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Tube Bender for 1/2\" M Copper Suggestions.. Please.

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...5/8" ratchet bender on 1/2" L copper pipe, and it worked just fine. The same with Parker - 5/8" for 1/2" copper, 7/8" for 3/4" copper - brass compression fittings. Tube X 1/2" or 3/4" MPT work great. Handy for plant work where valves wouldn't hold. Screw on a valve, open it, cut the line, slide the compression end over the pipe, and do it up. Close the valve, and away you go - no need to shut down half the plant for a minor water line repair.

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  • old wrench
    old wrench Member Posts: 14
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    Tubing Benders?

    Hi all, I have not posted in a bit. I have a question for anyone that has used a bender for 1/2" type M Copper tube. I tried to make a bend with an electricians bender and it kinked. I even tried a piece of pex over the 1/2" and the same result. Does anyone know if anyone makes a bender for 1/2" M copper? I am using 20' lengths and not anything off a roll. I am doing this for oil lines that are very long runs and the soft tube in roll form would look horrible. Anyone know of a place or link to get a bender that won't kink M tube? I called Rothenberger and they are not sure (go figure).
    Thanks for any help! Old Wrench!
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    There's only one human on earth...

    that can bend 'm' hard copper: Bob Rohr.

    The rest of us mere mortals anneal the bend area/zone, then do the bender thing neatly. "BT," (bendible tubing) which was slightly annealed at the factory, COULD be bent with care using a 'hickey' or spring. The energy costs became so prohibitive, BT virtually stopped being made. Other than ancient stock in dusty basements, I haven't seen new BT in 20+ years.





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  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
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    tube benders

    Short of annealing the tube and filling with sand before you bend it, I know of no tool that will do the job. 1/2" M is extremely thin walled and will kink if you don't heat it first. Coiled tubing bends easily as it has been heated at the factory. Being a work-hardened metal, the more you move it the harder it gets. That is what is causing the kinks.
  • Tony Conner_2
    Tony Conner_2 Member Posts: 443
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    1/2\" Copper Pipe...

    ... is 5/8" OD. You need a 5/8" tube bender.
  • old wrench
    old wrench Member Posts: 14
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    I have to wonder..... A spring bender would do it if heated and cooled. But where is the fun in that! Someone has to make a bender. I just need to find it.

    www.newmantools.com/imperial/tb8.html



  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    If it's an A/C tube,

    yes. If it's a conduit bender, it is already 5/8" but says 1/2" EMT bender on the arc. The tool maker already factors in the o.d.

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  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    Almost..

    But not quite. The tube bender you refer to cannot bend type 'M'. Only L and K. The wall thickness of 1/2" 'M' is only .028

    http://www.copper.org/applications/plumbing/techref/cth/tables/cth_table2c.htm

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  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
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    Tubing benders

    Doesn't any one have a Rigid Tool catalog? They have ratchet action tubing benders for hard drawn copper, and yes I have used these tools. Turns out pretty good.
    Ross

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,258
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    I doubt a ratchet bender

    would do type m hard drawn.

    My REMS Curvo will, but it really puckers the inside of the sweep, and I'd guess the outer part would be very thin from the strech.

    It often kinks and gets expensive trying :)

    The CDA only addresses bending L or K hard drawn.

    I know REMS, Rothenberger and a few other Euro tool companies sell powered benders.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
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    use type L

    L will bend with no problem. Every time I've tried to bend m it kinks, even if I heat it.

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  • Royboy
    Royboy Member Posts: 223
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    I've had reasonably good luck

    with my hand-cranked "Holsclaw" benders. Sometimes they yield smooth bends, sometimes there are ripples or even rips. Lubrication on the tubing helps a lot. Here's one on eBay:

    http://cgihttp://cgi.ebay.com/5-8-OD-COPPER-TUBING-BENDER-IMPERIAL-270-F_W0QQitemZ2

    Roy
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
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    Type M

    yes, HR you're right.
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    As HR alludes...

    The Rems CAN do it!

    See attached (sent to me by the author - Garry "I've been banned" Wallace)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2bZ-VTdyWA

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  • Home Depot Employee
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    Less Ftgs

    Reminds me of my dads house built in the 60's with Edwards 1/2" baseboard. The steel Edwards boiler went to the curb in the 80's. Anyways his 1/2" copper was bent, looks like the sweep of a conduit bender. Made for nice long turn 90's and less fittings.
  • Jim_139
    Jim_139 Member Posts: 61
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    My understanding of the reason that BT is no longer sold is that when it was bent the wall thickness of the outside radius became too thin to meet code. This from a supply house that used to sell it. It really was slick for running heat pipes in ares you couldn't safely solder. (this was before crimp fittings and tools were affordable)
  • Hvacman
    Hvacman Member Posts: 159
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    "It's all about having the proper equipment"!

    What's the "Curvo" cost, I must have one!

    I use my REMS rachet bender for everything but I have a new love...
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,258
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    Same with bending M, Jim

    that outer wall thickness gets dangerously thin. I've tried bending some old M and it sometimes breaks to expose that paper thin wall thickness. Any little nick or score in the pipe will cause it to break.

    I suspect this is why the CDA lists L and K only for bending.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Jim_145
    Jim_145 Member Posts: 1
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    Rems Curvo

    is rather expensive. I'm told the kit that bends 3/8 to 1" is over two grand. That's one hell of a lot of fittings. Even if they're press fittings. I'm sure it also takes a bit of time (learning curve) to use without much waste. The only really good reason I can see a heating guy having one of these is he's micromanaging flow rates: (pressure drop) showmanship and/or flair.

  • Royboy
    Royboy Member Posts: 223
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    so does it seem like

    bending L is OK from a not-too-thin-when-done perspective?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,258
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    Bending is very common in Europe

    that's why most of the small power benders come from there. I'm not sure how their copper gauges compare to our K,L,M designation?

    Some day I will mic the wall thickness at that outer bend radius just for grins. No doubt it will be thinner after the bend.

    How thin is too thin? I'd rather not risk a pin hole or stress crack. For my customers I'll stick with L.

    I know the Copper Development Association suggests velocity of no more thean 5 fps in hot water lines and 8 fps in cold. Typically 4 fps is the desigm max. for hydronic.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
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    oil lines

    How long is the oil line going to be? How do you plan on connecting the 20'section together?Could you put in 1/2"soft for the angled pieces and the hard for the straight runs?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,258
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    I have another REMS tool

    that will swedge the ends of hard copper without needing to anneal it. It just heats and streches much like a T-Drill does.

    With the bender and the HURRICAN swedger, fittings and solder joints are minimized. pressure drop is also minimized and insulation likes the sweeps better than 90 ells :)

    The CURVO is a a great tool for solar panel installation. A few measurements and bend away.

    Throw in a Press fitting and all you need are the tees and threaded adapters.

    I have made multiple bends on a 20 foot stick of copper. Not unlike the electricians do on EMT condiut.

    You can buy bending software programs for exact multiple layouts. I did the trial and error method.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • old wrench
    old wrench Member Posts: 14
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    We ended up going with type L copper tube and anealed for the bends i connected the straight ends with flared unions. We did use the straight lengths for the 20' runs (nice and neat). We mounted it on unistrut with padded clamps. I used a bender called a yellow jacket bender (it worked great)! Found it at a local supply house. The worst part about the job was we were called in late after the floors were poured, or I would of set the oil lines in the floor BEFORE the pour. I will probably end up using a day tank due to the 100' run, but no big deal. Thanks all for the help!!!!!
    Old Wrench... (I love GC's that know everything,keeps it interesting I guess).
This discussion has been closed.