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  1. #1
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    Default Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Iím just about ready to trench several hundred feet for water, electrical and communication lines at my new place. Iíve always used gray electrical PVC for my electrical/communication runs and the regular PVC for water.

    I know the gray electrical PVC is UV resistant for exposed applications, but can you use regular schedule 40 PVC in the trench for electrical runs? The only reason I would consider it is that I can buy it in 20í sticks and itís cheaper at the plumbing wholesale place.

    Would this be a no-no?
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  2. #2
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    If you are outside an area with code, than there's no advantage to spending the money on grey pvc for underground use.

    Personally, I use thinwall.

    When I run underground electrical, I buy direct bury wire and sleeve it in thinwall PVC. At each joint, I shoot a small amount of expanding foam, then glue the joints together.

    My reasoning is that the pvc is just to protect the wire from gophers or rocks. Thinwall will do this. The problem with conduit is the build up of condensation. The air in the line will form condensation and you will end up with water at the lowest point in the line. I've been told that this can be a considerable amount.

    Some utilty companies regulary blow out there lines to keep the water levels down. I decided to seal up each section of pipe so the amount of moisture is limited to just one joint of pipe.

    I'm not code and there are gonna be those who disagree with me. That's fine, it's how I do it.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Don't know about codes. The grey stuff is supposed to be UV resitant but my experience here in Az is tha it isin't. I use regular sch 40 if i use it at all.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    There are no codes in my area so I can do what I want. I think I'll use regular schedule 40 PVC for the trenches. Because I can get it in 20' sticks, it has half the connections and it's cheaper.
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  5. #5
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Be sure to shop around. Lowes sells it cheaper than the Plumbing suppy house, but my local farm supply has it even cheaper than Lowes.

    What's real interesting is it's all Charollete Sch 40 in 20 foot joints. The exact same company makes the same pipe, but each has there own markup and the one that sells the least amount has the best prices.

    Eddie

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker
    If you are outside an area with code, than there's no advantage to spending the money on grey pvc for underground use.

    Personally, I use thinwall.

    When I run underground electrical, I buy direct bury wire and sleeve it in thinwall PVC. At each joint, I shoot a small amount of expanding foam, then glue the joints together.

    My reasoning is that the pvc is just to protect the wire from gophers or rocks. Thinwall will do this. The problem with conduit is the build up of condensation. The air in the line will form condensation and you will end up with water at the lowest point in the line. I've been told that this can be a considerable amount.

    Some utilty companies regulary blow out there lines to keep the water levels down. I decided to seal up each section of pipe so the amount of moisture is limited to just one joint of pipe.

    I'm not code and there are gonna be those who disagree with me. That's fine, it's how I do it.

    Good luck,
    Eddie
    Eddie what you say makes good sense unless you need to pull a replacement wire through the same length of PVC and it's been sealed at various places with foam. Thinking here that the foam might be a disadvantage in that scenario.


  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Very true Mike, but for that I leave an empty pipe under my roads. I seal the ends and mark them with a tin can so I can find them later on with my metal detector. If I need to run another line, I'll just dig another trench and run a new line.

    There is nothing I hate more than trying to pull wire through a long line.

    Eddie

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Eddie you are a wuss on this one I used to be one too, but I've learned to pull cable through conduit and now that I have the proper equipment, it's easier than stringing conduit on one piece at a time.

    I use my Ingersol-Rand 175CFM air compressor, a Wal Mart plastic bag and light weight fish line to get the initial string through. Then I pull mule tape back through and I'm ready for the cable. I pour some liquid soap in the conduit before I start the pull and it just slides through. Of course, I've learned from experience how to size the conduit and just how many bends I can go through before I need a pull box. Oh, and I built a pulling frame with a pulley that pulls straight up.

    Come to think of it, maybe it is easier to string conduit and be a wuss after all.
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  9. #9
    Gold Member GIJOE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryBDavis
    Iím just about ready to trench several hundred feet for water, electrical and communication lines at my new place. Iíve always used gray electrical PVC for my electrical/communication runs and the regular PVC for water.

    I know the gray electrical PVC is UV resistant for exposed applications, but can you use regular schedule 40 PVC in the trench for electrical runs? The only reason I would consider it is that I can buy it in 20í sticks and itís cheaper at the plumbing wholesale place.

    Would this be a no-no?

    Yes, It would be a no-no. The gray pvc is also used for identification. If the white pvc were used for both water and electric it would be almost impossible for someone to tell the difference. If you or someone else was to add a water faucet somewhere in your yard they could easily cut into the wrong line and be electrocuted.
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  10. #10
    Elite Member dfkrug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical PVC verse Regular PVC

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrown
    Don't know about codes. The grey stuff is supposed to be UV resitant but my experience here in Az is tha it isin't. I use regular sch 40 if i use it at all.
    I lived in AZ a few decades ago and I learned what the sun can do to
    white PVC. You are saying the UV-resistant grey electrical stuff fails, too?
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