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  1. #1
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
    Ryan Stouffer Guest

    Default PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Does anyone have any input on pvc being used as a conduit? Also, what do you think about an outlet installed at the service entrance pane? Last but not least does anyone know if you are allowed to run a small water supply line for an evaporative cooler(swamp cooler) adjacent to the electrical mast?

    Thanks for your help,

    Ryan

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Man oh man! Several things wrong. NO the outlet cut into the service panel is not allowed. They have screwed up the weather proof inegety of the SP. Plus the recept looks like it is not GFCI protected, not even in an approved box for this type of installation.

    The PVC is not allowed for this type of installation. The PVC looks like a vent fitting and it is not protected from UV rays.

    There is not anything in writing about water lines and electrical conduit being next to each other.


  3. #3
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Wayne, thanks. I appreciate the input.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    As Wayne said, it all ain't right.

    That PVC is pressure water pipe and not electrical listed, as well as being too sharp of a bend, just plain old not allowed for electrical use.

    That's not the correct type of flashing for the mast and they screwed it up even more with that cable.

    Crimeny, they sure boogered up that enclosure by installing that receptacle like that.

    That is also service equipment and there are not supposed to be more than 6 mains, I count around 15, depending on if one is tied together with handle ties.

    That is plain old "all wrong" and needs to be replaced with proper service equipment.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    looks like the top left breaker is the main for the panel. Looks like it is back fed from the meter.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    looks like the top left breaker is the main for the panel. Looks like it is back fed from the meter.

    In looking at the photos again, looks like you are correct. I did not see that other conductor up in the far left corner before, so it looked like one went around to a lug on each bus, but the other one I was looking at is the neutral.

    So the question now becomes "Is that backfed breaker properly secured in place?"

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    .......

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-30-2012 at 05:50 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Looks like a real "Buuba job.
    It still amazes me when people think material is material and that all plastics are the same.

    PVC is not only not listed for electrical but does not have the proper fire rating for this application.

    I did a house a little while ago where the Homeowner used Central vac PVC pipe to build a downspout for the scuppers for the 2nd flor porch and EMT conduit for a railing into the basement

    see pics........

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  9. #9
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    that's a beauty!!


  10. #10
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    The first thing I notice is the obvious age of the equipment. I haven't seen green 'Bell' covers for quite some time.

    Still, (surprising no one) I'm going to disagree with a few of the other comments.

    I agree that the white PVC is incorrect, especially the elbow.

    I see nothing wrong with the roof jack used for the mast, It appears identical to the ones at the local supply house. As for running the water line throught the same roof penetration, I don't see any code issues; one might say avoiding a new roof penetration is a good idea.

    As for the receptacle mounted on the side of the panel .... I have seen quite a few panels of various sorts come with such a provision for a receptacle, either in the outer box itself, or in the dead front. I don't see any particular code or listing violation. As for the weather-resistance of the resulting enclosure, I would think that the receptacle cover maintains that - especially if the supplied gasket is used.

    The instal may very well pre-date code requirements for GFI protection, bubble covers, having any outdoor receptacles, and securing the back-fed breaker.

    Last edited by John Steinke; 07-03-2009 at 02:24 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    That panel is prob 20 years older then any hold down requirement + that is a factory installed main if it's UL listed the lack of a hold down is irrelevant . The white PVC is a pet peeve of mine, ever since I cut into a group of lines that was assumed to be sprinkler lines & one was found to have a 14/2 UF cable in it.(power was off & there was no way to tell it was there).

    Last edited by Rollie Meyers; 07-03-2009 at 07:02 AM.

  12. #12
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Specifically regarding the use of PVC for electrical purposes. Every one is right that the PVC is not listed for the purpose. However, just for knowledge, there is no difference in the plastic formulation for the two products (white PVC and gray conduit) except that carbon black is added to make the white pipe gray. Therefore, the only risk caused by the substitution is violation of color coding. There is no risk because of differing electrical properties.

    Darrel Hood
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    However, just for knowledge, there is no difference in the plastic formulation for the two products (white PVC and gray conduit) except that carbon black is added to make the white pipe gray.
    There must be more difference than just that as there are differences in their physical properties - electrical PVC is not as strong (comparing Sch 40 to Sch 40) as plumbing PVC ... I always presumed this was because plumbing PVC is tested to hole pressure and electrical PVC is not.

    Electrical PVC just seems a lot 'weaker' than plumbing PVC - try to cut or nick each, the electrical PVC cuts and nicks much easier, it also seems more flexible size for size and length for length.

    Electrical is sunlight resistance and that is due to adding the carbon black, but surely there must be some other formulation differences?

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  14. #14
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Sorry, Darrel, but you're wrong.

    Cantex manufactures both electrical PVC conduit, as well as various plumbing PVC pipes. They also do it just a few miles down the road from me.

    The differences are:
    "Electrical" PVC is rated for sunlight resistance, and has 'stiffeners' added for greater compressive strength. "Plumbing" pipe is generally assumed to be installed out of the sun (no need for sunlight resistance), and relies upon internal water pressure for some of it's strength.

    "Electrical" PVC has not always been gray; when first introduced it was blue.

    A more subtle difference is that the two categories are subject to different tests. While it is certainly possible for the same pipe to comply with both NEMA and NSF standards, there is little overlap between the standards; we simply can't say they comply without doing the tests.

    Also left unaddressed by the 'they're the same' assertion is the difference in bend radius between the plumbing and electrical 90's.


  15. #15
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    I will address the last statement in John's post first. You are right, that is left unaddressed. I only addressed the formulation.

    Now to address the remainder. I could be wrong for any brand other than CertainTeed. However, I spent 4 years as the Quality and Production Manager at a CertainTeed pipe plant. We used our approved NSF formulation for both pipe products. We always scheduled PVC first, then conduit through the same extrusion die. The entire change procedure was to add the colorant and change the printer.

    Darrel Hood
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    were both color of pipes identified with the listing number and sold as such?

    If my memory is correct the product that u list is the only product u can use for that application.

    I know that there are may different products that are similar if not the same , but if you haven't listed it and therefore tested it for that particular application then it's wrong!


  17. #17
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    Joe,
    The listings were maintained correctly and indicated in the print string on the pipe.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  18. #18
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    While, in theory, there is no reason that a material might be capable of making a product that meets both plumbing and electrical criteria, the only way of telling is the 'look for the label.'

    Head of quality control, and they're the same? Now you're scaring me. I am sure that, as head of quality control, you had regular contact with the local UL rep, and had visits where samples of both material and product were removed by the UL rep for follow-up testing. Testing that included tests for aging, sunlight resistance, flame test, and a crush test, but did not include any pressure burst test. I am also sure that you are also aware of the control, and expense, associated with the UL label / marking itself.

    More to the point, I've seen the myriad preparations PVC raw material comes in, and I simply cannot accept that the same material was used all the time, for all the product. Even within the same product, plant managers are constantly using different preparations. Heck, a short chat with the guy who feeds the stuff into the line will produce stories of 'the time we ran that awful stuff.'

    I'm simply not buying that 'it's the same stuff.'


  19. #19
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: PVC conduit and outlet installed at service panel

    John,
    I worked with both UL and NSF. Yes, both organizations pulled samples and did verification tests.

    I did not state that the same material was used for all products, just the two products in this thread. Over the entire product line, we had many formulations.

    If you don't accept the facts, you don't.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


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