How to Bend Copper Pipe

If a lot of changes of direction are necessary in a pipe run it’s cheaper and quicker to bend the pipe rather than use fittings. This also makes the neatest finish particularly if the pipework is going to be exposed. Under a pedestal wash-basin, for example, the hot and cold supply pipes rise parallel to each other in the pedestal before bending outwards and upwards to connect to the two tap tails.

Using fittings in this situation would be more costly as well as possibly being unsightly, while the cheaper alternative, making bends, means the pipework is less conspicuous. The pipe can also be bent to the exact angle required so this method of changing direction is not limited by the angles of the fittings. And with fewer fittings in a pipe system there are fewer places where leaks can occur.

copper pipe How to Bend Copper Pipe

The smaller sizes of copper pipe, those most commonly used in domestic plumbing (15mm, 22mm and 28mm), can be bent quite easily by hand. The technique of annealing ˇŞ heating the pipe to red heat in the vicinity of the bend to reduce its temper (strength) and so make bending easier ˇŞ is unnecessary when working in these pipe sizes. But you will need to support the pipe wall, either internally or externally, as the bend is made. If you don’t you’ll flatten the profile of the pipe. Using it in this condition would reduce the flow of water at the outlet point.

For small jobs a bending spring is the ideal tool, supporting the pipe internally. It is a long hardened steel coil which you push into the pipe to the point where the bend will be made. It’s best used for bends near the end of the pipe, since the spring can be easily pulled out after the bend is made. However, it can be used further down the pipe if it is attached to a length of stout wire (which helps to push it into place, and is vital for retrieving it afterwards).

Instructions:

1. Always use a bending spring which is compatible in size with the pipe. Smear it with petroleum jelly
2. Overbend the pipe slightly, and then bend it back to the required angle.
3. Put a screwdriver through the ring at the end of the spring. Twist it, then pull the spring out.
4. To use a bending machine, open the levers and position the pipe, then slide the straight former on top
5. Raise the levers so the wheel runs along the straight edge and the pipe is forced round the circular former.
6. Bend the pipe to the required angle, then remove by opening the levers, and taking out the straight former.


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