I have a bent copper-tubing of an air conditioner filled with refrigerant that I want to straighten (because I need make some space for mounting a curtain rail). Now, I'm fully aware that it is not recommended to bend/straighten a copper-tubing due to risk of:

  • Leak
  • Cooling inefficiency

Since, I really need to mount that rail. I was hoping that someone could see the attached images of the situation, and tell/guide whether

  • these bends are really severe to cause the risks
  • If so, what are my options to get this tubing straighten

Will being filled with refrigerant (higher inner pressure) would prevent potential kink?

Images description

  • Red circles: are the bends that I want to straighten.

  • Green arrow: shows the desired path of the tubing

  • Box: that the tubing runs into is a large PVC wire channel to get a cleaner look.

enter image description here

Image: 02

enter image description here

  • Be aware that in the US, at least, releasing the coolant into the atmosphere is illegal. You have to have the system evacuated of coolant to prevent leaks. Something about the ozone and environment and all that. If you attempt to straighten your pipe and crack it open, you're not only releasing it into the atmosphere, you're polluting the inside of your dwelling with it. I have no idea how toxic it may be to breathe it for a while as you exit the house then wait for it to clear...
    – FreeMan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:40
  • You indicate that you need space for a curtain rail. If you're hanging an actual curtain from this rail, have you considered mounting the rail above the pipe-set and using the curtain to hide the pipes? If not, maybe mount the rail just below it (for whatever purposes you have in mind), then hang a second one above it with a valence curtain to hide the pipes?
    – FreeMan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:41
  • As a final thought, if you do manage to straighten this, you're going to end up with extra pipe. Where it exits the AC unit, it goes up ~12" (my guess). You'll add that 12" to the length of the pipe, so you'll have to bend it down the wall 12" sooner. You'll then have 24" extra inches of pipe before it heads into that hole in the corner. What are you going to do with all that extra pipe? It's not like this is a hose that you can just coil up the spare somewhere...
    – FreeMan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:45
  • considered mounting the rail above the pipe-set In the current situation there isn't much space to mount rail above the pipes. What are you going to do with all that extra pipe? I'll probably pass it through the wall out side of room. Jun 3, 2020 at 12:02
  • 1
    I'll probably pass it through the wall out side of room consider that you have a set of stiff copper pipes that you're working hard to remove bends from (and make at least 2 new 90° bends in), it might be difficult to just "pass it through the wall". It's likely, IMHO, that you'll ruin the pipes in the attempt, but feel free to give this a shot. Just be fully prepared (mentally and financially) to have to do a complete replacement.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 12:15

2 Answers 2


First, is that electrical box secured or just hanging on its wires? if it is just hanging that needs to be addressed as well.

Then, is there any spare length in the copper pipe, assuming it is covered by the tape stuff? I think the pipes will be too short if you tried to put two 90 bends in them with a pipe bender. Also, copper pipe work hardens so the original bending will have made the pipe harder to bend a second time around.

I would consider making new pipes to meet the proper run you want then refill the system.

  • is there any spare length in the copper pipe Yes, check second image update. There are couple of feet more on the other side of the wall. Jun 3, 2020 at 11:02
  • So, get a pipe bender and see, but work hardening may still turn out to be your issue.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:11
  • 1
    The way I see it, In both cases I'll need new pipes and refill the system. So, how about I take my chances in straightening the pipe ? if failed I'll still need to do the same (get new pipes and refill the system) Jun 3, 2020 at 11:24
  • Up to you, do the job once for sure or maybe have to do it twice...
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:26
  • 1
    Actually, he'll end up with extra pipe, not be too short. See my (3rd) comment on the OP.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:47

Here is something you can try; get a "C" clamp and put it on the copper at the center of the bend and see if you can smash the copper ever so slightly to remove some of the kink. Do not squeeze the copper too much, just a little to remove some of the kink. This action will not remove the kink but it may make it less severe. If that does not work then do as @Solar Mike wrote and redo the copper and refill the system.

  • I don't have a kink in tubing currently. Jun 3, 2020 at 11:35
  • According to the picture you posted, a slight movement and you will have a kink. For now it may not actually be a kink but it sure is a restriction
    – d.george
    Jun 3, 2020 at 17:46
  • 1
    The picture was posted as an example of a kink that the OP is explicitly trying to avoid, not what he currently has. (At least, that's what I understood.)
    – FreeMan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 13:40

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