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Home / Conduit Bending / Basic Conduit Bends – How To Bend A 90 Degree
how to bend a 90 degree emt

Basic Conduit Bends – How To Bend A 90 Degree

Last updated on April 22nd, 2016 at 01:53 pm.

Learning how to bend a 90 degree bend with EMT is usually the first bend learned by an electrician. By learning how to bend a 90 first you will be better prepared when you start learning how to bend offsets, parallel offsets, and saddles.

Important Definitions To Remember

TAKE UP – This first thing you need to learn before bending a 90. Take up is a amount of conduit length used to figure out where to place the marks on the conduit before the bend. Most hand benders have the take up stamped on the bender or on a sticker – usually on the bender handle. Find this first.

Don’t assume that all benders have the same take up for a specific size of conduit (1/2″, 3/4″, or 1″). It may vary between bender manufacturers.

bend a 90 degree take up

STUB – A stub is the length you need for the conduit to reach and is measured from the back of the bend or backside of the conduit.

LEG – The remaining length of conduit minus the stub.

bend a 90 degree stub


5 Steps to Bend a 90 Degree Using 1/2 Inch EMT Conduit

Since the 90 is the most basic of bend you’ll learn, there’s only a few steps to make sure you’ve done it right.

#1 – Measure how long you need the stub up length.

  • For this example we’ll use a stub up length of 8 inches (8″). Using the table above we know the take up for 1/2 inch EMT is 5 inches.

#2 – Subtract the take up from the stub up length and mark the conduit.

  • Stub length (8″) minus take up (5″) equals 3″. Measure 3″ from the end of the conduit and place a mark.

#3 – Insert the conduit into the bender hook and align the arrow on the bender with the mark on the conduit.foot on bender to bend a 90 degree

#4 – Place one foot on the conduit and the other foot onto the bender foot (by placing your foot on the conduit you’ll prevent the conduit from slipping on the floor).

Grab the handle and using foot pressure on the bender foot and bend the conduit until it is just past being perpendicular with the floor. This is to allow for spring back. Spring back occurs when you release pressure on the bender – it’s slight, but it’s there.

#5 – Now check the bend with a level to make sure it’s plumb (perfectly vertical). If you’re conduit bend isn’t quite plumb, you can take the end of the bender handle and insert it over the stub. You’ll need to either push or pull the handle depending on which way you need the stub to bend to make it plumb.

It’s really that simple. Check out this very informative video on how to bend a 90 degree with EMT.

Reverse Method To Bend A 90 Degree With EMTreverse method to bend a 90 degree

Conduit comes in 10 foot lengths and can create an awkward bending situation when the stub length is over 60 inches. The reverse method for bending a 90 is an alternative that addresses this type of situation. This method is also used in back to back 90 degree bends.

When using the reverse method the take up deduction is no longer needed. This bend forms a short leg as if it were the stub and leaves the long stub on the ground as if it were the leg.

Instead of using the arrow on the bender to line up to the mark on the conduit, you’ll be using the star.

3 Steps To Bend a 90 Degree Using the Reverse Method

  1. Measure the length of conduit where you need the 90 to be and mark.
  2. Place the bender on the conduit with the hook pointing towards to short end and align the mark with the tip of the star.
  3. Place one foot on the conduit and the other foot onto the bender foot. Grab the handle and using foot pressure on the bender foot and bend the conduit.

Check the bend with a level to make sure it’s plumb. It’s really that simple.

How To Bend Back To Back 90 Degree With EMT

A back to back bend is making a U with the conduit. To do it right, you could use both the basic and reverse method depending on the lengths of the stub you need.

When bending back to back 90’s the idea is to make the connection from one point to the other using a single stick of conduit. Since EMT conduit usually comes in 10 foot sticks (120 inches), you’re maximum distance between two points for this type of bend is 108 inches.

When making a back to back 90 it’s important to allow enough room for the handle and bender show to be clear of the the other bend. There must be enough space between bends so you don’t run into problems with the second bend. 

The video below shows you the proper way to make a back to back 90. He uses 30 inches between bends which allows for plenty of clearance for the handle and bender show.


EAHQ is working on our own videos and will post them when completed. If you have something to add, please leave a comment below.

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