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Can you bend CPVC pipe?
Thursday, July 27, 2023
CPVC pipe is designed to be used as straight pipe, with angled connection fittings used for changes of direction. It is somewhat flexible and can be bent temporarily to get though a tight opening when doing a repipe, for example, and then returned to a straight run.
But it should only be bent permanently using heat to make the pipe briefly malleable. This can be done with a blow-dryer, hot sand, or hot water. The bend should be carefully examined when done to check for any hairline cracks that may cause pipe failure later. The installation manual for FlowGuard Gold CPVC pipe states that 1/2” and 3/4” diameter pipe should not be bent in a radius tighter than 18 inches, and 1” pipe in a radius less than 24 inches.
Bending CPVC pipe when cold, like in photo above, and leaving it under stress will eventually cause failure. As our local pumber James Freeman says, “It’s a ticking time bomb that will crack and flood. The only question is when." The other problems with this non-professional installation are that the pipe is not secured and not insulated.
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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