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Trick of the Trade for Bending PVC Pipe

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Terry in Oregon, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    TERRY: Well, when you are putting pipe in, let’s say underground, and supply line/water pipe and you come across a barrier or something you had that you have to go over or go under, can you – and this is a question I had when I went to the store – was can you heat the pipe and bend it? That still work? I wasn’t sure.

    TOM: Well, depends on the type of plastic pipe you’re using. Most water-supply pipes are flexible ABS plastic pipes today and they can bend quite a bit.

    If you’re talking about a PVC pipe where it’s flexible but very stiff, then you can easily break it. You can bend that and I’ll give you a trick of the trade to do it and that is – and you don’t want to do a lot of this. But what you can do is you can fill the pipe with sand. And fill the pipe with sand first and then you can heat it. And you can use a heat tape to kind of get it warm and gently bend it.

    TERRY: Yeah.

    TOM: And the reason you’re putting – you’re filling the pipe with sand is because when you bend the pipe, it’s going to tend to collapse on itself. But if you put sand in it, it won’t be able to collapse on itself and it tends to hold the pipe open as you bend that angle that you need. So there’s a little trick of the trade for that.

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