How To Bend PVC Conduit

If you are installing new cables, installing a PVC electrical conduit will make them safer. A PVC electrical conduit is commonly a gray pipe that hides wires running between two points. It is easier to bend than metal conduit, and it won't corrode. You don't need advanced skills to bend PVC conduit. Here are tips to bend PVC electrical conduit.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • tape measure
  • spray bottle
  • black marker
  • heat gun
  • hack saw
  • metal conduit
  • plastic conduit 
  • PVC conduit bending tool

See if you can put together the shape with parts, such as elbows, from a hardware store. This will save you the trouble of bending the conduit. Otherwise, proceed to bend the conduit, when elbows won't fit the path.

Heat the Conduit with a Heat Gun

Let the heat gun warm. Use a piece of metal conduit to make a template for bends. Mark the bends on the PVC conduit.

Ensure no wires are present in the conduit  before you apply heat. You may prefer to practice on a scrap piece of conduit to get the hang of the heat gun..

Hold the heat gun several inches from the conduit, and run it over large areas. Rotate the tube to ensure you get all of the area. Avoid using torches, because they get too hot. Overheated PVC releases toxic chemicals.

Wearing heavy work gloves, bend the conduit into the needed shape. Lay it on a flat surface, and spray it with water to cool it.

Bend the Conduit with a Conduit Bender

Preheat the bender. Measure the distance from the electrical box to the corner, then deduct the bend distance. Mark this on the conduit.

Slide the conduit bender on the tube, and follow the manufacturer's directions to align it. It should align with the marks. 

Step firmly on the back of the bender, and move the handle slowly to you. Keep your foot on the back of the bender. Avoid tugging or yanking which causes wrinkling. 

If the conduit wrinkles, you will have to start over again with the new conduit. Use the hack saw to trim the section. 

To make an offset angle of fifteen degrees, roll the conduit tube over, and place the bender farther from the end. Keep it in alignment with the first bend. Pull the handle until the section is parallel with the floor.

Bending PVC conduit is straightforward, and you save money doing it yourself. If you don't trust your skill, or the wiring doesn't work, contact an electrician, like those at Richardson Charles E Electric or a similar location.