depot sells either.....the clear tubing that they usually carry is rated for water & some is rated for potable water.....
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:26 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

I haven't seen the clear in stores, where did you see it? I have made shower perches and table top perches with PVC and cpvc (yellow) and just put them together without using glue and they have been fine.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:41 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by KimKim View Post
I haven't seen the clear in stores, where did you see it? I have made shower perches and table top perches with PVC and cpvc (yellow) and just put them together without using glue and they have been fine.
The clear tubing we have been talking about is soft walled tubing, not a pipe.....
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:46 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by weco View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
Soooo.... the clear PVC is not safe but the white is?

You can get food grade tubing & medical grade tubing, but they are a bit higher in cost per foot.....not sure Home depot sells either.....the clear tubing that they usually carry is rated for water & some is rated for potable water.....
Thanks for clarifying.

Is polycarbonate safe? They have rigid, clear polycarbonate pipes for sale but I've never heard of the material before-
Clear Polycarbonate Tubing, 1-3/8" ID, 1-1/2" OD, 1/16" Wall, 2' Length: Polycarbonate Plastic Raw Materials: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific Clear Polycarbonate Tubing, 1-3/8" ID, 1-1/2" OD, 1/16" Wall, 2' Length: Polycarbonate Plastic Raw Materials: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Any ideas?
Sorry for all the questions, but thanks for all the help!!! I'm not familiar with any of these types of materials, and I just don't want to inadvertently make something that will be toxic for Kiwi.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:23 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

Well, if I get tired of the questions, I guess I could just not reply, but yes, polycarbonate tubing would be OK, but that's kind of expensive for what you're looking to build, your 'zon link says it's $8+ per 2 foot length.....once it's scratched, it's scratched...no polishing them out, at least not economically anyway.....

You'll need a special glue for this plastic also..... Lexan Polycarbonate Glue

You're going to find that using these proprietary materials to get you special effects, you're not going to find the fittings you're looking for, at least not readily available.....just like the various colored piping/tubing used in the commercial play gyms.....they have to order their stock in 2500 & 5000 foot orders & I don't know any of them that sell in small DIY sized amounts.....

You'll need a Dremel tool or similar motor tool to properly work with most of your projects.....if you don't yet have your own, plan on spending about $100 for a kit with enough fittings to get done what you're looking to do.....chemical welding/gluing plastics can be forgiving on mis-cut pieces, but, you can end up with sloppy looking joints.....I've heard "practice makes perfect" though I wouldn't want to practice on $4+ per foot clear polycarbonate tubing.....that is unless I was a quick learner ! ! !
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:40 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

I have all kinds of tools and have done many very difficult projects out of a variety of materials before. I do jewelry work, so I have a flex shaft tool with many different kinds of blades, bits, burs, polishing wheels..... (basically it's like a super dremel) along with a standard drill and various bits (and a VERY steady hand lol). I'm pretty creative and take my time to think out how to best assemble and make things.

My primary concern with this project is making 100% sure any material I use for a gym for Kiwi is absolutely bird safe. He obviously comes in contact orally with everything in his cage so I don't want him licking poison or having poisonous materials absorb through his feet or anything like that.

P.S. For complex and pricey projects, did you ever see my newt tank cover I designed and built? I wasn't as concerned with material safety since the newt comes in no contact with the cover, but talk about DIFFICULT!
Mr. Newt's tank is done, and it is awesome! (pic heavy)
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:18 PM
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Re: Is there a particular type/grade/brand of PVC safe for parrots?

I've always used the white stuff from Home Depot or Lowes...

The biggest thing is NEVER use the glue around your bird. Use it outside or in the garage with the door open, and make sure it dries all the way first. Once it's dry, not a problem.

THE GLUE FUMES ARE UBER-TOXIC TO PARROTS!!! And not especially great for human beings either...
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