Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

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Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby plectrudis » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:08 pm

Is it okay to use regular old plumbing PVC fittings to join together flexible pvc conduit?

I needed some T-shaped and L-shaped connectors for the conduit, but HD didn't have anything suitable in 1/2" in the electrical section. But in the plumbing section, there were plenty of suitable fittings.

Given that using conduit is probably overkill in the first place, I shouldn't worry about the non-electrical-grade fittings melting or exploding or anything, should I?

Thanks!

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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:57 am

Disclaimer: It's probably not a NEC code-approved procedure, but it sounds like a worthwhile McGyver project! Just shooting from the hip here, but I can't think of many applicable problems using PVC connectors ... I'm assuming all the wires are already jacketed, of course. I wouldn't run a bare ground wire through PVC. Technically, PVC doesn't weather as well as EMT conduit, but it's hard to imagine it failing any time soon!

I'm assuming you're particularly wanting to use flexible conduit, which rules out EMT conduit. Have you looked armored cable (MC)? I think it's ready for exterior use as sold off the shelf. It can be used with standard junction boxes, too. So if you're looking for a waterproof conduit solution, that might be easier than finagling with plumbing connectors and split loom. Then again, PVC is certainly cheaper.

Fun fact: A quick Google search mentioned that PVC is gaining headway in international use for electrical conduit. Sounds like you might be ahead of the curve!
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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby KCStudly » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:09 am

Don't quote me on this, but I think it is okay to use CPVC (they light gray stuff), at least in ground burial applications this was what I was told and did for running power to my garage. The primary difference, I think, is that it is more UV resistant. It also has a higher temperature rating.

IIRC the dark gray stuff is not CPVC, but rather schedule 80 PVC, so don't get confused, but verify.
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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby QueticoBill » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:27 am

12 volt or 120 volt?

There are electrical fittings for "T"s and "L"s. If you're pulling than or similar for 120 volt, I'd use them and not plumbing fittings. Here's one mfg: http://www.cantexinc.com/Products/NM_Fi ... _Fittings/

Google "PVC condulets" for more.

The problem is pulling the then around a tight bend and damaging the wire. Just a link or squeeze can increase the resistance and decrease the ampacity.
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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby MtnDon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:57 am

Keep in mind that the threads are the same, but different. Plumbing fittings all have tapered pipe threads (NPT) whereas the electrical fittings are made with straight, non tapered, threads (NPSM). They will not necessarily connect to each other well. NPT threads are made to seal watertight, NPSM not so. Other than that and neither not being listed to the others code, they are interchangeable.
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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby Dale M. » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:09 am

Another issue is going to be pulling wire around corners and bends of plumbing fittings.... Note that "plastic" electrical conduit fittings use large radius bends for 90° and "open" side boxes for tight 90° turns...

http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=PVC+electrical+conduit+boxes

There are some "boxes" and connector on this page I have not even seen ...

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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby bobhenry » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:41 am

I put my under trailer wiring in plain old PVC and corners are not a problem if you run your wires as you glue fittings. It is a good idea to add a length of chalk line type string to pull in anything you might want additional later.
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Re: Plumbing Fittings on Flexible Electrical Conduit?

Postby plectrudis » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:01 pm

Thanks, all! That's very helpful. Most of the wiring will be 12v, so for those pieces of conduit, I'll forge ahead. For the 120, I may be able to avoid sharp Ts and Ls, which would be handy.

Thanks for the reminder about running the string through, Bob.

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