Do you have some pipes that you need to bend, but you do not have a pipe bender? Well, do not falter, as you do not always need a specific plumbing tool to accomplish this task. Here are steps you can follow to bend a copper pipe without using such a specialized plumbing tool.
Pack Your Pipe With Sand.
The first thing you should do is to plug one end of the pipe that you can properly do with a small carriage bolt that would fit snugly in its end. Fill the pipe with sand (beach sand would be much preferable) and make sure the sand would be nice and compact to stop the pipe from buckling. You can use a rod to tamp the sand, but what would really pack the sand is tapping or bouncing the pipe on a solid stone or a piece of concrete pavement.
Bend The Pipe.
Clamp one end of the pipe to a form. For this step, you can use a wine barrel planter and then add a rounded block to get a tighter radius. Most likely, you will need a lot of leverage to bend the pipe, especially if it is just a shorter pipe—it would require you some muscle to get it bent.
Finish It Up.
After you have bent the pipe, cut off its deformed end. Then, clean out the sand using a piece of string with a rag on the end to get it all out.
More Useful Tips
In some cases of bending copper pipes, you might need to heat them up, and you can a plumber’s torch. If you have a lot of pipe-bending work to do, then it is good to invest in an oxygen-acetylene torch, which lets you heat your pipes red hot, where they will bend really easy. Also, heating the pipe before bending will soften the metal, so you will get a cleaner bend.
You can also bend a copper pipe with the use of a vice. This way, you can just use your hands to bend the pipe. And again, heat the pipe until red hot along the area or length where you plan to bend, quickly put it into the vice, close it until just touching the pipe, and then pull the pipe up at both ends to achieve the right angle before it cools down. As you can see, the vice will support the sides of the pipe to avoid collapse. Moreover, make sure you always use protective gloves to do this task and cool the pipe afterwards by dipping it into cold water.
What Happens If You Fail To Bend The Copper Pipe Properly?
If you opt not to support your copper pipe during the bending process, it will collapse and pleat. As a result, it will look ugly, not to mention that water cannot pass through it freely. Remember that all methods of bending copper pipes involve supporting them in the best way possible.