WARNING: Before you decide to bend PVC pipe, please consult the ‘Cautions’ section of this Instructable. Bending PVC pipe involves heating the pipe close to its melting point, which can cause the PVC to out-gas chlorine and dioxins. These chemicals can cause harm to the human body over long periods of exposure. Perform the heating of PVC outdoors or in a well ventilated area such as a garage with the door(s) open. If you have to do it in a basement or other interior room, use a respirator or a fan with an open window.
To bend PVC pipe you will need a few supplies. The first is a PVC Bending Jig, whichI have uploaded plans for, located here
for SketchUp. This jig will allow you to bend PVC controllably and easily. The trick of bending PVC is that your bend may not end up exactly where you want it in the overall position of the pipe length, so it is suggested that you bend the pipe FIRST, and then cut it to length.
To bend PVC pipe you need:
- PVC Bending Jig (free plans available here
- PVC pipe
- Heat Gun or Propane Torch
- Sand or Cat Litter
PVC End Caps or Duct Tape1.
Place duct tape over one end of the PVC pipe segment to be bent. This will allow you to fill the PVC pipe with filler.2.
Pour sand or cat litter into the opposite end, filling the entire PVC pipe to be bent with the filler. Shake to distribute and top off if necessary. You’ll need to fill the entire pipe.3.
Place an additional duct tape over the remaining opened end of the PVC pipe segment.4.
Heat up the PVC pipe with a heat gun or propane torch along the area to be bent. Apply heat until the area appears pliable. Don’t overdo it, or you will deform the PVC.5.
Once the desired softness of the PVC pipe is achieved, place the softened area into the joint position on the PVC bending jig.
Using the force of your hand, move the top part of the jig to the desired angle and hold in this position for about a minute or until you think it has cooled. You can use the holes in the jig to hold the peice in place. Make sure it is completely cool before removing from the jig.
7. Perform the cuts on each end of the newly curved pipe as needed.