Sunday, June 23, 2013

Flaring the End of A PVC Pipe

Recently I've been building a chicken coop for my sister and I've finally come to the end of the project.  One finishing touch that still needs to be done is for a downpipe to be fitted to the guttering.  To keep costs down I'm trying to use materials that we already had, and it turns out my sister had a piece of 40mm PVC pressure pipe from another project.  As it turns out it wasn't quite the right size, so I thought I'd document how to make the pipe bigger.

PVC Pipe
Original PVC Pipe
Finding a fitting to connect the pipe to the guttering isn't easy as it's 40 mm pressure pipe.  40 mm isn't a standard size for guttering downpipe, so I found a fitting that was almost the right size and decided to flare the end of the pipe to fit it.  I think the fitting was for a floor drain, but it'll do what I want.
Flared PVC Pipe
Flaring the PVC Pipe
Flaring the end of the pipe is easy.  You need something round and tapered, and a heat gun.  The pipe is evenly heated at the end by rolling it backward and forward under the opening of the heat gun until it becomes pliable.  It doesn't need to be too soft, just soft enough to insert the fitting, but before that can be done you need to flare the pipe as the fitting initially won't fit into it.

The only tapered thing I had that was the right size was a coke bottle.  After filling the bottle with water so it wouldn't compress, it was pushed against the pipe to expand the soft end.
Flared PVC Pipe
PVC Pipe and Fitting
Once the pipe is slightly expanded, the fitting can be inserted.  I left the fitting in the pipe until it cooled naturally.  I figured cooling the pipe too fast might not be a good idea.  Better to be safe than sorry.
Flared PVC Pipe
PVC Pipe with Fitting in place

Flared PVC Pipe
PVC Pipe with Fitting in place
It's a really tight fit but it still needs a fastener to hold it in place.  A pop rivet is ideal but a screw will also do the job.  After putting a couple of screws into the sides it was then attached to the gutter with 2 more screws.  Pop rivets would have been better but you do the best with what you've got.

To save an extra couple of bucks I put a bend in the bottom end of the pipe with the heat gun instead of buying elbows. Below is a shot of the finished chicken coop with the downpipe fitted.  There are a few things I wish I'd done differently, but as it is I'm pretty damned happy with it.
Chicken Coop
Down Pipe Fitted, Chicken Coop Finished


9 comments:

  1. This is fantastic, mate. I am hoping to use this same idea to give a piece of 40mm pressure pipe a conical, horn-like flare for a set of 5 train horns I am attempting to build as a hobby project. Thank you very much for the awesome Coke bottle filled with water idea, I will definitely be using that one! :D

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    1. Glad you found the post helpful. Best of luck with your project. Hope it works out.

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  3. Where there is a will there is a way. Your idea could be used to put on the bottom of a piece of PVC and then glued and then you would have a base for a leg and could even drill holes in it to mount so it would not move.
    Great Idea
    From an old man in NC

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    1. Yeah, I didn't even think of that. That could come in handy in the future.

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  4. what is that name of the pvc fitting you used, I cannot find that anywhere, and I bet it's because I am not looking for the right part.

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    1. You're right. That's hard to find. Search for a "PVC floor flange". Strange, but it only seems to be an Australian thing. I usually just walk around a hardware until I find something similar.

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