How to Bend PVC Pipes
Occasionally when working with PVC pipes used in the plumbing of your home, you may need to make bends so that the pipe will fit properly in hard to reach and fit areas. Although you might be able to install the pipe with a series of elbows and other connectors, there are times when bending the pipe is much easier. So, here is a step by step guide that will show you how to easily bend PVC pipe.
Step 1 - Determine Middle Point for Bend
Use a measuring tape and a marking pen and mark the spot on the pipes where the middle of the bend will be. Then, make another mark at points about 6 to 10 inches on either side of the middle point. This will be the area of the pipe that you will heat in order to bend it.
Step 2 - Prepare Radius Forms and Cylindrical Container
Place the radius forms right next to the pipe that you're going to bend. Place the can or bucket as close as you can to the pipe so that it will be easier to follow the radius form and bend. You should place the can or bucket so that the open space of the cylindrical object faces upwards.
Step 3 - Prepare the PVC Pipe
Place the piece of PVC pipe on to two pieces of 2 by 4 lumber. The marked area of the pipe needs to be inside the two by fours and supported off the flat surface or ground.
Step 4 - Heat the Pipe
Plug in the heat gun and turn it on. Then, take the heat gun and hold it about 2 or 3 inches away from the pipe in order to prevent burning or scorching of the PVC pipe. Move the heat gun slowly over the area that will be bent. As you pass the heat gun over the PVC pipe, use your free hand to turn the pipe clockwise one fourth of a turn with each pass. Continue heating the PVC pipe until it starts to droop and sag in between the two pieces of lumber. Then, turn off the heat gun and set it aside.
Step 5 - Form the Pipe Bend
Once the PVC pipe is hot enough, pick up the piece of PVC pipe with both hands and place it over the radius form or cylindrical object. Slowly bend and form the pipe on the outside surface of the object and roll the object in a clockwise direction in order to help maintain the shape and diameter of the PVC pipe. While doing this, pull on the ends of the PVC pipe in order to create the bend you need.
Step 6 - Cool the Pipe
Once you have created the bend in the PVC pipe, place the pipe on a flat surface and wrap the still-warm PVC pipe with a wet rag or towel. Allow the PVC pipe to completely cool before using it.