I was wondering if anyone is familiar with "The Pipe Viper" cold bender for PVC. If anyone owns it, could you let me know how you like it, and of course how much it costs. I just saw an ad for it in the Nov.'07 Electric Contractors Products magazine. it says in the ad that you use their tool in conjunction with a traditional foot bender. the tool looks kinda like steel flex, but appears to hold its shape like a "snake light".
The tool is a simple steel spring, sized to fit the pipe.
PVC can generally be bent by hand; this tool simply makes it much harder to kink the pipe. It can be done; when showing it off at the parts house, the salesman got the spring stuck in the tool. (While it was easy to 'unbend' and remove it, it was embarrassing!)
PVC compares to rigid in thickness, so you'll be using a bigger bender.
I suppose you could use it to work PVC just like it was 'regular' pipe. I've kind of got used to softening a long section of PVC over heat, then gently 'molding' in place to the shape I need. No measuring needed - just thick gloves!
I have heard some say that there is a good bit of kick back when the spring is removed. I don't own one. It seems as if heat is the only true way to form the bend. Maybe use the spring and heat, now that would be good idea.
A guy I used to work with a few years ago told me about these. He said he could bend 1/2”, 3/4”and 1” Sch. 40 over his knee “like butter.” I think that would be fairly easy in warm weather, but you guys in Wisconsin have to work in the ice cold too. I can’t help wondering about the possible scrotal shattering strain of using these springs when the temperature outside is hovering around 18 degrees. Not to mention the brittleness of PVC conduit in cold weather. With the 1-1/4” through 2” PVC, you would probably still need to lug a hydraulic bender around because I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head that makes a foot pedal hand bender for anything larger than 1” rigid. I was looking over the Kraloy Pipe Viper spec sheet to find out if they work on Sch. 80 also, but no info. I don’t think so though, because of the difference in the inside diameters. Personally, I would stick with the hotbox, blanket or heat gun. They cover a broader range of sizes of both Sch. 40 and Sch. 80, and as an added benefit, you can keep your hands warm while you work.
I use them for 1/2" & 3/4". They are not for sked 80. I live in the desert, we just lay the pipe in the sun for a few minutes,then bend it over out knee. A little overbend helps because it does return slightly. Helps to hold it in it's bent position for a minute before letting go. I love it, it's fast and easy. Never gets stuck inside the pipe anymore after we attached a length of twine!
Don't know how good it would work in the cold, we seldom work in temps below 60.