What happens when you have a major plumbing leakage in a remote location where your plumber needs a few hours to arrive? Instead of letting all the water go to waste, you can improvise a plumbing joint to reduce the leakage as you wait for the plumber. To do this, you might have to bend your ABS plastics depending on how the piping has been set up. Here is a guide that will take you through the process of pipe bending for your ABS plastic pipe:
Measure Your Angle
You should start by measuring or drawing a sketch of the angle that you want the pipe to take. ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is plastic polymer made from acrylonitrile and styrene. These primary components enable ABS to bend with minimal risk of shattering, unlike many other plastic polymers. However, you must be keen on the sharpness of the angle so that you do not push the pipe to extreme limits. Larger pipes have more material mass and are ideal for tight bends while small pipes work well on less aggressive bends.
Select Your Jig
Now that you are clear with the angle that you want to bend the ABS pipe, look for a plywood jig with a similar angular inclination. Essentially, you will use the jig as a guide when doing the actual bending to ensure that you stay within the angular limits.
Sand the Pipe and Heat It
With the plywood jig at hand, you are now ready to take on the actual bending process. Pour ordinary sand generously into the pipe and shake it to ensure that the sand is evenly distributed in the section that you want to bend. Sand plays two important roles. First, it distributes heat evenly when you warm the pipe during the bending process. Secondly, the sand offers structural support to the pipe to lower the possibilities of shattering as it stretches.
Once you have distributed the sand evenly, heat the ABS pipe gently while bending it at the same time. Since ABS is a plastic polymer, it can easily melt and deform beyond repair. This is why you need to keep the heat below 175 degrees Fahrenheit or 79 degrees Celsius. Refrain from using a live flame. A Flameless gas torch or hairdryer will suffice in the case.
Clean the Pipe
Once you are satisfied with the bend, remove all the sand and rinse the pipe with clean water. It is now ready for fitting.