How to Bend Rigid Metal Conduit

Electrical installers custom-bend straight sections of rigid metal conduit to fit the job specifications.

Electrical installers bend rigid metal conduits around obstructions.Electrical installers bend rigid metal conduits around obstructions.
Degree marks on a conduit bender, a hand-held tool, help the installer make precise bends at the required angle. Rigid metal conduit installers plan the conduit's path to reduce the amount of bends and the severity of each bend. Sharp and unneeded bends bind the wire, called wire jamming, as the wire slides through the conduit. Wire jamming occurs when multiple wire strands reach a sharp bend and are forced into a side-by-side position.

Identify the conduit bender's take-up distance for the rigid metal conduit's bend angle, using the chart on the conduit bender's body. Find the desired bend angle on the chart and use the number associated with it. The take-up distance allows for the extra conduit needed to wrap around the conduit bender's arch.

Measure the distance between the fitting the rigid metal conduit connects to and the object the conduit bends around with a tape measure. Subtract the take-up distance from the conduit's distance measurement and transfer the total to a piece of rigid metal conduit. Make a pencil mark at the appropriate spot on the conduit.

Slip the rigid metal conduit into the conduit bender with the conduit bender's arrow on the pencil mark and the conduit bender's shoe facing the bend. The arrow points to one end of the conduit bender's arch and the shoe mounts on top of the other end of the arch.

Place a foot on the conduit bender's shoe and grip the bender's handle with a hand. Apply pressure to the shoe and handle. Roll the conduit bender across the rigid metal conduit until the correct conduit-bender degree mark reaches the straight section of conduit.

Remove the bent rigid metal conduit from the conduit bender. Check the conduit's bend against the corner or obstruction. Form all additional bends using the same method.

Things You Will Need

  • Conduit bender
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

About the Author

Based out of Central Florida, Robert Sylvus has been writing how-to and outdoor sports articles for various online publications since 2008. Sylvus has been a home improvement contractor since 1992. He is a certified HVAC universal technician.