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Country Discussion Topics
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Shapeing pvc pipe
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old-57    Posted 02-06-2002 at 15:49:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi, I want to run a 3" pvc sewer stack between a joist and a wall. There isn't enough room, I don't want to go to a smaller pipe or do any cutting. Since I am talking about a length of 10" is it possible to apply some heat to the pipe and colapse it to make it egg shape and fit in my opening? Thanks for your time.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 02-08-2002 at 22:51:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'll not comment on whether you should do this, because I don't know. I do know that you can easily mold pvc into any shape you like, by softening it in boiling water. You can also do some limited bending by heating it with a hair dryer. The propane torch works well, too, but it is hard to soften it evenly without scorching it.

Norman    Posted 02-07-2002 at 03:00:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Check with your plumbing inspector.
I have built homes and there is rules about diameters and such that must be maintained.
Also. Heating the PVC, in my opinion is a bad idea. It may change the character of the plastic and make it brittle also. Most walls that have large plumbing drain pipes in them are called a plumbing wall and 2 by 6's are used instead of 2 by 4's. I would find a way to alter the studs, or the opening, and leave the pipe alone. That is the correct and safe way. No fumes, no damaging of pipe, etc. No inspector getting upset.

Hope this helps.

To all you do it yourselfers, Jimmy rigging something is usualy a bad idea, even if it appears to work at first.

Joe    Posted 02-07-2002 at 18:23:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello Norman,
I read the first two sentences of your reply.
Ask the local gov. if you can modify your home in some unusual way.
Ask the folks at City Hall if you need a permit to pee in the woods.
Ask the IRS if you really should pay the extra tax that you don't owe.
etc. etc. etc.
Big Brother has really trained you well.

big fred    Posted 02-07-2002 at 20:15:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Joe, unfortunately it's the law of the jungle, and sometimes it's best not to get on the wrong side of the great white burrocrat. In the rather repressive locality I'm located in, if the plumbing is not per code and that fact is not disclosed when the house is sold, the buyer can sue the seller, requiring him to make it right. I've heard horror stories about a fellow put in a garden pond, the local environmental gestapo found out and declared his place to be a wetland, now he can't make use of most of his land. Another fellow couldn't even walk on his land because someone found an eagle nest in a tree on his property. It'd sure be nice if them burrocrats would leave honest decent folks alone, but since they won't, it's best not to draw their attention unnecessarily.

Lew    Posted 02-06-2002 at 19:03:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If it is any help. electricians bend their PVC conduit by heating it. Most have an electric heater but some do use propane on smaller stuff. Containing the heat to just the area you are working on might be a problem. For the price of one 10 foot length it is probably worth a try. I would try heating about 2 foot of it at a time and pressing it flatter as I worked along the entire length.

John - NY    Posted 02-06-2002 at 16:59:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I use one of those larger propane torches(with approx a 2-2" end) to evenly heat the PVC pipe to make smooth bends, etc. It works well! Be careful not to burn the pipe by leaving the heat on one area. Move the heat source and turn the pipe constantly until the pipe becomes soft and pliable. Hold in the desired position and either allow it to cool or help it by applying a wet cloth.

Hogman    Posted 02-06-2002 at 19:03:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thats the way to go,would add You should check the heat by pasing Your hand between tha torch and pipe often, if You can stand it so can tha pipe but if it is very uncomfortable your too close. Heat slowly and watch for any brown color to show up,means Your way too hot. It should not give off fumes if not over heated but if it do I'd advise not breathin tha stuff,it's toxic as all getout! You drink water but can drown in an inch of tha stuff. Just use some common sense.

Gotta be quick on shaping and as John mentioned hold it till it cools or it's memory will take over..

I've made some pretty wild shapes including 4" sewer.

Many homes have carpeting just as or more deadly in a fire.

PCC-AL    Posted 02-06-2002 at 16:18:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't know about shaping pvc. I don't think it will work, but you could take a small piece and try it. Don't burn it and breath the fumes. Some things are highly poisonous. I'm told that one of the most dangerous things to burn, such as if your house has a fire, is the telephone. Again, don't know.
What I do know is that you can get flexible black drain pipe that will flatten somewhat, but still hold it's basic shape. If you stand on it, it will give a little. May try some of it. Good luck.

F14    Posted 02-06-2002 at 16:56:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
As a firefighter, I can tell you that MOST plastics and PARTICULARLY PVC give off poisonous gasses when burned. PVC's thing is phosgene gas, IIRC, but I could be wrong about that.

I wouldn't fool with it, but if you MUST, do it outdoors with plenty of ventilation, and stay on the upwind side of it.

They make clamp on rubber boots in various sizes, that might be a better way to go.

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