How to bend PVC-coated conduit without damage

Question

Hi Chris, what is the best way to bend PVC-coated conduit without damaging it?

Answer

We offer a complete line of standard, special, and large radius elbows ready for quick shipment. However, when field bending is necessary, there are a variety of bending tools from which to choose. Perma-Cote can be bent with conventional types of bending equipment.

To accommodate the PVC coating when using a hand bender, always select the next larger size shoe. Typically hand bending can be performed on 1/2″ and 3/4″ trade sizes.

Use a Perma-Cote Hickey (Figure 1) to reduce the possibility of damage to the conduit coating when making sharp bends, saddles or offsets.

Figure 1: Perma-Cote Hickey

Figure 1: Perma-Cote Hickey

For optimum results, use equipment specially designed for bending PVC-coated conduit. When bending Perma-Cote with powered equipment, use rubbing alcohol to clean the inside of the shoe and the area of the conduit to be bent. Never use a lubricant on the shoe or conduit. Lubricants tend to allow the conduit to slip above the center-line of the shoe, resulting in flattening of the elbow.

Major manufacturers of bending equipment offer bending shoes for coated conduit that can be ordered for existing equipment. Acceptable results can be obtained by machining out existing shoes. Use shoes the same size as the conduit to be bent and remove approximately 6/100ths of an inch from the inside of the shoe.

Using an incorrect shoe size results in the PVC-coated conduit collapsing.

Using an incorrect shoe size results in the PVC-coated conduit collapsing.

Using a shoe that has not been machined out .06" results in a noticeable seam in the PVC-coated conduit.

Using a shoe that has not been machined out .06″ results in a noticeable seam in the PVC-coated conduit.

PVC-coated conduit that has been correctly bent using a shoe that has been machined out .06".

PVC-coated conduit that has been correctly bent using a shoe that has been machined out .06″.