Can an ABS Pipe Be Heated to Bend It?

Katie Wilson

ABS pipes are used both under and over the ground for transferring waste products, such as showering or dishwashing water runoff. When installing the pipes for your home, being able to bend them into the shape you want is one of the main advantages of using them. While many people employ experts to shape the pipes, heating them and shaping them yourself can be done safely and inexpensively.

Estimating the Shape of the Bend

ABS pipes can be bent using heat from a hairdryer or a non-flame torch

Either estimate the shape of the angle you want to bend the pipe into or take actual measurements using a tape measure, marking the areas you plan to adjust.

Distribution of Heat

Fill the ABS pipe with sand and put a piece of material (i.e. a sock) in the end. This is to ensure that the pipe does not collapse with the heat. It also ensures there is an even distribution of heat throughout the pipe and no air pockets that will damage the pipe and how it is shaped.

Applying the Heat and Bending

Heat the ABS pipe evenly with a hair dryer or a flameless torch at the point /angle you want the bend while simultaneously bending it to that point. Note that applying too much heat (usually more than 175 degrees Fahrenheit) will wilt the plastic and cause it to melt, rendering it useless. Repeat the heating and bending process until you have the desired angle.

Using the Pipe

Once the desires shape is achieved, wait for the pipe to cool and remove the material that was keeping the sand inside. Finally, tip out the sand, making sure there is none left inside the pipe and then clean the insides. It is then ready to install.