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Bending PVC Pipe w/Heat

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ed2hess, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,297

    Is it possible to heat up this white pVC pipe with torch and bend it a little? I seen a electrical guy heat up and bend some of that grey plastic pipe.
  2. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 633

    Anything is possible,just keep that flame moving,PVC is hot hot hot!
  3. MHM

    MHM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    a torch will work, practice first. I use a electric heat gun when i can ( $20.00 at ACE)
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    You have to watch out that you don't heat it past the point of it being structurally sound. Too much heat and you will weaken the walls and therein lies the problem - leak down the road. The electrician could do it because there is no pressure on it. Just be careful.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    They make a special pipe heater that you put in the section of pipe you wish to soften and bend. It's like a small oven with rollers on the bottom and a hood that comes down over the pipe. You insert pipe, turn it on and turn the pipe on the rollers as the section heats up. When the pipe softens then you remove it from the heater and slowly bend it to the shape you want... with gloves on to battle the heat. When the pipe cools it maintains the desired bend.

    If I remember I'll take some pictures of our pipe heater on Monday. We don't use it very often but it's saved the day on a couple of tricky situations.
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    pulled out quite a few of these that break on the outside of the bend. I can see where it can work quite well but would plan on fixing that section in time. one was over 10 years old so there is hope and hey practice makes perfect right!
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Just be careful when you heat the pipe it wants to flatten out. Wear thick gloves and roll it to keep it from flattening out. Be sure to use sched 40 pipe, no class pipe, too thin.
  8. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    I learned how to bend sch40 gray pipe over 20 years ago working as a yard hand for an electrical contractor. This was a huge outfit and we bent every sweep ell they used in the field from 1" up to 4". We used a large "bed" type heater like Purp mentioned with rollers.

    Sure you may be screwing with the molecular structure of the material but as long as you don't expect it to be pressurized (why would you), you'll be fine. I've never seen any failures from it myself.

    Here's a couple of hints: have a spray bottle handy to cool it down so it holds it's shape and you don't have to hold it for what seems like an hour. Also, when heating, I use arcs so the stop point is off the pipe. Have your jig ready and keep the torch moving constantly.

    I still do it now for electrical work for offsets and sweep ells.
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,297

    Thanks for all the good input the install we are working on is pretty complicated due to the amount of obstacles. And the rock that we are running into keeps us from going into the ground to make these turns.
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    For the record, I've done some installs with some pretty bizarre angles, and I've never needed to bend pipe.

    I'd do a stacked 90 or 45 over heating pipe, and you can get any angle you want out of that.

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