How to Bend a Conduit

A conduit facilitates the routing of cables and wires. The challenge is bending the conduit in the right place and at the right angle. Although you could avoid the whole process by cutting the pipe and joining the pieces with connectors, this takes more time and money. A good job requires the proper tools, such as a conduit bender. Avoid the temptation to bend it by hand, as the results will never be very accurate [source: Do It Yourself].

Here's how to bend a conduit to a 90 degree angle:


  1. Ream the ends of the conduit to remove any sharp burrs. Avoid using a screwdriver for this, as it doesn't do the job so well.
  2. Decide where the conduit will start. Normally the starting point is in a terminal or junction box fitting.
  3. Measure the distance from the fitting to the point where the conduit heads in a new direction. Mark the conduit at that point.
  4. Calculate the center point of the bend. This will be somewhat less than the distance you measured in step 3. If the bender has distance markings on it, use those to determine the bend. If not, use the radius of the bender as the distance.
  5. Mark the conduit at the center of the bend.
  6. Verify your measurements by positioning the conduit where you plan to install it. If the new direction and bend center markings don't match the actual locations, measure again.
  7. Check the measurements once again by placing the conduit on the floor with the starting end against a wall. Measure from the wall to the calculated bend center point. This point should line up with the center mark you made earlier.
  8. Leave the conduit in place on the floor and mark the floor at the bend center point.
  9. Slip the bender over the other end of the conduit and align it with the bend center mark. If the bender has a "0" marker, align that mark with the bend center mark on the conduit.
  10. Pull the bender handle up until the conduit is vertical. If necessary, adjust the bend by shifting the bender slightly to one side of the bend and pulling it up a bit [source: Lamendola].