How to Bend PVC?

I have a project where I need to bend 1 1/2" PVC into a half circle with a radius of 3-4 feet. I know it can be bent once it's heated but I don't know how hot it needs to be and the best method to accomplish this. Any help or ideas would be apprediated.
TIA
C5Ya
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A collar with about six sources of heat (probably propane) would do it.
Problem is, by the time you set it all up, do trial after trial, figure out the right heat, figure out the right feed rate, you would end up with a pile of used bent PVC the size of Cleveland.
It doesn't sound like a hard thing to do, but a more difficult thing to figure out.
Will watch for the suggestions you receive.
Good luck.
I got a friend of mine who is a union electrician. I know they bend PVC. I will ask him for input.
Steve
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The very best, easiest pipe bending I have done was on electricians PVC. The pieces I bent and have seen bent are smaller diameter than yours. Slide them up inside the tail pipe on a running vehicle. There is enough moisture in the exhaust to prevent burning the pipe. This is not a really quick process, but the pipe becomes like cooked spaghetti and is really easy to shape. The pipe is quite hot to the touch, probably more than you want to hold onto. It is really easy to create flat spots if you bend it too tight. If you know your shape, set up some cement blocks or something to hold the shape and control the curve till the pipe cools.
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that's a pretty cool trick

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C5Ya wrote:

Rather than buying a heater made specifically to bend PVC, you can use this trick; Acquire a 5-6' length of 3" stove pipe (single wall). Place one end over the tailpipe of your truck and start the motor. Place the pipe you want to bend into the pipe and leave it there for about 20 minutes. Bend it to the shape you want and hold it in that position until it cools.
I have always found that it is best to over bend it, as it will attempt to return to its original shape even after cooling down a bit.
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On Sun, 08 Jan 2006 01:10:07 GMT, Robert Allison

That is a unique idea..... I know they do make commercial benders, but you'll need $$$ If the tailpipe method works, the OP might be able to use a car tire for the "mold" to get the proper shape. It sounds like about that size.
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Some car tire!
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Do you have a gas stove?

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Hard PVC is very difficult to bend without kinking, especially for a 180 degree bend. You may have to buy several 20 ft. lengths before perfecting the technique. In the long run, it's probably be easier and cheaper to just use flexible PVC, but the surface will be ribbed slightly. In 2002, I bought a 1-1/2" x 50 ft. roll of flexible PVC for $42 from my supply house. It was made by Pacific Echo. http://www.pacificecho.com/spiralite.htm My local pool supply store wanted $6 per ft. for the same stuff. A lot of plumbing supply places sell it, but some don't even know what it is. Google search: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2005-27,GGLG:en&q=%22flexible+pvc%22

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C5Ya wrote:

Pack it with sand to prevent collapsing. Test on a small trial piece.
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Have you ever done that with success?

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there are plastics companes who can supply stuff like this already formed.
what are you building?
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This will be fairly hard to do with out a big electric heater. The tail pipe idea does not work for bends like this. (30 plus years installing electrical conduit)
I suggest that you find an electric contractor that is using a electric heater like this one
http://www.toolfetch.com/tools/30866.html?mv_pc=Froogle
It is about 5 feet long and will heat MOST of the pvc up the first time. Greenlee also make a PVC pipe plug kit that seals the ends so that the heated air will prevent the conduit from collapsing.
I suggest you build a form to put the pipe into. Stakes in the ground on the inside of the radius, is a suggestion.
Good luck your going to need it. I sure hope your not planning on pulling wire through this.
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Find a patio furniture shop. They do lots of PVC bending. If the shop near you doesn't make pieces, ask them who does. I am sure that a polite request and an offer to pay will get you a professional job done.
Charlie

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Could you tell us what you are making with this? Just curious....
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C5Ya wrote:

Buy Hula-hoop, cut in half ;)
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JohnH wrote:

Where do you get a Hula-hoop made of 1 1/2" PVC?
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From the Jolly Green Giant.
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