Hi! I’m Blair Gilbert, a.k.a.
As a third-generation hardware store owner, licensed builder, and finish carpenter, my mission is to help you “do it right the first time!” On this site, I share expert home and yard DIY advice in over 250 articles and videos. Feel free to dive in!
- Bend PVC pipe with heat gun, flame torch – door latch, lanai – danger (5/6/2019)
The easiest tool for bending PVC pipe is a heat gun, though a flaming torch works if you are careful with charring the surface.
If you only want to melt the PVC enough that it is pliable, a heat gun will work. If you want to melt it enough to mold shapes, you’ll need a double boiler. A heat gun of 1500 watts costs around $25. You can even use the stove top or hot water.
The key technique is continual movement. Move the pipe or heat over a small area and keep the pipe rotating. After 2 to 5 minutes, the piece of pipe will begin to sag. Keep moving and rotating the PVC, and begin to bend it while always rotating the conduit.
Do not bend the PVC too quickly or stop rotating too soon or the pipe will kink. Some people load sand or heated soil into the PVC because it may kink. Practice to see what works.
Mark the areas you want to bend. Hold the heat gun a few inches away from the PVC as heating. Be sure to rotate the pipe so all sides evenly. Use gloves when the PVC is soft to carefully bend the conduit.
PVC softens around 250 degrees F, starts to flow at 350 degrees, and begins to burn at 425 degrees. Don’t heat the PVC for too long or the plastic material starts to lose its rigidity and can’t handle pressure as well.
Once the PVC pipe is pliable enough, lay it down on a flat surface, and continue bending it while rotating it. When the bend angle is proper, hold it while it cools or apply water. As long as the piping is not overheated or kinked, it will hold pressure like a straight pipe.
Kinked PVC pipe is difficult to fix. Use a hair dryer to heat up a spot on the PVC pipe and slowly apply pressure to correct its form.
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