PVC Pipe Bending FAQs
If you do not find an answer below, please contact us and we will be happy to help you!
If you do not find an answer below, please contact us and we will be happy to help you!
You need to consider the smallest inside diameter 'ID' and also the length of pipe you will bend. Our Part numbers include an A or B and a numeric.
The alpha character (A or B) Represents the minimum ID of pipe the it can be inserted into. The A Series will fit into 1/2 inch pipe while the B series fits in 1 1/4 in and larger PVC Pipe. The outside diameter 'OD' of the A PVC Bendit is approximately 7/16" so it will fit in 1/2" and larger pipe while the OD of the B is approximately 1.06" and will fit in 1-1/4" ID or larger pipe.
The numeric (3,6,9,10,20) represents the length of the heating surface of the PVC Bendit. Note: The PVC Bendits overall length will be ~two feet longer as there are non-heated sections at each end. Select the length (3,6,9, 10 or 20) based on the length of pipe you will bend. It is okay if the PVC Bendit extends beyond the end of the pipe. It is a good idea to let it rest on the BendStation (fiberglass pipe insulation). See FAQ's for tips.
Newly designed B Series will now fit entirely inside 1-1/4 inch PVC pipe. We released on 9/15/2021 the new version of the B Series PVC Bendit. Now one can insert a 3B inside of a 10 foot pipe and heat just the 3' in the center or to either side of center. The power cord is heat resistant to 105 degree Celsius - 221 Fahrenheit. Because of the cool sections on each end of the PVC Bendit the cord remains within the heat limit.
Welders Blankets made with fiberglass typically resist heat to 1,800 Degrees F. We have tested their use and the results were positive. In fact we placed them on a plastic table top and while it got hot it didn't deform the plastic. The PVC Bendit reaches ~ 900 degrees F.
The electric box at the conduit end prevented the PVC Bendit from being inserted entirely into the PVC Pipe. After we converted to the electric coupling this is now possible. This allows shorter PVC Bendits to be used to make bends in longer PVC schedule 40/80 pipes.
The conduit we use to make all of our A-series Bendits is galvanized. This means that it is coated in a protective layer of zinc, which does not hold paint very well.
Bending clear PVC Pipe is for the most part just like bending standard schedule 40/80 PVC pipe. We recommend using 1.5 OD" sleeves (Flexible Metal Hose) that are placed inside the pipe and then placing the B Model PVC Bendit in the center of the sleeves so it is also in the center of the pipe. Doing this will allow the pipe to heat more uniformly. The desirable temperature for bending this pipe is 210 to 275 degrees F. That is not a problem for the PVC Bendit. It will take upwards of 30 minutes to heat the pipe once the Bendit is plugged into the power source. We have made up to 90 degree sweeping bends with this size pipe. Please note that when the pipe has been heated, it will get cloudy. After it has cooled, it will take back...close...to its original color. Also, there will be scars/marks inside the pipe that result from the heated sleeves contacting the inside of the pipe. Photos will be in our Gallery.
The short answer is yes, but for the best results, you'll need some sleeves (flexible metal hose) to placed around the PVC Bendit and inside the pipe. Or use Slotted Angle Iron to lay the PVC Bendit on and position the Angle Iron using bolts to hold it in the center of the pipe. You can use pipe insulation, welders blanket or carbon or graphite heat resistant blankets to cover the pipe while it is heating. See our videos and blog. You can use either the A or B Series for 4" pipe.
Bending PTFE is similar to bending PEX. Heat it. Shape it. Cool it in your desired shape with cold water or compressed air. Precautions must be taken when heating and working with PTFE so as to not inhale harmful vapors...
PEX is a pliable pipe but retakes its original configuration after being bent. So, to cause it to take shape and keep a new shape, it needs to be heated, shaped, and then while it is still in the desired shape, cooled with cold water.
If you want to see what you can build with PVC we suggest you connect to www.pvcworkshop.com where you will see many helpful tips and be able to purchase many helpful books for under $5.00 each. You'll save lots of time and money.
Softening starts at approximately 200 degrees F. Material becomes viscous at 350 degrees F. Material carbonizes at 425 degrees F. DO NOT OVERHEAT PVC. For additional information on PVC visit www.pvc.org.
To learn more about PVC, go towww.pvc.org.
Yes! The PVC Bendits do not have a temperature regulator in them. We have found that it makes bending much easier if you use a dimmer to control the temperature to the level that the PVC pipe is soft and easy to shape and bend. We offer a 1,000 Watt Dimmer in theAccessories areaof our shopping cart. You can also buy them on Amazon. Just make certain that you have sufficient watts. If you are an electrician, you know what to do...
Pre-bend heating times will vary based on ambient temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and other environmental factors and especially the diameter of the PVC pipe as the larger pipes have thicker walls. Testing here in our shop, we've found that bend times can be as fast as those below once the PVC Bendit has reached its maximum temperature. Add time to heat the PVC Bendit Tool:
2 minutes for 1/2"4 minutes for 3/4"5 minutes for 1"6 minutes for 1 1/4"
SERIES B (Hotter):
5 minutes for 1 1/2"6 minutes for 1 1/4"30 minutes for 3 to 4" 60+ minutes for 6"
We haven't done precise time tests on larger diameters, so it wouldn't be fair for us to throw any figures out at this point.
For bending without the BendStation i.e., insulation, individual bend times will vary greatly. For example, Summer bending in Arizona will be faster than winter bending in Alaska...
We purchase from our local MacArthur distributor but it is available from Plumbing - HVAC Distributors. It comes in 3' lengths and the inside diameter of the Insulation Tube is the size that will fit snugly on your pipe.Example order 4" Pipe Insulation for use on 4" PVC Pipe. http://bit.ly/2ip2oz5
Yes. Give us a call as we are more than happy to lend our knowledge to help you do what you set out to do. If not, send us an email. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
We and those seeking information about the PVC Bendit appreciate photos and videos from users. Simply send your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org It won't take more than a couple of days and your entry will be reviewed and hopefully published. ALMOST no entry is too weird.
Yes, we will. Not only that, but you can send us your suggestions for what you'd like to see and we'll make episodes to fit your needs. Head on over to the Contact page to send in your ideas.
The Series/Model A has an OD of 7/16" and will fit inside 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe. It will heat pipes 1/2" and larger when using sleeves to fill the space inside the pipe and around the Bendit"
The Series/Model B Series has an OD that is 1.06," so the smallest pipe you can bend is 1 1/4." You can heat pipes up to 6" when you place the PVC Bendit in the center of the pipe with several sleeves filling the spaced inside the pipe around the PVC Bendit. See the photo gallery or call. Honestly ...3" to 4" pipe is hard to bend without using the methods explained in the YouTube videos.
Some users are strictly utilitarian and they're going to need three feet of net bendable area to get the job done. There are a lot of cool things you can do when you bend PVC, though, and we want people to be able to develop new applications for this material. One example is setting up self-watering greenhouse frames where users need to bend very long sections of pipe in a single pass. Another example is when an electrician needs to make a compound offset for conduit.
It is extremely useful to heat a long section of pipe and no other bender on the market even approaches 20 feet length heating capability...
Yes you can bend Schedule 80 PVC Pipe with the PVC Bendit. Though the outside diameter of a schedule 80 pipe and a schedule 40 pipe are the same, 80 pipe has thicker walls. The color of schedule 80 is gray.
If you want to know if you can insert, for example, a 9-foot PVC Bendit to the middle of a 20-foot length of PVC pipe, the answer is no. The PVC Bendit has an electric box on one end that restricts it from being inserted all the way inside the pipe.
If you are wanting to heat the full length of a 3' piece of pipe using the Model 3A, the answer is yes. If you heat below a certain point, 'belling' will not occur at all, but when you bend PVC into tight shapes, you'll need to bring it to a higher temperature. To prevent 'belling' at ends, put fittings on the pipe before you make your bend. We also recommend using a dimmer switch to regulate the temperature.
Yes, you can, and it works beautifully. If you're bending regular white PVC, colored PVC, clear PVC, and the grey PVC, you'll notice they all have a slightly different consistency to the touch when they are ready to bend. The actual performance of the materials, however, is almost identical. Grey electrical conduit feels a little more like rubber when it is heated. This has to do with some of the UV treatments that are in the material itself. This in no way whatsoever affects the outcome of the bend process. The quality of your output depends almost entirely on the quality of your form or jig.
With PVC Bendit, you can bend almost any rigid thermoplastic pipe or tubing known to man. Here at the shop, we've bent PVC pipe, acrylic tubing, ABS pipe and sheets, polycarbonate sheets (single and dual-walled), corrugated polyethylene and even plastics that we're not quite sure what they were. In every case, the process worked wonderfully, though, it should be noted that different materials have different bend times and softening temperatures. See pvc.org.
Refer to our Videos section and watch the episode titled "Minimum Inside Diameter," part 1 and 2. It offers general guidelines for the answers to these questions. You can push the envelope further by combining internal and external support. Beyond a certain point, though, you will compromise the integrity of the pipe. This is a pipe bender, not a pipe transmogrifier.
Test the water. You can successfully and consistently bend and shape PVC pipe into some VERY tight shapes, but once you go beyond a certain point, you'll have to use some form of internal support to keep the pipe wall from collapsing. We offer different gauges of metal hose to slip into pipes when making tight bends. Another way to prevent kinking is to press down on the area of the pipe that is trying to get wider. As with any skill, practice makes perfect. Again, refer to our Videos section, especially the episodes on "Minimum Inside Bend Diameter" for the answers to almost any question you may have. We recommend using a dimmer switch to regulate the temperature of the PVC Bendit. There are available on our online store and Amazon.
Yes, it will! We have only tested residential pressure (~40psi) here at the shop but the results were great. Be EXTREMELY CAREFUL with high pressure applications. Be sure to test any high pressure pipe application in a very controlled environment. We do not recommend compressed air applications beyond 100 psi in any PVC pipe under any conditions.
Yes and no. If you are pressing the limitations of the material, you may or may not succeed. The tool works perfectly, but you may be asking more than the material can offer. After a few test bends, a little practice, and with a well-developed forming system, you can precisely duplicate whatever you are trying to make as many times as you may need to make it. It's like riding a bike: don't try the double back flip on the first day, and don't expect your bike to do what an airplane does.
Yes! It releases less than 20% of the heat that box benders do. In a direct comparison, a 3' box bender emits 1300 watts (at $700), while a 3' PVC Bendit runs at 169 watts (at $200). It's not only safe to use, it's safe for your wallet as well. When used properly, the PVC Bendit will not emit fumes or odors. It is still not recommended to bend PVC or any other plastic with children. It is also recommended that you use PVC Bendit in a well-ventilated area.
YES! PAY ATTENTION!
If you stay near the bender while it is in operation, there is little to no chance of ever burning a pipe. If you walk away and get distracted, your odds are very high that you will forget what you're doing and burn the pipe.
Not really. Not all bends take the same amount of time. The perfect time at 9 a.m. may change by noon due to a change in ambient conditions such as temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity. On top of that, you should still rotate the pipe from time to time to ensure that it heats evenly.
If you are asking if it can be used for extended periods of time, the answer is yes. Do not lay or place the PVC Bendit on flammable material.
You should not leave the PVC Bendit plugged in unattended and/or when you are not using it.
It is best to place the hot PVC Bendit in the BendStation. The temperature reaches levels that will ignite wood chips and similar materials.
"Can I run my PVC Bendit 40 hours a week?" Oh, yes, you sure can.
In the name of extending the lifetime of your bender, and in the name of safety, unplug your bender when you're not using it.
The BendStation is insulation, that's all. It keeps heat from escaping during the bending process and it keeps the PVC Bendit tool from burning or melting your work surface. You don't need it, but honestly, we use it. Think of it like the blade guard on a miter saw - you don't NEED it, but it sure is safer when you use it. The only applications where we could see a person not using the BendStation are in the field with electricians and plumbers when they're working on concrete floors or doing underslab work before a pour.
The ends are colored blue to indicate cool zone and red to indicate hot zone and the hot zone is between the blue cool zones. The blue and red paint dose wear off slightly as its being used but you should still be able to identify the cool and hot zones of your bender. Be warned, though, that the metal hose that the entire tool it's cased in is conductive and heat may creep its way down toward the end, especially when the BendStation is closed with no pipe on the bender. Always wear gloves when touching a plugged-in bender. Also note that the PVC Bendit is made using galvanized metal tubing and it does change to a dull color after use.
Actually, with extra sleeves, you can. However, if all you plan on bending is larger diameter pipe, you'll be better served with one or more of the Series B. It is less expensive than 2 Series As and it packs exactly the same punch. There is an advantage in having two Series As in that you can bend anything from 1/2" all the way to 4" PVC or other thermoplastic pipe, provided you have the sleeves placed around the Bendit will help you bend all the way out to 4." The closer the outside diameter of your sleeves are to the inside diameter of your pipe, the shorter your bend times will be.
We hate to even have to answer this question since it seems self-explanatory. We get it enough, so here it goes. By heating up 9 linear feet of pipe instead of three, you are able to make larger bends. You are also able to put multiple bends on the same pipe in a single pass. Take a look in the Gallery and Videosections for examples that words will fail to illustrate.
There is no recharging. The Bender uses AC 110v power.
Your toaster draws more current than a PVC Bendit. Here is a listing of Amps by Model and Length:
3A - 1.5 Amps 170 Watts
6A - 3 Amps 338 Watts
9A - 4.6 Amps 507 Watts
10A - 4.7 Amps 564 Watts
3B - 2.5 Amps 270 Watts
6B - 4.9 Amps 540 Watts
9B - 7.4 Amps 810 Watts
20B - 15 Amps 1800 Watts
They are available here: http://bit.ly/2ip17YV
Put CPVC fittings on the ends of your PVC Pipe before you heat the pipe!
If your project calls for putting pipe together using fittings be sure to use CPVC fittings on the pipe before you heat it up. CPVC has an approximately 50-degree higher melt temperature than PVC. If you don't, when you heat the ends of the pipe with the PVC Bendit, that heat will cause the pipe to lose its perfect roundness. When you want to put a fitting on the end it will be difficult. Avoid this extra aggravation by putting a coupler or other fitting on the pipe before you heat it up...even wrap it with a damp cloth rag to keep it cooler.
Irritated Skin after bending?
One type of The BendStation is coated fiberglass pipe insulation. If you have ever worked around fiberglass, you know it gets on and irritates your skin. We suggest wearing gloves when handling the pipe after you remove it from the BendStation and also have a cloth/rag to wipe the pipe down to remove the fiberglass that you most likely can see. Recently -01-2022 we discovered carbon felt and graphite felt heat resistant material. We have completed testing and find it to be a good product to both insulate the pipe while it is heating and also to lay a hot PVC Bendit on after use.