Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) conduit is similar to PVC pipe except it is gray and covers wires or cables and protects them. PVC is considered a good conduit because it can withstand electrochemical, chemical and biological corrosives. PVC electrical conduit also, is much lighter weight than steel or aluminum tubing.
Conduit runs underground or on walls.
Maybe you need to run a conduit from your house to the garage or the hot tub or maybe an outlet for a fountain.
Instead of using connectors at each corner of a large job, you can bend the electrical conduit. These bends must be made without reducing the inside diameter of the conduit in the bend. You will make most of these bends on the job as part of the installation procedure. They are called field bends.
However, factory –made bends may be used instead of field bends; however, they will cause you more cutting and threading, and they increase the cost of the job
Bending conduit is an easy task, but before you bend the actual piece of PVC conduit that you’re going to use, practice on a scrap piece or two. So, if you want to bend the PVC yourself, you have to heat it first. A heat gun is an easy tool to help you accomplish this.
1| PVC conduit can be bent to almost any angle or offset, but the finish of the project will be limited by the composition / material used in its manufacture. Most electrical pipe has a thicker wall than water pipe.
However, you can bend pipes up to 4″ in diameter with sufficient practice, but for sure you can expect to ruin a few pieces before getting practice.
2| The first step is planning the shape you want your PVC conduit to take on. An easy way to do it is to create a template using electrical metal tubing, which is easy to bend. Mark out the spots on the PVC where you want it to bend.
3| There are many ways to heat PVC pipe for bending. Improvised methods include heat guns, gas torches, hot vehicle exhaust and even a gas range-top stove can work. There are also a few specialized tools available that are designed specifically for bending pipes. There is a cold-bending tool called the Pipe Viper that works well for minor bends like plumbing and electrical offsets.
But let’s go back to the heat gun. Hold your heat gun at least a few inches away from the PVC as you heat it. Make sure to rotate the conduit so that you heat all sides evenly.
4| After the PVC has softened, put on a pair of thick leather gloves or wet heavy-duty gloves and carefully bend the conduit.
5| When you’ve bent it to the desired shape, spray it down with cold water and it stiffens again. Cold water on hand in the form of a hose with a nozzle is also useful for rapid cooling of the pipe.