Last updated on September 20, 2021
PVC pipes have been around since the 1930s and have been the go-to solution for transporting water in industrial and municipal applications.
Being made of polyvinyl chloride, PVC pipes are strong, lightweight, versatile, and highly recyclable.
Typically available in long and straight pieces, there will undoubtedly come a time where you’ll need to bend PVC pipes to fit your needs.
Knowing how to bend PVC pipes curved properly avoids breakage and saves you a lot in the long run.
Where are PVC pipes used?
1.Wastewater and sewage.
Polyvinyl chloride has high chemical resistance.
It makes PVC pipes suitable for carrying waste and sewage water without being affected by corrosion like metal would.
2. Construction and soil transportation.
Its durability and strength make PVC a choice pipe material for a lot of construction projects. The chemical resistance of PVC also makes them viable for transporting material downhill using gravity.
3. Irrigation and home drainage.
Installing PVC pipes comes along with leveling the ground when installing an irrigation or drainage system.
PVC pipes are cheap to manufacture and easy to transport because of their weight, making them a great choice for water control in both industrial and household applications.
4. Electrical wiring.
PVC’s high electrical resistance makes it great for wire insulation. PVC pipes can be a neat way to conceal electrical wiring and is a good alternative to the more expensive in-wall concealment option.
A PVC pipe can also act as a tunnel under the ground or in a building to later feed and run future wiring without demolition.
5. DIY projects and crafts.
The PVC pipes’ intrinsic qualities and low cost make it an attractive material for DIY projects and crafts such as sculpting and molding.
Where not to use PVC pipes?
- Drinking water. Even with its high strength and chemical resistance, PVC can degrade due to high temperatures and exposure to UV. ] once it degrades, can leach into and can contaminate water supplies. [
- Hot water. Exposing PVC pipes to hot water can cause warping, making them unsuitable for use with this type of exposure.
Using corner fittings vs bending PVC pipes
Corner fittings offer a stronger and faster solution than bending PVC pipes. They can also be used to create junctions in the piping.
However, corner fittings are more expensive. PVC pipes bending is more cost-effective and allows you to orient the pipes over obstacles.
You need to consider the job you are doing.
Different methods to bend PVC pipes
1. Using hot sand
When trying to heat and bend PVC pipes, they would normally kink or collapse at the bent area.
Hot sand both heats and fills the inner volume of the pipe to prevent breakage.
Tools and materials needed:
- Oven-safe dish
- Heat-resistant gloves or oven mitts
How to use hot sand to bend PVC pipes?
2. Using a blow dryer or heat gun
PVC pipes bend at a certain point when heated.
If you don’t have an oven, use a blow dryer as your alternative heat source. A cordless heat gun can spread heat evenly to bend PVC pipes.
What you need:
- A blow dryer or heat gun
- Heat protection gloves or oven mitts
How to blow dry and bend PVC pipes?
3. Using a spring bender
You can bend PVC pipes without heat guns. A way to bend less brittle PVC pipes is by cold bending.
While it doesn’t require constant heating, it does heavily rely on manual labor. Using a spring bender, like the Pipe Viper, makes cold bending PVC water pipes easy and more manageable.
Tools and materials to prepare:
- Pipe Viper or any other spring bender
- Cloth or rag
How to use spring bender to bend PVC pipes?
4. Using a bending tool
Technological innovations have led to better ways of bending PVC pipes. Using a dedicated bending tool such as the PVC Bendit is a good option for when you want to make long and sweeping bends.
It internally heats PVC pipes until they become soft and pliable, just enough for them to be bent without breaking.
- PVC Bendit or a similar tool.
- Bendit bending station or any pipe insulation.
- Heat protection gloves or oven mitts.
How to use the bending tool?
The best method to use when bending PVC pipe at 90°
The best and easiest way to get 90° bends is to use a bending tool, like the PVC Bendit or a PVC conduit.
What makes this method more advantageous than those that require heating is that they don’t need constant heat and that you don’t have to juggle between the actual bending and managing heat control.
You can work on a flat surface once the pipe is pliable to even avoid skewed bends.
Practices when bending PVC pipes
Safety tips when bending PVC pipes
PVC pipes have surprisingly rigid construction and are relatively cost-efficient.
It makes them great materials for many applications ranging from small-to-medium DIY projects to industrial-scale construction.
When laying out structural pipework, bending is an essential craft as you’ll most likely need to bend pipes to get them over obstacles and blockades.
Knowing how to bend PVC pipes could save you a lot of time and expense from fittings. In this sense, knowledge really is power-bending spoons? No. Bend pipes instead!
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