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How To Bend Conduit

Bending conduit can be frustrating without the proper materials. But by using a pipe and conduit bender, even the most problematic angles can be made simple; plus you eliminate the need for costly conduit elbows when you make your own bends.

When forming conduit you need: a level, writing utensil, tape measure, conduit, and bender. The bending tool needs to be the correct size in relation to the diameter of the pipes used—generally 3/4 or 1/2 inch, though other sizes are available.

When you use a bender with simple indicators and degree markers - like the ones from Klein Tools or Rack-a-Tiers - making a 30, 60, or 90 degree bend is simple. When making off-set, back-to-back, stub-ups or saddle bends, using a bender with a degree scale and multiplier scale helps save you time and energy.

While bending conduit you need to mark the pipe, using your writing utensil to indicate the bending point. Measure the space where you will be using the conduit to determine where you need it to go. You can either calculate the markings using a tape measure or you can lay the conduit directly in the appropriated area and mark the measurements based on the physical structure itself. The line drawn on the conduit signifies the back of the bend. Secondary measurements are generally made from this point.

Make sure to keep your pipe from rolling or slipping while in the bender. The arrow, tier drop, and star symbols are used to indicate the beginning and back of the bend. Depending on the type of bend you are completing, you need to align the curve with the correct symbol and match the top of the pipe with the correct degree marker.

While bending, apply steady, firm pressure to the foot hold to ensure the bend stays true. There will probably be a slight spring-back when you take your foot off the bender so make sure you allow for that in your initial bend. Remove the pipe from the tool and measure the degree of the corner by using the level. If the curve in your pipe is not at the correct angle, just place it back in the bender and adjust the bend. When your measurements are all correct, the conduit will fit securely in the space in which it is to be installed.

It may take some practice before you are able to bend conduit without having to fix the degree. Make sure your initial measurements are correct. If you need to, measure twice; that way you won’t have too many scrap pieces in the end due to incorrect calculations. When you are first learning how to bend conduit, it's a slow and steady process. So take your time, this is not meant to be a rush job.

Contact us for more information regarding handheld bending tools from Klein and Rack-A-Tiers.

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