Free Shipping orders over $149
on all orders over $149
When you’re installing or fixing your irrigation system, you won’t always get the exact shape of PVC pipes you need to complete the project.
But PVC is hard and stiff; you won’t be able to bend it at will. So, how do you work around this?
Thankfully, by simply applying heat to the pipe, you can bend it at home, even without specialized tools.
Let’s look at a few easy methods to bend PVC piping for your next DIY project.
Before we get on with bending the pipes, remember to be extra cautious when dealing with PVC and heat. That’s because PVC can produce harmful vapors and fumes like carbon monoxide and chlorinated furans when heated, so you need to
Remember to wear heat-proof gloves or oven mitts to protect your hands when you touch the hot pipe.
Apart from the fumes, one of the main components of PVC, vinyl chloride, is carcinogenic. It’s not harmful when it's sealed inside the PVC polymer. But if the PVC goes up in flames, vinyl chloride will be released into the air.
So it’s best not to use a direct flame on the pipe.
You can bend PVC pipes by applying heat to the part where you want the bend to go.
PVC is what scientists call an amorphous polymer, which means the particles that make up its structure are not arranged in fixed arrays.
Applying heat to the PVC, therefore, softens it up and makes it easier to bend. Once it cools, it will stay in that new position.
A hairdryer is a safer way to heat PVC since it doesn’t expose the pipe to a naked flame. Here’s how you can use a hairdryer to bend PVC:
The heat from the hairdryer is enough to bend the pipe. However, it may also cause the pipe to collapse and kink ( as pictured below), making it unusable.
To avoid kinks in the pipe, you can use any one of the following tips.
Insert a spring into the pipe at the point you want to make the bend. You can attach a long thin wire on one end of the spring to make it easier to lower into position. Then follow the steps above using the hairdryer.
Once you’re done, simply pull out the spring and let the pipe cool until it’s ready for use.
Fill up the pipe with sand up to about an inch or two past the point you want to bend. Plug one end of the pipe with a cork or tape to stop the sand from falling out.
Now follow the steps outlined above for using the hairdryer until you bend the pipe to your required shape. Pour out the sand and let it cool.
Here’s a simple step-by-step video to walk you through the process.
If you don’t have a hairdryer, you can simply pop some sand into the oven or on the stove. The sand will transfer heat to the pipe, making it flexible enough to bend.
Why sand and not any other material? That’s because sand holds on to heat for a long time. Think of how the sand at the beach feels warm hours after the sun goes down.
The sand won’t cool down as soon as it’s out of the oven and will pass on the heat to the pipe. Plus, sand helps to fill out the pipe so it won’t kink.
Once it’s cooled, it will be ready for use.
Watch how to do it here.
The temperature of the boiling water is high enough to make PVC flexible. Here are the steps you can follow to bend a PVC pipe with boiling water.
Pro tip: Remember to let it cool all the way through before you use the pipe. Also, pressure test the bent pipe to ensure it’s strong enough to withstand the water pressure.
Now that you’ve managed to bend your pipe, you’re ready to complete your project.
All you need now is a quality sprinkler system or parts designed to last for many years to come.
Turn to the Sprinkler Supply Store for the best brands in the sprinkler game at affordable prices.
We have everything you need to set up or repair your sprinkler system; if we don’t have what you need, we’ll find it just for you.
Check out what these customers had to say when they got everything they needed quickly at great prices:
"Great source for Toro replacement parts! We received them quickly and my husband has successfully repaired our sprinkler system. It’s a win!" — Jenene Justice
"The selection and pricing are great. And shipping was very quick. I highly recommend this website." — Gary Fritz
You can get yours, too. Buy your irrigation parts from the Sprinkler Supply Store today.