Working with PVC pipe often requires creating precise bends to fit the needs of your project. Whether you’re a professional electrician or a DIY enthusiast, we’ll show you how to achieve the perfect 90.
In this article, we’ll explore a simple yet effective method to bend PVC pipe accurately, using a tool called The Bender’s Friend by Rack-A-Tiers.
Plus, we have a code we’ll share for you to get 10% off at Rack-A-Tiers.com
To learn how to bend EMT pipe, we have a video and tutorial for that as well.
If you’re in the market for the best tools for electricians, we have a big list of the recommended tools for apprentice, journeyman, and master electricians.
I want to clarify that I received this tool as a gift, without any obligations attached. This is not a paid promotion; it’s simply a thoughtful gesture. However, please note that if you choose to purchase this tool through certain links, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
How to Get 90º Bends in PVC – Video Tutorial
You might find it easier to watch our YouTube tutorial where we unveil how to achieve flawless 90º bends in PVC pipes.
In this video, we’ll guide you step by step through the process, providing expert tips and demonstrating the tools you’ll need to bend PVC pipe with precision. Say goodbye to uneven bends, and say hello to the art of creating perfect right angles in your PVC pipe projects.
Let’s dive in and make your projects a breeze!
Step-by Step Guide to Bend Pipe at a Perfect 90º
Tools You’ll Need
Before we dive into the process, gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Heat source – Although there are tools for bending PVC without heat, in this article and video, I’m specifically focusing on the thermal method of pipe bending.
There are plenty of ways to get the pipe hot. I don’t mean warm.
I mean HOT!
“Too hot to touch” HOT.
My favorite method is a PVC oven which is specifically designed for this purpose (see link below).
Another product is a PVC heating blanket. Both of these are great tools – but pretty expensive. So a cheaper solution is a heat gun, or a propane torch. Heck, I’ve even used a gas cook top range in a pinch!
In this guide, we recommend using the Greenlee 1/2″-4″ heater. (This link will take you directly to Amazon) where you can purchase it.
- Gloves – you’ll need these!
- PVC pipe – Naturally. Make sure you’ve got the right size PVC for the project. That, of course, depends on the size and quantity of electrical wire you are running. For most small jobs a 1/2″ or 3/4″ conduit is what’s called for. Sometimes a 1″ is needed and they get bigger from there.
- The Bender’s Friend – This tool is designed to help you create the perfect 90º bend in PVC pipe. It has channels for 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ PVC. (Below, we have a code for you to get 10% off at Rack-A-Tiers.com.
The Step-by-Step Guide
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of achieving that flawless 90º bend in your PVC pipe. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Step 1: Apply Heat
Start by softening the PVC pipe in the area where you need to make the bend. To do this, you’ll need to apply heat.
- As I said before – PVC needs to get really hot – about 300°F (149°C). It may take a while depending on which heat method you use. So don’t give up.
- Hold the heat source about 2-3 inches away from the PVC pipe. Pay attention here. It’s a small time window between when the conduit is hot enough and when it is too hot. You’ll know when its’ too hot by the thick black smoke and charred pipe. If this happens – toss it out and start over.
- Move the heat source back and forth, evenly heating the area to be bent. You want to heat the entire circumference of the pipe, not just one spot. So rotate the pipe around the heat ( or the heat around the pipe if using a heat gun) Think rotisserre here. Be patient and thorough – even heating is crucial.
- How do I know when it’s done? Same way you know when your pasta is done. It will become limp like a wet noodle – a very hot wet noodle. So keep those gloves on! Now you’ll be able to bend and twist that pipe any way you like.
- Pro tip #1 – plan to heat 10-18 inches of pipe length for a 90 degree bend. Too small of an area and the pipe will kink when bending. If it kinks, just apply more heat to a longer section and remember to heat it all the way around.
- Pro tip #2 – stay away from the ends! Don’t try to heat there. The very end of a PVC conduit will deform if it gets hot and you’ll have a terrible time gluing it to another pipe
Step 2: Position the PVC in The Bender’s Friend
Once the PVC pipe has softened enough, carefully position it into the corresponding channel of The Bender’s Friend. This tool offers channels for 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ pipes, ensuring versatility in your projects.
- Make sure the PVC pipe is aligned precisely with the channel to achieve the desired 90º bend. You want the pipe coming straight out of the channel.
- Push it down all the way so it is flat all the way through the form.
Step 3: Allow for Cooling
All you have to do now is just wait. After setting the PVC pipe in The Bender’s Friend, give it about 5 minutes to cool down. Once the pipe is cool to the touch it should be ready. Don’t rush here. If you pull it out too early, the bend can deform and you’ll have to start over.
Step 4: The Perfect 90º Bend
If all goes well you should have a perfect right angle bend. Congratulations, your PVC pipe is now ready for use in your project.
Get a Discount at Rack-A-Tiers
I promised you a code to get 10% off at Rack-A-Tiers. So, if you’re on the hunt for a good deal, head over to Rackatiers.com and use coupon code AsktheElectricalGuy10 to enjoy a sweet 10% discount on your purchase.
The best part? By using this code, you’re not only scoring a great deal for yourself, but you’re also helping support this platform. That’s right, we may receive a commission, but it won’t cost you a dime extra. So go ahead, treat yourself, and save while you shop.
Now’s a perfect opportunity to snag “The Benders Friend,” as demonstrated in the video and article.
Creating a perfect 90º bend in PVC pipe is a skill that can be incredibly useful in various applications, from electrical to DIY projects.
Using The Bender’s Friend by Rack-A-Tiers and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can achieve professional-quality results without the need for expensive machinery or advanced skills.
For a visual demonstration of this process, we recommend checking out the YouTube video above, which provides additional insights and tips to help you master the art of PVC bending. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting, with the right tools and a little practice, you’ll be bending PVC pipe like a pro in no time.