Bending PVC

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Verdeboy, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    I was looking around for a good heat gun to pull off some old vinyl tiles, and the label on the box said that one of the uses of a heat gun is to bend PVC pipe.

    When would it be necessary to do this? And, wouldn't it weaken the pipe and cause it to fail prematurely if it is under pressure as a water supply line?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Electricians need to heat and form their pvc from time to time. I have done it with 1.5" PVC when there was a slight bend needed, cooling it with a wet rag.
  3. Phil H2

    Phil H2 New Member

    Tujunga, CA
    Reminds me of an electricians that would stick a piece of PVC conduit into the tail pipe of an idling truck. Once the conduit was warm enough, he could bent a nice looking offset.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Electrical inspectors like neatly bent PVC pipe. Plumbing inspectors will reject it. But I have used electrical sweeps for water lines when I did not want the "square" corners that the regular elbows give.
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    PVC can also be welded (similar to brazing or gas welding) by using a special tool that looks like a soldering iron with a specially-formed tip and compressed air flowing through it. The hot air coming out preheats the two pieces to be joined, then the filler rod is added, softened and pressed into place by the tip of the gun being drawn along the joint. The same can be done with many materials other than PVC.
  6. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Oops, I forgot to ask how that project might be coming along! I am presently doing the same thing with two layers of tile at the overall rate of about ten minutes per 9X9 square, but now I can see I am also going to have to do something more to remove all of the bottom layer of adhesive off the wood.
  7. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    I may not get the chance to do the project.

    To make a long story short, a lady asked me to check out a Congoleum self-stick floor that another handyman had installed several months ago that had gone bad. Turned out this other handyman didn't set the toilet properly, and water had been leaking all this time causing the new underlayment to swell up and cause a ripple effect in the entire floor. She got the installer to come out once, but he said, "It didn't look like that before." Then he disappeared. I came out and troubleshot the problem and gave her an estimate on fixing everything. Then I got a call saying she had found the original handyman and he'll fix everything for free.

    I'm sure he won't do much. And if she calls again, I'll have her pay me in advance so I don't waste any more time.
  8. It specifically states in my KY state code book that you cannot bend/strain pvc/cpvc/abs or any plastic piping into position.

    The bends you put in plastic instantly hardens where the pipe is bent/strained. It's a stress point that shows up down the road when the pipe cracks or shears off a tee or 90 in the wall.

    The use of heat on plastic advances time<> brittleness of the pipe as it ages.

    Most times when that happens, I'm the fool who has to open walls or very inaccessible areas trying to rework the piping.

    You know for a fact that it was strained when the piping holes bored and workup of the new piping doesn't even match.

    Somebody trying to avoid the use of 22's or 45's is usually the case.

    hj, did you really type what I'm reading? I know you are all about doing things right but DAMN I hope some poor customer doesn't have electrical conduit for water lines in a house somewhere in arizona. I'm thinking about moving out there buying a struggling plumbing company (investor only) when I get old old.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  9. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    hj, correct me if I'm wrong (think that always needs to be my entry statement)... but I don't think PVC is allowed in any house "interior" in AZ.

    And now having made that blunt statement... what's the difference between electrical and plumbing PVC, except for the color?

    Rancher, SE Arizona
  10. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Phoenix, AZ
    If I remeber correctly, the PVC used in conduit is a lesser grade (more recycled content) and is softer than plumbing PVC...
    No need for it to hold pressure etc - just to protect wiring...
  11. got_nailed

    got_nailed DIY Senior Member

    Where I live you can bend sec 80 PVC up to 22*. If you’re in a tight space on a vent line you can bend it as much as you want.
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