How to Bend PVC Pipe Using Heat

Written by donna armstrong
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How to Bend PVC Pipe Using Heat
Bending PVC pipe elimiates the need for elbow joints. (pvc image by pearlguy from

PVC pipe needs to be bent and formed to create PVC projects. Using heat to bend PVC pipe is easy and can be done at home with little equipment required. Heating PVC does release chemicals into the air. Because of this, only bend PVC pipe in an open or well ventilated area.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Heat Gun
  • 1/2- or 3/4-inch PVC Pipe
  • Sand
  • 1/2- or 3/4-inch dowel rod
  • 1/2 or 3/4-inch PVC caps (2)
  • Plywood, 3-foot square
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Nails (6)
  • Hammer
  • Gloves

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  1. 1

    Measure the pipe and mark the angle of the bend you need on plywood board. A compass can be used to create the arch of the bend, if necessary. Mark evenly spaced points on the angle line you drew. Mark the pipe where the bend will start and end.

  2. 2

    Hammer the nails into the marks of the plywood leaving at least half an inch of the nail exposed. This is the form that will help you bend the PVC.

  3. 3

    Place a cap on one end of the pipe and fill the pipe with sand. The sand will ensure the pipe does not kink as it is bending. Sand can be purchased at any hardware or garden store. Sand or dirt from the yard works as well. Pack the sand into the pipe with a dowel rod the same diameter as the pipe. When the pipe is full of sand place the other cap on the open end of the PVC.

  4. 4

    Turn on the heat gun and allow it to get hot. Put on the gloves to protect your hands as you heat.

  5. 5

    Place the PVC pipe 1 inch from the heat gun and heat up the area between the marked lines. Rotate the pipe as it heats to get an even heating. When the pipe begins to sag it is malleable enough to bend.

  6. 6

    Place the pipe on the plywood form on the outside of the nails. Bend the PVC around the around the nails and hold it in place until it cools. If you do not want to hold the pipe while it cools, use t-straps to hold the pipe on the nail.

  7. 7

    Remove the caps from the end of the PVC pipe and tap the end to release the sand inside. Push the dowel rod through the pipe to remove any stuck sand. Water can also be flushed to the pipe to clean the inside walls.

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