Discussion:
EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
(too old to reply)
Matt Lafferty
2004-03-15 20:45:22 UTC
Permalink
All:

Ludicrosity never ends... Or is it Progress? Isn't Lunacy one brain
cell beyond Geanyus?

Diatribe aside... News Flash! (News to me anyway!)

I got word this morning that a PV installation in San Diego was shot
down on inspection for not using Listed Raintight EMT fittings...
Thinking that somebody had their wires crossed, I requested more info...
Turns out UL issued a notice to EMT fitting manufacturers in 2002 that
the testing standard for listing such fittings was going to become more
stringent.

As of November 13, 2003, only one manufacturer had successfully complied
with the new standard. Bridgeport Series 250 & 260 with the "RT" suffix
behind the part number. At that time, and according to Bridgeport's
website, only 1/2, 3/4, and 1" sizes were listed. According to UL
Category FKAV (Link in the UL notice page.... URL too long to paste
here...), trade sizes from 3/8 - 4" are covered under the category, so I
don't know what, when, if... Regarding anything bigger than 1-1/4"... I
wonder if the IBEW knows about this for all their Gubment Cheese
jobs.... Hmmmmmm

Anyway, somebody got caught by a Building Department and will have to
disassemble the installation to fix it... I was told that the installer
was having a difficult time finding the fittings... Couplings in
particular, I believe...

Following are some links that might help... Hopefully before anybody
else has to rip out their work... Do what you will with this info...
Just passing the word along! Please don't shoot the messenger! Oh, one
more thing... Don't tell your local inspectors about this until after
you've found and started using "Listed for Wet Location" stuff... Then
you can sit back and watch the local fur fly, if you like doing that
sort of thing... In which case I'd have to call you a Snitch!

One Note of Caution.... Just because it says Bridgeport and 250 or 260
doesn't mean it's Raintight! It must have the "RT" suffix behind it.
From the B-Port website, apparently they have added an additional
sealing ring that is installed between the end of the conduit and the
split compression ring that we all know and love.... They have also
added an external knockout gasket that seals between the enclosure and
the fitting. Sounds like the price of a good fitting is going up!

UL Notice (November 13, 2003 - No update since found...):
http://www.ul.com/regulators/raintight.html

Bridgeport Raintight EMT Fittings Page:
http://www.bptfittings.com/catalog/250-RT2.shtml

Bridgeport Sales Rep Page (If your supplier doesn't carry B-Port, call
the appropriate Sales Rep for your area and request a list of Stocking
Distributors for B-Port EMT Fittings local to your area):
http://www.bptfittings.com/rep/

Retirement is looking better and better all the time!

Matt Lafferty
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772 Office
(916) 914-2247 Fax
(916) 628-7694 Cell
www.universalenergies.com

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William Korthof
2004-03-15 22:20:37 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
We had two San Diego installations last fall--- the building
inspector recommended we use PVC (or else rigid) for all
outdoor fittings. Not so good for the customers, alas.
A couple other cities so far seem to be thinking about it
as well, but most that we deal with seem to be dismissing
the UL issue for now. But we now make a point of clearly
identifying the conduit type on the submitted plans with
each permit, and verify the City's acceptance of "regular"
EMT for outdoor situations before using it. I really don't like the idea
that if we do EMT, we
could get stuck having to buy the one compatible listed
make of outdoor EMT (now)---I smell expensive and poor
availability.

/wk
Post by Matt Lafferty
Ludicrosity never ends... Or is it Progress? Isn't Lunacy one brain
cell beyond Geanyus?
Diatribe aside... News Flash! (News to me anyway!)
I got word this morning that a PV installation in San Diego was shot
down on inspection for not using Listed Raintight EMT fittings...
Thinking that somebody had their wires crossed, I requested more info...
Turns out UL issued a notice to EMT fitting manufacturers in 2002 that
the testing standard for listing such fittings was going to become more
stringent.
As of November 13, 2003, only one manufacturer had successfully complied
with the new standard. Bridgeport Series 250 & 260 with the "RT" suffix
behind the part number. At that time, and according to Bridgeport's
website, only 1/2, 3/4, and 1" sizes were listed. According to UL
Category FKAV (Link in the UL notice page.... URL too long to paste
here...), trade sizes from 3/8 - 4" are covered under the category, so I
don't know what, when, if... Regarding anything bigger than 1-1/4"... I
wonder if the IBEW knows about this for all their Gubment Cheese
jobs.... Hmmmmmm
Anyway, somebody got caught by a Building Department and will have to
disassemble the installation to fix it... I was told that the installer
was having a difficult time finding the fittings... Couplings in
particular, I believe...
Following are some links that might help... Hopefully before anybody
else has to rip out their work... Do what you will with this info...
Just passing the word along! Please don't shoot the messenger! Oh, one
more thing... Don't tell your local inspectors about this until after
you've found and started using "Listed for Wet Location" stuff... Then
you can sit back and watch the local fur fly, if you like doing that
sort of thing... In which case I'd have to call you a Snitch!
One Note of Caution.... Just because it says Bridgeport and 250 or 260
doesn't mean it's Raintight! It must have the "RT" suffix behind it.
From the B-Port website, apparently they have added an additional
sealing ring that is installed between the end of the conduit and the
split compression ring that we all know and love.... They have also
added an external knockout gasket that seals between the enclosure and
the fitting. Sounds like the price of a good fitting is going up!
http://www.ul.com/regulators/raintight.html
http://www.bptfittings.com/catalog/250-RT2.shtml
Bridgeport Sales Rep Page (If your supplier doesn't carry B-Port, call
the appropriate Sales Rep for your area and request a list of Stocking
http://www.bptfittings.com/rep/
Retirement is looking better and better all the time!
Matt Lafferty
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772 Office
(916) 914-2247 Fax
(916) 628-7694 Cell
www.universalenergies.com
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</x-flowed>
William Miller
2004-03-15 23:09:38 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by William Korthof
We had two San Diego installations last fall--- the building
inspector recommended we use PVC (or else rigid) for all
outdoor fittings. Not so good for the customers, alas.
Just curious-- what's wrong with PVC for outdoor installations? Last I
checked. San Diego was near the Pacific Ocean. That means PVC has a
distinct advantage in corrosion resistance...

William Miller

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</x-flowed>
William Miller
2004-03-15 23:09:38 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by William Korthof
We had two San Diego installations last fall--- the building
inspector recommended we use PVC (or else rigid) for all
outdoor fittings. Not so good for the customers, alas.
Just curious-- what's wrong with PVC for outdoor installations? Last I
checked. San Diego was near the Pacific Ocean. That means PVC has a
distinct advantage in corrosion resistance...

William Miller

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</x-flowed>
Mo Rousso
2004-03-15 22:58:37 UTC
Permalink
Yes, the City of San Diego outlawed EMT without the appropriate fittings
some time ago. They recommend PVC or rigid. PVC exposed to sunlight for 20
years -- yeah, right.

Unfortunately, all of the heads of the various San Diego County
jurisdictions meet for a monthly luncheon where they swap notes. So,
everyone in San Diego pretty much fails EMT installs without RT fittings.

Is PVC made from oil? Matt, there may be another conspiracy here! Damn
their eyes! :)
--
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President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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William Miller
2004-03-15 23:14:53 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by Mo Rousso
Yes, the City of San Diego outlawed EMT without the appropriate fittings
some time ago. They recommend PVC or rigid. PVC exposed to sunlight for 20
years -- yeah, right.
Colleagues:

Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!

William

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</x-flowed>
Dean T. Newberry
2004-03-16 04:15:19 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi y'All,
I performed some repairs on PVC conduit that I installed in daylight 15
years ago. I don't know if it was Carlon. It shattered like glass when
torqued. The new stuff may be different.

cul deant
Post by William Miller
Post by Mo Rousso
Yes, the City of San Diego outlawed EMT without the appropriate fittings
some time ago. They recommend PVC or rigid. PVC exposed to sunlight for 20
years -- yeah, right.
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from
Carlon some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say
that on the pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a
few microns thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of
the product in any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for
20 years over EMT (especially in any marine proximity). Remember,
beauty is only skin deep, but rust can go all the way through!
William
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--
* Cooperative Community Energy* *Dean T. Newberry*

430 D Street, Davis CA, 95616
Tel: 530 758-6064
Fax: 530 758-3684
Email: deant at dcn.org
Web: CCEnergy.com
Talbott Solar <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/deant/>

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</x-flowed>
Dean T. Newberry
2004-03-16 04:15:19 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi y'All,
I performed some repairs on PVC conduit that I installed in daylight 15
years ago. I don't know if it was Carlon. It shattered like glass when
torqued. The new stuff may be different.

cul deant
Post by William Miller
Post by Mo Rousso
Yes, the City of San Diego outlawed EMT without the appropriate fittings
some time ago. They recommend PVC or rigid. PVC exposed to sunlight for 20
years -- yeah, right.
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from
Carlon some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say
that on the pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a
few microns thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of
the product in any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for
20 years over EMT (especially in any marine proximity). Remember,
beauty is only skin deep, but rust can go all the way through!
William
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--
* Cooperative Community Energy* *Dean T. Newberry*

430 D Street, Davis CA, 95616
Tel: 530 758-6064
Fax: 530 758-3684
Email: deant at dcn.org
Web: CCEnergy.com
Talbott Solar <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/deant/>

Contr. Lic. # B-667908

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</x-flowed>
William Miller
2004-03-15 23:14:53 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by Mo Rousso
Yes, the City of San Diego outlawed EMT without the appropriate fittings
some time ago. They recommend PVC or rigid. PVC exposed to sunlight for 20
years -- yeah, right.
Colleagues:

Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!

William

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</x-flowed>
Mo Rousso
2004-03-15 23:30:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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Dean T. Newberry
2004-03-16 04:10:32 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi y'All,
Let me throw a tangential argument into this discussion.
I have a copy of a report on the RF emissions from the DC wiring
leading from the array to an un-named inverter. The RF was strong enough
to interfere with an amateur radio station a quarter of a mile away. I
passed the information along to John Wiles and an inverter manufacturer.
We agreed for the time being that best practice would be to use an
approved metallic raceway for the riser from the DC disconnect to the
array to reduce radio frequency interference.
So, we no longer use the plastic alternatives.

cul deant
Post by Mo Rousso
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
* Cooperative Community Energy* *Dean T. Newberry*

430 D Street, Davis CA, 95616
Tel: 530 758-6064
Fax: 530 758-3684
Email: deant at dcn.org
Web: CCEnergy.com
Talbott Solar <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/deant/>

Contr. Lic. # B-667908

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</x-flowed>
Dean T. Newberry
2004-03-16 04:10:32 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi y'All,
Let me throw a tangential argument into this discussion.
I have a copy of a report on the RF emissions from the DC wiring
leading from the array to an un-named inverter. The RF was strong enough
to interfere with an amateur radio station a quarter of a mile away. I
passed the information along to John Wiles and an inverter manufacturer.
We agreed for the time being that best practice would be to use an
approved metallic raceway for the riser from the DC disconnect to the
array to reduce radio frequency interference.
So, we no longer use the plastic alternatives.

cul deant
Post by Mo Rousso
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
* Cooperative Community Energy* *Dean T. Newberry*

430 D Street, Davis CA, 95616
Tel: 530 758-6064
Fax: 530 758-3684
Email: deant at dcn.org
Web: CCEnergy.com
Talbott Solar <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/deant/>

Contr. Lic. # B-667908

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</x-flowed>
Bill Brooks
2004-03-16 00:14:33 UTC
Permalink
Mo and William,

I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain of
salt. They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has extremely
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water tightness
is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water lives in outdoor
conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why all conductors
must be wet rated.

I'll be seeing the San Diego inspectors at their annual meeting in a few
weeks, and I'll ask them about this issue. It doesn't make a lot of sense to
me. I believe that outdoor boxes and wiring systems need drains to allow
water to escape. Putting a better watertight fitting on a conduit is going
the wrong way in my book.

Bill.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mo Rousso [mailto:mrousso at heliopower.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 3:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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Joel Davidson
2004-03-16 02:29:31 UTC
Permalink
Hello Bill,
While you are at it, talk to the County of Los Angeles inspectors. They also
think that UL's watertight requirement for conduit is gospel. (Watertight
conduit and USE cable would be a creative way to wire and plumb a building
with the same pipe.)
Best regards,
Joel Davidson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Brooks" <billb at endecon.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 4:14 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Bill Brooks
Mo and William,
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain of
salt. They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has extremely
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water tightness
is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water lives in outdoor
conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why all conductors
must be wet rated.
I'll be seeing the San Diego inspectors at their annual meeting in a few
weeks, and I'll ask them about this issue. It doesn't make a lot of sense to
me. I believe that outdoor boxes and wiring systems need drains to allow
water to escape. Putting a better watertight fitting on a conduit is going
the wrong way in my book.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mo Rousso [mailto:mrousso at heliopower.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 3:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com
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Dean T. Newberry
2004-03-16 03:52:50 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi Bill,
I just drained a couple of inches of water out of 3 Sunnyboys last week.
The bottom of the DC disconnect was several inches above the bottom of
the inverters. It appears that water got into the riser and drained into
the watertight flex running to the inverters. I am changing our
installation practices to termintate both the AC and DC disconnect at
least a couple of inches below the inverters, just in case water gets
into the system it can easily drain from the disconnects instead of into
the inverters. For that system, I drilled the RT flex at the lowest
point, and sealed the conduit ends with conduit sealant. I have
instructed the electrician to check the roof terminations to eliminate
conditions which might drain into the riser.
The UBC/NEC is the minimum standard for construction, not necessarily
the best practice.

cul deant
Post by Bill Brooks
Mo and William,
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain of
salt. They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has extremely
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water tightness
is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water lives in outdoor
conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why all conductors
must be wet rated.
I'll be seeing the San Diego inspectors at their annual meeting in a few
weeks, and I'll ask them about this issue. It doesn't make a lot of sense to
me. I believe that outdoor boxes and wiring systems need drains to allow
water to escape. Putting a better watertight fitting on a conduit is going
the wrong way in my book.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mo Rousso [mailto:mrousso at heliopower.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 3:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com
- - - -
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com
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--
* Cooperative Community Energy* *Dean T. Newberry*

430 D Street, Davis CA, 95616
Tel: 530 758-6064
Fax: 530 758-3684
Email: deant at dcn.org
Web: CCEnergy.com
Talbott Solar <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/deant/>

Contr. Lic. # B-667908

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</x-flowed>
Joel Davidson
2004-03-16 02:29:31 UTC
Permalink
Hello Bill,
While you are at it, talk to the County of Los Angeles inspectors. They also
think that UL's watertight requirement for conduit is gospel. (Watertight
conduit and USE cable would be a creative way to wire and plumb a building
with the same pipe.)
Best regards,
Joel Davidson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Brooks" <billb at endecon.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 4:14 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Bill Brooks
Mo and William,
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain of
salt. They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has extremely
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water tightness
is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water lives in outdoor
conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why all conductors
must be wet rated.
I'll be seeing the San Diego inspectors at their annual meeting in a few
weeks, and I'll ask them about this issue. It doesn't make a lot of sense to
me. I believe that outdoor boxes and wiring systems need drains to allow
water to escape. Putting a better watertight fitting on a conduit is going
the wrong way in my book.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mo Rousso [mailto:mrousso at heliopower.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 3:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com
- - - -
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Archive of previous messages: http://www.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/
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Dean T. Newberry
2004-03-16 03:52:50 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Hi Bill,
I just drained a couple of inches of water out of 3 Sunnyboys last week.
The bottom of the DC disconnect was several inches above the bottom of
the inverters. It appears that water got into the riser and drained into
the watertight flex running to the inverters. I am changing our
installation practices to termintate both the AC and DC disconnect at
least a couple of inches below the inverters, just in case water gets
into the system it can easily drain from the disconnects instead of into
the inverters. For that system, I drilled the RT flex at the lowest
point, and sealed the conduit ends with conduit sealant. I have
instructed the electrician to check the roof terminations to eliminate
conditions which might drain into the riser.
The UBC/NEC is the minimum standard for construction, not necessarily
the best practice.

cul deant
Post by Bill Brooks
Mo and William,
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain of
salt. They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has extremely
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water tightness
is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water lives in outdoor
conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why all conductors
must be wet rated.
I'll be seeing the San Diego inspectors at their annual meeting in a few
weeks, and I'll ask them about this issue. It doesn't make a lot of sense to
me. I believe that outdoor boxes and wiring systems need drains to allow
water to escape. Putting a better watertight fitting on a conduit is going
the wrong way in my book.
Bill.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mo Rousso [mailto:mrousso at heliopower.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 3:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com
- - - -
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--
* Cooperative Community Energy* *Dean T. Newberry*

430 D Street, Davis CA, 95616
Tel: 530 758-6064
Fax: 530 758-3684
Email: deant at dcn.org
Web: CCEnergy.com
Talbott Solar <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/deant/>

Contr. Lic. # B-667908

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</x-flowed>
Mo Rousso
2004-03-16 01:45:16 UTC
Permalink
Bill,

You raise a good point. Water does tend to find entry in outdoor
installations, regardless of fittings. Wet rated wire is indeed paramount.
Drainage, appropriately protected splices, etc are all worthy
considerations. Please keep us posted regarding the outcome of your
conversations in San Diego. I believe the whole thing was started by Tim
"Uncle Timmy" Owens so if you get a chance to chat him up, he is the key.

Thanks,
Mo
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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Matt Lafferty
2004-03-16 02:08:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Brooks
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain
of salt.
Post by Bill Brooks
They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better
Post by Bill Brooks
than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has
extremely
Post by Bill Brooks
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water
tightness is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water
lives in
Post by Bill Brooks
outdoor conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why
all
Post by Bill Brooks
conductors must be wet rated. (SNIP)
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I believe that outdoor boxes and
wiring
Post by Bill Brooks
systems need drains to allow water to escape. Putting a better
watertight
Post by Bill Brooks
fitting on a conduit is going the wrong way in my book.
All:

Hear, HEAR!

Bill is on my page on this one... Your's, too, I hope.

I don't consider PVC to be appropriate for horizontally run, elementally
exposed applications. In fact, every single time I can remember pulling
conductors out of underground PVC conduit, the conductors were wet if
installed for a year or more. Something to think about....

I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
and exposed conductors (previously inside the conduit). These
observations are not specific to PV (none have been), nor are they
specific to rooftops (most weren't). Virtually all of them were
strapped and supported "per Code" or better! Didn't seem to matter if
the conduit was painted or not. No observation on my part was ever made
that paint or other external chemicals led to these conditions. Most
had THHN conductors inside. Depending on the duration of exposure to
the elements, some of the conductors had split / separating insulation.
One installation actually had a disposable diaper wrapped around the
conduit break with PVC electrical tape securing it to the conduit. It
failed. It was NOT exposed to direct sunlight, by the way. (I kept it
as an example for a few years, but it's disposed of now....Wish that
were during the day of digital cameras so I had something besides by
memory to show you...)

As far as EMT fittings and UL Listing Standards goes, my take on it is
generally this: UL decided to take the "product based fix-it method" as
opposed to relying on the "installer / inspector based method". (Funny
to me that 1-1/4" - 4" fittings weren't submitted / didn't pass the UL
testing... Gotta use Rigid Conduit or what? Union influence?
Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!! This is a nationwide issue, by the way. NOT just a
CA issue...)

It all boils down to the guy/gal installing whatever it is. Could be a
2x4 wood stud or it could be a 600V conductor. Their appropriate
selection and installation methods of selected materials for an
application ultimately determines the long-term reliability and safety
of the "system" they are installing. This applies to everything... RE,
electrical, or otherwise. I support (Back when I had actual control
over such things, I required!!!!) drain holes in J-boxes and any other
termination enclosure. I only ran into one Inspector who raised the
issue of "this isn't how it was listed"... That guy was easily convinced
of the value using real-world examples based on his own experience. A
small price to pay, in my book.

Apparently UL noticed (or was made aware) that water / moisture is often
found inside J-boxes, etc. (Like... Geeee.... Duh! Like, since the
beginning of conduit-time... What did you think would happen????) In
above-grade, non-flooded applications, two primary sources for moisture
exist inside raceways.... One is "direct, beating rain". The other is
condensation.

Ambient humidity enters raceways via numerous ways. (A NEMA 3-R
enclosure does not prevent intrusion of ambient humidity) I'll leave it
at that. As heat from different sources affects the internal
temperature of the raceway, moisture migrates through the raceway
system. Under certain conditions, humidity is actually attracted and
"drawn" to the interior of the raceway. As moisture migrates, it
aggregates or is "trapped" in different areas, generally larger surface
area enclosures or "high to low elevation" traps. Physical fact. If
these enclosures are not allowed to drain, the moisture condenses
into.... Of all things.... Water! This builds up over time if it's not
allowed to escape. Therefore the drainage holes. (I use a 3/16" bit for
these, personally.)

Long story short.... I hope everybody's using the best information they
have available and the best practices & judgement regarding product
selection and installation methods available for each of their projects.

I must say that it's nice to see on-list discourse on something after I
post... I've come to think that nobody reads my stuff!!!! LOL (No
feelings hurt. I'd have to have feelings before they could get hurt...)

I do have to ask Mo R and others that were aware of this why they didn't
consider this to be relevant to the list???? Nothing personal. Just
hope that what we're here for is not lost in the fray.

Two Cents and Hammock Dreams!

Matt Lafferty
Universal Energies Institute
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 628-7694 Cell
(916) 914-2247 Fax
www.universalenergies.com

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Joel Davidson
2004-03-16 02:35:26 UTC
Permalink
Hello Matt,
2 word solution for water in boxes. Weep Holes.
Best regards,
Joel Davidson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Lafferty" <mlafferty at universalenergies.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 6:08 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Matt Lafferty
Post by Bill Brooks
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain
of salt.
Post by Bill Brooks
They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better
Post by Bill Brooks
than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has
extremely
Post by Bill Brooks
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water
tightness is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water
lives in
Post by Bill Brooks
outdoor conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why
all
Post by Bill Brooks
conductors must be wet rated. (SNIP)
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I believe that outdoor boxes and
wiring
Post by Bill Brooks
systems need drains to allow water to escape. Putting a better
watertight
Post by Bill Brooks
fitting on a conduit is going the wrong way in my book.
Hear, HEAR!
Bill is on my page on this one... Your's, too, I hope.
I don't consider PVC to be appropriate for horizontally run, elementally
exposed applications. In fact, every single time I can remember pulling
conductors out of underground PVC conduit, the conductors were wet if
installed for a year or more. Something to think about....
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
and exposed conductors (previously inside the conduit). These
observations are not specific to PV (none have been), nor are they
specific to rooftops (most weren't). Virtually all of them were
strapped and supported "per Code" or better! Didn't seem to matter if
the conduit was painted or not. No observation on my part was ever made
that paint or other external chemicals led to these conditions. Most
had THHN conductors inside. Depending on the duration of exposure to
the elements, some of the conductors had split / separating insulation.
One installation actually had a disposable diaper wrapped around the
conduit break with PVC electrical tape securing it to the conduit. It
failed. It was NOT exposed to direct sunlight, by the way. (I kept it
as an example for a few years, but it's disposed of now....Wish that
were during the day of digital cameras so I had something besides by
memory to show you...)
As far as EMT fittings and UL Listing Standards goes, my take on it is
generally this: UL decided to take the "product based fix-it method" as
opposed to relying on the "installer / inspector based method". (Funny
to me that 1-1/4" - 4" fittings weren't submitted / didn't pass the UL
testing... Gotta use Rigid Conduit or what? Union influence?
Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!! This is a nationwide issue, by the way. NOT just a
CA issue...)
It all boils down to the guy/gal installing whatever it is. Could be a
2x4 wood stud or it could be a 600V conductor. Their appropriate
selection and installation methods of selected materials for an
application ultimately determines the long-term reliability and safety
of the "system" they are installing. This applies to everything... RE,
electrical, or otherwise. I support (Back when I had actual control
over such things, I required!!!!) drain holes in J-boxes and any other
termination enclosure. I only ran into one Inspector who raised the
issue of "this isn't how it was listed"... That guy was easily convinced
of the value using real-world examples based on his own experience. A
small price to pay, in my book.
Apparently UL noticed (or was made aware) that water / moisture is often
found inside J-boxes, etc. (Like... Geeee.... Duh! Like, since the
beginning of conduit-time... What did you think would happen????) In
above-grade, non-flooded applications, two primary sources for moisture
exist inside raceways.... One is "direct, beating rain". The other is
condensation.
Ambient humidity enters raceways via numerous ways. (A NEMA 3-R
enclosure does not prevent intrusion of ambient humidity) I'll leave it
at that. As heat from different sources affects the internal
temperature of the raceway, moisture migrates through the raceway
system. Under certain conditions, humidity is actually attracted and
"drawn" to the interior of the raceway. As moisture migrates, it
aggregates or is "trapped" in different areas, generally larger surface
area enclosures or "high to low elevation" traps. Physical fact. If
these enclosures are not allowed to drain, the moisture condenses
into.... Of all things.... Water! This builds up over time if it's not
allowed to escape. Therefore the drainage holes. (I use a 3/16" bit for
these, personally.)
Long story short.... I hope everybody's using the best information they
have available and the best practices & judgement regarding product
selection and installation methods available for each of their projects.
I must say that it's nice to see on-list discourse on something after I
post... I've come to think that nobody reads my stuff!!!! LOL (No
feelings hurt. I'd have to have feelings before they could get hurt...)
I do have to ask Mo R and others that were aware of this why they didn't
consider this to be relevant to the list???? Nothing personal. Just
hope that what we're here for is not lost in the fray.
Two Cents and Hammock Dreams!
Matt Lafferty
Universal Energies Institute
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 628-7694 Cell
(916) 914-2247 Fax
www.universalenergies.com
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William Miller
2004-03-16 03:27:00 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!

William

PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so familiar
with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any pipe, on a roof
or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can sag, it requires
better support than EMT.

Wm

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</x-flowed>
Bruce Geddes
2004-03-16 20:32:55 UTC
Permalink
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.

Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it is
stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.

I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms but
it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two colours,
grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem is impact
damage as PVC is relatively brittle.

As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the conduit
will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging the glue
together joints can seperate if not glued properly.

Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on rooftops
still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now drill small
drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low points before every
termination or penetration.

I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on to
run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and lay
over for maintenance work.

Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that this
is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is electricity.
Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.

So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the material.

Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)

Bruce Geddes
PowerOn

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Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services
2004-03-16 21:11:35 UTC
Permalink
always clean the glue off the pipe outside the hub that was glued tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Geddes" <b.geddes at clear.net.nz>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Bruce Geddes
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.
Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it is
stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.
I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms but
it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two colours,
grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem is impact
damage as PVC is relatively brittle.
As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the conduit
will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging the glue
together joints can seperate if not glued properly.
Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on rooftops
still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now drill small
drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low points before every
termination or penetration.
I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on to
run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and lay
over for maintenance work.
Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that this
is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is electricity.
Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.
So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the material.
Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)
Bruce Geddes
PowerOn
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Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services
2004-03-16 21:11:35 UTC
Permalink
always clean the glue off the pipe outside the hub that was glued tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Geddes" <b.geddes at clear.net.nz>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Bruce Geddes
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.
Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it is
stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.
I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms but
it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two colours,
grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem is impact
damage as PVC is relatively brittle.
As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the conduit
will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging the glue
together joints can seperate if not glued properly.
Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on rooftops
still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now drill small
drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low points before every
termination or penetration.
I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on to
run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and lay
over for maintenance work.
Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that this
is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is electricity.
Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.
So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the material.
Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)
Bruce Geddes
PowerOn
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Joel Davidson
2004-03-16 02:35:26 UTC
Permalink
Hello Matt,
2 word solution for water in boxes. Weep Holes.
Best regards,
Joel Davidson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Lafferty" <mlafferty at universalenergies.com>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 6:08 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Matt Lafferty
Post by Bill Brooks
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain
of salt.
Post by Bill Brooks
They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better
Post by Bill Brooks
than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has
extremely
Post by Bill Brooks
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water
tightness is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water
lives in
Post by Bill Brooks
outdoor conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why
all
Post by Bill Brooks
conductors must be wet rated. (SNIP)
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I believe that outdoor boxes and
wiring
Post by Bill Brooks
systems need drains to allow water to escape. Putting a better
watertight
Post by Bill Brooks
fitting on a conduit is going the wrong way in my book.
Hear, HEAR!
Bill is on my page on this one... Your's, too, I hope.
I don't consider PVC to be appropriate for horizontally run, elementally
exposed applications. In fact, every single time I can remember pulling
conductors out of underground PVC conduit, the conductors were wet if
installed for a year or more. Something to think about....
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
and exposed conductors (previously inside the conduit). These
observations are not specific to PV (none have been), nor are they
specific to rooftops (most weren't). Virtually all of them were
strapped and supported "per Code" or better! Didn't seem to matter if
the conduit was painted or not. No observation on my part was ever made
that paint or other external chemicals led to these conditions. Most
had THHN conductors inside. Depending on the duration of exposure to
the elements, some of the conductors had split / separating insulation.
One installation actually had a disposable diaper wrapped around the
conduit break with PVC electrical tape securing it to the conduit. It
failed. It was NOT exposed to direct sunlight, by the way. (I kept it
as an example for a few years, but it's disposed of now....Wish that
were during the day of digital cameras so I had something besides by
memory to show you...)
As far as EMT fittings and UL Listing Standards goes, my take on it is
generally this: UL decided to take the "product based fix-it method" as
opposed to relying on the "installer / inspector based method". (Funny
to me that 1-1/4" - 4" fittings weren't submitted / didn't pass the UL
testing... Gotta use Rigid Conduit or what? Union influence?
Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!! This is a nationwide issue, by the way. NOT just a
CA issue...)
It all boils down to the guy/gal installing whatever it is. Could be a
2x4 wood stud or it could be a 600V conductor. Their appropriate
selection and installation methods of selected materials for an
application ultimately determines the long-term reliability and safety
of the "system" they are installing. This applies to everything... RE,
electrical, or otherwise. I support (Back when I had actual control
over such things, I required!!!!) drain holes in J-boxes and any other
termination enclosure. I only ran into one Inspector who raised the
issue of "this isn't how it was listed"... That guy was easily convinced
of the value using real-world examples based on his own experience. A
small price to pay, in my book.
Apparently UL noticed (or was made aware) that water / moisture is often
found inside J-boxes, etc. (Like... Geeee.... Duh! Like, since the
beginning of conduit-time... What did you think would happen????) In
above-grade, non-flooded applications, two primary sources for moisture
exist inside raceways.... One is "direct, beating rain". The other is
condensation.
Ambient humidity enters raceways via numerous ways. (A NEMA 3-R
enclosure does not prevent intrusion of ambient humidity) I'll leave it
at that. As heat from different sources affects the internal
temperature of the raceway, moisture migrates through the raceway
system. Under certain conditions, humidity is actually attracted and
"drawn" to the interior of the raceway. As moisture migrates, it
aggregates or is "trapped" in different areas, generally larger surface
area enclosures or "high to low elevation" traps. Physical fact. If
these enclosures are not allowed to drain, the moisture condenses
into.... Of all things.... Water! This builds up over time if it's not
allowed to escape. Therefore the drainage holes. (I use a 3/16" bit for
these, personally.)
Long story short.... I hope everybody's using the best information they
have available and the best practices & judgement regarding product
selection and installation methods available for each of their projects.
I must say that it's nice to see on-list discourse on something after I
post... I've come to think that nobody reads my stuff!!!! LOL (No
feelings hurt. I'd have to have feelings before they could get hurt...)
I do have to ask Mo R and others that were aware of this why they didn't
consider this to be relevant to the list???? Nothing personal. Just
hope that what we're here for is not lost in the fray.
Two Cents and Hammock Dreams!
Matt Lafferty
Universal Energies Institute
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 628-7694 Cell
(916) 914-2247 Fax
www.universalenergies.com
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William Miller
2004-03-16 03:27:00 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!

William

PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so familiar
with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any pipe, on a roof
or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can sag, it requires
better support than EMT.

Wm

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</x-flowed>
Bruce Geddes
2004-03-16 20:32:55 UTC
Permalink
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.

Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it is
stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.

I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms but
it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two colours,
grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem is impact
damage as PVC is relatively brittle.

As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the conduit
will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging the glue
together joints can seperate if not glued properly.

Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on rooftops
still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now drill small
drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low points before every
termination or penetration.

I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on to
run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and lay
over for maintenance work.

Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that this
is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is electricity.
Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.

So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the material.

Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)

Bruce Geddes
PowerOn

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Matt Lafferty
2004-03-16 09:04:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mo Rousso
Unfortunately, all of the heads of the various San Diego
County jurisdictions meet for a monthly luncheon where
they swap notes.
Mo / All:

I don't view this type of thing as "unfortunate"... I prefer to think of
it from an "investment opportunity" perspective.

Invest a few donuts and you'll have their undivided attention!

Matt Lafferty
Universal Energies Institute
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 628-7694 Cell
(916) 914-2247 Fax
www.universalenergies.com

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Jason Fisher
2004-03-16 15:34:28 UTC
Permalink
A not so often followed NEC requirement is to provide expansion fittings
on longer PVC runs (NEC 1999 347-9, don't have 2002 with me). These
fittings (slip coupled pipe with o-rings and Vaseline, that are still
not "watertight"!) are hard to find in supply shops but are essential
for applications like wiring piers. Generally, I'd hope we keep our runs
shorter but one still should keep in mind just how much this stuff moves
over temperature swings (see table). Frequently, you'll find pipes
popped out of glued connectors at enclosures. While one might blame the
helper for not putting enough glue on the joint, often times this is due
to the conduit being installed during the hot summer, strapped down
tight, then shrinking during the winter. You also see this a lot when
PVC comes out of the ground, especially if it wasn't supported by
undisturbed earth. And yes, all the old PVC I've messed with shatters
easily.

It is sad to hear that the rumors of this EMT-fitting issue are now
being played out in CA. I do not look forward to the day when inspectors
here start pulling this out of their hats. Anyone who has done
electrical service work on equipment in wet applications knows that no
conduit system is watertight, even the expensive PVC coated steel. The
conductors need to be rated wet for a reason and we have always drilled
weep holes in our exposed boxes. I had an inspector once, take issue
with this (not in line with the box's listing) and suggest that we
rather leave out a threaded plug and install screening to keep out the
bugs. Huh? OK, thanks for the tip. I said I'd make sure I did that "next
time".

Jason Fisher

-----Original Message-----
From: William Miller [mailto:wrmiller at slonet.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 10:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!

William

PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so
familiar with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any
pipe, on a roof or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can
sag, it requires better support than EMT.

Wm

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Joel Davidson
2004-03-16 20:27:33 UTC
Permalink
The screened knock-out is an trick used by people who live in muddabber
(wasp) country.

Editorial - It's nice to have knowledgeable, cooperative PV system
inspectors, but too often they become nit-pickers showing off what they
recently learned but do not understand. In most cities, it is easier to get
a 1200 amp service panel installaton signed off than a 10.4 amp PV inverter.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Fisher" <jfisher at nahbrc.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:34 AM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jason Fisher
A not so often followed NEC requirement is to provide expansion fittings
on longer PVC runs (NEC 1999 347-9, don't have 2002 with me). These
fittings (slip coupled pipe with o-rings and Vaseline, that are still
not "watertight"!) are hard to find in supply shops but are essential
for applications like wiring piers. Generally, I'd hope we keep our runs
shorter but one still should keep in mind just how much this stuff moves
over temperature swings (see table). Frequently, you'll find pipes
popped out of glued connectors at enclosures. While one might blame the
helper for not putting enough glue on the joint, often times this is due
to the conduit being installed during the hot summer, strapped down
tight, then shrinking during the winter. You also see this a lot when
PVC comes out of the ground, especially if it wasn't supported by
undisturbed earth. And yes, all the old PVC I've messed with shatters
easily.
It is sad to hear that the rumors of this EMT-fitting issue are now
being played out in CA. I do not look forward to the day when inspectors
here start pulling this out of their hats. Anyone who has done
electrical service work on equipment in wet applications knows that no
conduit system is watertight, even the expensive PVC coated steel. The
conductors need to be rated wet for a reason and we have always drilled
weep holes in our exposed boxes. I had an inspector once, take issue
with this (not in line with the box's listing) and suggest that we
rather leave out a threaded plug and install screening to keep out the
bugs. Huh? OK, thanks for the tip. I said I'd make sure I did that "next
time".
Jason Fisher
-----Original Message-----
From: William Miller [mailto:wrmiller at slonet.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 10:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!
William
PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so
familiar with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any
pipe, on a roof or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can
sag, it requires better support than EMT.
Wm
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2004-03-17 02:07:31 UTC
Permalink
I've got a suggestion that I wonder would work?

I too don't really like PVC for horizontal runs, so what about using USE
wire in EMT? They can't argue about the wire getting wet?? ( or for that
matter the THWN)

In colorado the inspectors are requiring expansion couplings on all PVC that
connect from ground to above ground. Makes sense.

Jay

Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Fisher" <jfisher at nahbrc.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:34 AM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jason Fisher
A not so often followed NEC requirement is to provide expansion fittings
on longer PVC runs (NEC 1999 347-9, don't have 2002 with me). These
fittings (slip coupled pipe with o-rings and Vaseline, that are still
not "watertight"!) are hard to find in supply shops but are essential
for applications like wiring piers. Generally, I'd hope we keep our runs
shorter but one still should keep in mind just how much this stuff moves
over temperature swings (see table). Frequently, you'll find pipes
popped out of glued connectors at enclosures. While one might blame the
helper for not putting enough glue on the joint, often times this is due
to the conduit being installed during the hot summer, strapped down
tight, then shrinking during the winter. You also see this a lot when
PVC comes out of the ground, especially if it wasn't supported by
undisturbed earth. And yes, all the old PVC I've messed with shatters
easily.
It is sad to hear that the rumors of this EMT-fitting issue are now
being played out in CA. I do not look forward to the day when inspectors
here start pulling this out of their hats. Anyone who has done
electrical service work on equipment in wet applications knows that no
conduit system is watertight, even the expensive PVC coated steel. The
conductors need to be rated wet for a reason and we have always drilled
weep holes in our exposed boxes. I had an inspector once, take issue
with this (not in line with the box's listing) and suggest that we
rather leave out a threaded plug and install screening to keep out the
bugs. Huh? OK, thanks for the tip. I said I'd make sure I did that "next
time".
Jason Fisher
-----Original Message-----
From: William Miller [mailto:wrmiller at slonet.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 10:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!
William
PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so
familiar with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any
pipe, on a roof or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can
sag, it requires better support than EMT.
Wm
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Joel Davidson
2004-03-16 20:27:33 UTC
Permalink
The screened knock-out is an trick used by people who live in muddabber
(wasp) country.

Editorial - It's nice to have knowledgeable, cooperative PV system
inspectors, but too often they become nit-pickers showing off what they
recently learned but do not understand. In most cities, it is easier to get
a 1200 amp service panel installaton signed off than a 10.4 amp PV inverter.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Fisher" <jfisher at nahbrc.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:34 AM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jason Fisher
A not so often followed NEC requirement is to provide expansion fittings
on longer PVC runs (NEC 1999 347-9, don't have 2002 with me). These
fittings (slip coupled pipe with o-rings and Vaseline, that are still
not "watertight"!) are hard to find in supply shops but are essential
for applications like wiring piers. Generally, I'd hope we keep our runs
shorter but one still should keep in mind just how much this stuff moves
over temperature swings (see table). Frequently, you'll find pipes
popped out of glued connectors at enclosures. While one might blame the
helper for not putting enough glue on the joint, often times this is due
to the conduit being installed during the hot summer, strapped down
tight, then shrinking during the winter. You also see this a lot when
PVC comes out of the ground, especially if it wasn't supported by
undisturbed earth. And yes, all the old PVC I've messed with shatters
easily.
It is sad to hear that the rumors of this EMT-fitting issue are now
being played out in CA. I do not look forward to the day when inspectors
here start pulling this out of their hats. Anyone who has done
electrical service work on equipment in wet applications knows that no
conduit system is watertight, even the expensive PVC coated steel. The
conductors need to be rated wet for a reason and we have always drilled
weep holes in our exposed boxes. I had an inspector once, take issue
with this (not in line with the box's listing) and suggest that we
rather leave out a threaded plug and install screening to keep out the
bugs. Huh? OK, thanks for the tip. I said I'd make sure I did that "next
time".
Jason Fisher
-----Original Message-----
From: William Miller [mailto:wrmiller at slonet.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 10:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!
William
PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so
familiar with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any
pipe, on a roof or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can
sag, it requires better support than EMT.
Wm
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Jay Peltz, Peltz Power
2004-03-17 02:07:31 UTC
Permalink
I've got a suggestion that I wonder would work?

I too don't really like PVC for horizontal runs, so what about using USE
wire in EMT? They can't argue about the wire getting wet?? ( or for that
matter the THWN)

In colorado the inspectors are requiring expansion couplings on all PVC that
connect from ground to above ground. Makes sense.

Jay

Peltz Power
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Fisher" <jfisher at nahbrc.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:34 AM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jason Fisher
A not so often followed NEC requirement is to provide expansion fittings
on longer PVC runs (NEC 1999 347-9, don't have 2002 with me). These
fittings (slip coupled pipe with o-rings and Vaseline, that are still
not "watertight"!) are hard to find in supply shops but are essential
for applications like wiring piers. Generally, I'd hope we keep our runs
shorter but one still should keep in mind just how much this stuff moves
over temperature swings (see table). Frequently, you'll find pipes
popped out of glued connectors at enclosures. While one might blame the
helper for not putting enough glue on the joint, often times this is due
to the conduit being installed during the hot summer, strapped down
tight, then shrinking during the winter. You also see this a lot when
PVC comes out of the ground, especially if it wasn't supported by
undisturbed earth. And yes, all the old PVC I've messed with shatters
easily.
It is sad to hear that the rumors of this EMT-fitting issue are now
being played out in CA. I do not look forward to the day when inspectors
here start pulling this out of their hats. Anyone who has done
electrical service work on equipment in wet applications knows that no
conduit system is watertight, even the expensive PVC coated steel. The
conductors need to be rated wet for a reason and we have always drilled
weep holes in our exposed boxes. I had an inspector once, take issue
with this (not in line with the box's listing) and suggest that we
rather leave out a threaded plug and install screening to keep out the
bugs. Huh? OK, thanks for the tip. I said I'd make sure I did that "next
time".
Jason Fisher
-----Original Message-----
From: William Miller [mailto:wrmiller at slonet.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 10:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!
William
PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so
familiar with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any
pipe, on a roof or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can
sag, it requires better support than EMT.
Wm
- - - -
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Jeff Yago
2004-03-16 17:14:36 UTC
Permalink
"2 word solution for water in boxes. Weep Holes.
Best regards, Joel Davidson"

I second Joel's comments. I have been called in to "fix" several
large residential solar pv systems installed by others and I have
opened up junction boxes on the back of solar modules that were
completely FULL of rainwater! I don't mean damp, I mean when you
pried off the gasketed cover, a quart of water that had filled up the
junction box and backed up in the conduit came flowing out. Needless
to say, these systems had a few electrical "problems".

I don't care how many gaskets you have, how well you calk and seal
everything, or what the connector UL ratings are, I still think you
need a tiny (insect proof) drip hole at all low points. Remember,
they put bilge pumps in the bottom of ships and submarines for a
reason.

Jeff Yago

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Matt Tritt
2004-03-17 00:01:02 UTC
Permalink
This is sure to get a rise from someone, but on one of the first PV jobs
I did back in 80, I worked with an "old time" electrician who insisted
that the couplings on our underground run be left un-glued at the lowest
point in the trench. He said that this allowed the water, which would
inevitably show up in the conduit, to find a way out. PVC was pretty new
at the time so I don't know where he got his idea.

I thought that what goes out would also come in the same way, but I've
never had a call-back, so who knows.

I have also had very good success with oxidation prevention by painting
PVC with good latex house paint. This can look really crappy if done in
a hurry.

I would like to add that PVC, being non-conductive, has always seemed a
lot safer to work around than e.m.t after getting hit a couple of times
from old e.m.t. installations with ground faults.

Matt T

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Geddes [mailto:b.geddes at clear.net.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:33 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]


Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.

Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it
is stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.

I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms
but it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two
colours, grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem
is impact damage as PVC is relatively brittle.

As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the
conduit will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging
the glue together joints can seperate if not glued properly.

Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on
rooftops still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now
drill small drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low
points before every termination or penetration.

I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on
to run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and
lay over for maintenance work.

Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that
this is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is
electricity. Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.

So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the
material.

Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)

Bruce Geddes
PowerOn

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Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services
2004-03-17 14:21:56 UTC
Permalink
put cardboard under the PVC pipes and spray paint with an exterior
automotive spray paint an exterior acrylic the same color as the color of
the roof. The pipe must age for one year in the sun or clean the pipe
with PVC pipe cleaner and then spray the PVC pipe with the color that
matches the roof. I suggest automotive spray paints that can be purchased at
any paint store.

Gator Tom

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Matt Tritt
This is sure to get a rise from someone, but on one of the first PV jobs
I did back in 80, I worked with an "old time" electrician who insisted
that the couplings on our underground run be left un-glued at the lowest
point in the trench. He said that this allowed the water, which would
inevitably show up in the conduit, to find a way out. PVC was pretty new
at the time so I don't know where he got his idea.
I thought that what goes out would also come in the same way, but I've
never had a call-back, so who knows.
I have also had very good success with oxidation prevention by painting
PVC with good latex house paint. This can look really crappy if done in
a hurry.
I would like to add that PVC, being non-conductive, has always seemed a
lot safer to work around than e.m.t after getting hit a couple of times
from old e.m.t. installations with ground faults.
Matt T
-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Geddes [mailto:b.geddes at clear.net.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:33 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.
Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it
is stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.
I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms
but it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two
colours, grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem
is impact damage as PVC is relatively brittle.
As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the
conduit will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging
the glue together joints can seperate if not glued properly.
Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on
rooftops still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now
drill small drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low
points before every termination or penetration.
I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on
to run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and
lay over for maintenance work.
Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that
this is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is
electricity. Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.
So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the
material.
Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)
Bruce Geddes
PowerOn
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Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services
2004-03-17 14:21:56 UTC
Permalink
put cardboard under the PVC pipes and spray paint with an exterior
automotive spray paint an exterior acrylic the same color as the color of
the roof. The pipe must age for one year in the sun or clean the pipe
with PVC pipe cleaner and then spray the PVC pipe with the color that
matches the roof. I suggest automotive spray paints that can be purchased at
any paint store.

Gator Tom

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Matt Tritt
This is sure to get a rise from someone, but on one of the first PV jobs
I did back in 80, I worked with an "old time" electrician who insisted
that the couplings on our underground run be left un-glued at the lowest
point in the trench. He said that this allowed the water, which would
inevitably show up in the conduit, to find a way out. PVC was pretty new
at the time so I don't know where he got his idea.
I thought that what goes out would also come in the same way, but I've
never had a call-back, so who knows.
I have also had very good success with oxidation prevention by painting
PVC with good latex house paint. This can look really crappy if done in
a hurry.
I would like to add that PVC, being non-conductive, has always seemed a
lot safer to work around than e.m.t after getting hit a couple of times
from old e.m.t. installations with ground faults.
Matt T
-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Geddes [mailto:b.geddes at clear.net.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:33 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.
Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it
is stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.
I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms
but it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two
colours, grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem
is impact damage as PVC is relatively brittle.
As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the
conduit will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging
the glue together joints can seperate if not glued properly.
Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on
rooftops still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now
drill small drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low
points before every termination or penetration.
I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on
to run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and
lay over for maintenance work.
Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that
this is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is
electricity. Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.
So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the
material.
Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)
Bruce Geddes
PowerOn
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Matt Tritt
2004-03-17 15:56:02 UTC
Permalink
Mark,

How about PVC?

Matt T

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Byington [mailto:markbyington at sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 7:57 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Mark Byington
2004-03-17 15:57:05 UTC
Permalink
"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the wire getting wet?? ( or for that
matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in outdoor EMT to be
90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Mark Byington
2004-03-17 16:38:29 UTC
Permalink
"Mark, how about PVC?"
Matt T

Sorry, we haven't used PVC on rooftop systems so we don't have experience with inspectors on that issue.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Keith Cronin
2004-03-17 19:15:54 UTC
Permalink
It has been a while since I lived in a cold climate, but I thought the
supply houses had expansion fittings, i.e. pvc couplings that were able
to expand and contract to compensate for temp differentials. They were
longer and had a deeper coupling, which allowed for movement.
Another option might be to have flex at a certain interval on horizontal
runs, kind of like how it is done on bridges.
The last time I checked, the whole world was moving, so we should try to
compensate for it.

aloha

Keith Cronin
President
Island Energy Solutions Inc
318A Kuulei Rd
Kailua, HI 96734
808-262-3268 Tel
808-263-0338 Fax
keith at islandenergy.net
www.islandenergy.net









-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services [mailto:tom at ecs-solar.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 4:22 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]

put cardboard under the PVC pipes and spray paint with an exterior
automotive spray paint an exterior acrylic the same color as the color
of
the roof. The pipe must age for one year in the sun or clean the
pipe
with PVC pipe cleaner and then spray the PVC pipe with the color that
matches the roof. I suggest automotive spray paints that can be
purchased at
any paint store.

Gator Tom

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Matt Tritt
This is sure to get a rise from someone, but on one of the first PV
jobs
Post by Matt Tritt
I did back in 80, I worked with an "old time" electrician who insisted
that the couplings on our underground run be left un-glued at the
lowest
Post by Matt Tritt
point in the trench. He said that this allowed the water, which would
inevitably show up in the conduit, to find a way out. PVC was pretty
new
Post by Matt Tritt
at the time so I don't know where he got his idea.
I thought that what goes out would also come in the same way, but I've
never had a call-back, so who knows.
I have also had very good success with oxidation prevention by
painting
Post by Matt Tritt
PVC with good latex house paint. This can look really crappy if done
in
Post by Matt Tritt
a hurry.
I would like to add that PVC, being non-conductive, has always seemed
a
Post by Matt Tritt
lot safer to work around than e.m.t after getting hit a couple of
times
Post by Matt Tritt
from old e.m.t. installations with ground faults.
Matt T
-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Geddes [mailto:b.geddes at clear.net.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:33 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.
Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of
the
Post by Matt Tritt
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it
is stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.
I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer
forms
Post by Matt Tritt
but it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use
two
Post by Matt Tritt
colours, grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest
problem
Post by Matt Tritt
is impact damage as PVC is relatively brittle.
As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the
conduit will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging
the glue together joints can seperate if not glued properly.
Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on
rooftops still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now
drill small drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low
points before every termination or penetration.
I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on
to run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted
and
Post by Matt Tritt
lay over for maintenance work.
Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that
this is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is
electricity. Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.
So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the
material.
Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)
Bruce Geddes
PowerOn
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Joel Davidson
2004-03-17 20:25:46 UTC
Permalink
In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the wire
getting wet?? ( or for that
matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be
90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Jason Fisher
2004-03-17 22:17:27 UTC
Permalink
XHHW Should be marked "sunlight resistant" or similar to be used outside
of conduit correct?
USE has similar qualities but is listed for direct sun exposure. Some
XHHW is also marked USE.

Jason Fisher

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject

In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Joel Davidson
2004-03-18 02:55:11 UTC
Permalink
I have not used XHHW-2 without conduit. The only place I have not used metal
conduit is module interconnects with factory installed USE-2 and MC
connectors.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Fisher" <jfisher at nahbrc.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 2:17 PM
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jason Fisher
XHHW Should be marked "sunlight resistant" or similar to be used outside
of conduit correct?
USE has similar qualities but is listed for direct sun exposure. Some
XHHW is also marked USE.
Jason Fisher
-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"
Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.
Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Joel Davidson
2004-03-18 02:55:11 UTC
Permalink
I have not used XHHW-2 without conduit. The only place I have not used metal
conduit is module interconnects with factory installed USE-2 and MC
connectors.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Fisher" <jfisher at nahbrc.org>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 2:17 PM
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Jason Fisher
XHHW Should be marked "sunlight resistant" or similar to be used outside
of conduit correct?
USE has similar qualities but is listed for direct sun exposure. Some
XHHW is also marked USE.
Jason Fisher
-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"
Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.
Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Bill Brooks
2004-03-17 23:06:59 UTC
Permalink
XHHW-2 is a conduit wire. Occasionally USE-2 is also labeled XHHW-2 so that
it can be run in conduit as well. The reason LA is suggesting XHHW-2 is that
THWN-2 was hard to find about a year or so ago. Now, depending on the
supplier, it can be found a Home Depot in sizes down to 14 AWG.

Bill.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Fisher [mailto:jfisher at nahbrc.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 2:17 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]


XHHW Should be marked "sunlight resistant" or similar to be used outside
of conduit correct?
USE has similar qualities but is listed for direct sun exposure. Some
XHHW is also marked USE.

Jason Fisher

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject

In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



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Jerry Caldwell
2004-04-12 16:52:13 UTC
Permalink
===========================================================
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===========================================================

Wrenches;

I have a customer who has had a straight grid tied PV
system on her house for about two years. She just got
a letter from her insurance company saying that her
policy has been cancelled and the only way to
reinstate the policy is to either pay $1000 extra per
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She doesn't know how the insurance company found out
about her system. When she called them to ask about
their decision to drop her policy they expressed
concern over damage from hail stones and the
possibility of fire because the panels get so hot.

Has anyone else had similar experience? Is there any
legislation that could protect PV system owners in
situations like this? I intend to bring this to the
attention of the national and Cal SEIA's. I
appreciate any info y'all can share.

=====
Jerry Caldwell
NABCEP certified PV practitioner
Light Energy Systems
510-205-2798

__________________________________
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Matt Lafferty
2004-03-15 20:45:22 UTC
Permalink
All:

Ludicrosity never ends... Or is it Progress? Isn't Lunacy one brain
cell beyond Geanyus?

Diatribe aside... News Flash! (News to me anyway!)

I got word this morning that a PV installation in San Diego was shot
down on inspection for not using Listed Raintight EMT fittings...
Thinking that somebody had their wires crossed, I requested more info...
Turns out UL issued a notice to EMT fitting manufacturers in 2002 that
the testing standard for listing such fittings was going to become more
stringent.

As of November 13, 2003, only one manufacturer had successfully complied
with the new standard. Bridgeport Series 250 & 260 with the "RT" suffix
behind the part number. At that time, and according to Bridgeport's
website, only 1/2, 3/4, and 1" sizes were listed. According to UL
Category FKAV (Link in the UL notice page.... URL too long to paste
here...), trade sizes from 3/8 - 4" are covered under the category, so I
don't know what, when, if... Regarding anything bigger than 1-1/4"... I
wonder if the IBEW knows about this for all their Gubment Cheese
jobs.... Hmmmmmm

Anyway, somebody got caught by a Building Department and will have to
disassemble the installation to fix it... I was told that the installer
was having a difficult time finding the fittings... Couplings in
particular, I believe...

Following are some links that might help... Hopefully before anybody
else has to rip out their work... Do what you will with this info...
Just passing the word along! Please don't shoot the messenger! Oh, one
more thing... Don't tell your local inspectors about this until after
you've found and started using "Listed for Wet Location" stuff... Then
you can sit back and watch the local fur fly, if you like doing that
sort of thing... In which case I'd have to call you a Snitch!

One Note of Caution.... Just because it says Bridgeport and 250 or 260
doesn't mean it's Raintight! It must have the "RT" suffix behind it.
From the B-Port website, apparently they have added an additional
sealing ring that is installed between the end of the conduit and the
split compression ring that we all know and love.... They have also
added an external knockout gasket that seals between the enclosure and
the fitting. Sounds like the price of a good fitting is going up!

UL Notice (November 13, 2003 - No update since found...):
http://www.ul.com/regulators/raintight.html

Bridgeport Raintight EMT Fittings Page:
http://www.bptfittings.com/catalog/250-RT2.shtml

Bridgeport Sales Rep Page (If your supplier doesn't carry B-Port, call
the appropriate Sales Rep for your area and request a list of Stocking
Distributors for B-Port EMT Fittings local to your area):
http://www.bptfittings.com/rep/

Retirement is looking better and better all the time!

Matt Lafferty
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772 Office
(916) 914-2247 Fax
(916) 628-7694 Cell
www.universalenergies.com

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William Korthof
2004-03-15 22:20:37 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
We had two San Diego installations last fall--- the building
inspector recommended we use PVC (or else rigid) for all
outdoor fittings. Not so good for the customers, alas.
A couple other cities so far seem to be thinking about it
as well, but most that we deal with seem to be dismissing
the UL issue for now. But we now make a point of clearly
identifying the conduit type on the submitted plans with
each permit, and verify the City's acceptance of "regular"
EMT for outdoor situations before using it. I really don't like the idea
that if we do EMT, we
could get stuck having to buy the one compatible listed
make of outdoor EMT (now)---I smell expensive and poor
availability.

/wk
Post by Matt Lafferty
Ludicrosity never ends... Or is it Progress? Isn't Lunacy one brain
cell beyond Geanyus?
Diatribe aside... News Flash! (News to me anyway!)
I got word this morning that a PV installation in San Diego was shot
down on inspection for not using Listed Raintight EMT fittings...
Thinking that somebody had their wires crossed, I requested more info...
Turns out UL issued a notice to EMT fitting manufacturers in 2002 that
the testing standard for listing such fittings was going to become more
stringent.
As of November 13, 2003, only one manufacturer had successfully complied
with the new standard. Bridgeport Series 250 & 260 with the "RT" suffix
behind the part number. At that time, and according to Bridgeport's
website, only 1/2, 3/4, and 1" sizes were listed. According to UL
Category FKAV (Link in the UL notice page.... URL too long to paste
here...), trade sizes from 3/8 - 4" are covered under the category, so I
don't know what, when, if... Regarding anything bigger than 1-1/4"... I
wonder if the IBEW knows about this for all their Gubment Cheese
jobs.... Hmmmmmm
Anyway, somebody got caught by a Building Department and will have to
disassemble the installation to fix it... I was told that the installer
was having a difficult time finding the fittings... Couplings in
particular, I believe...
Following are some links that might help... Hopefully before anybody
else has to rip out their work... Do what you will with this info...
Just passing the word along! Please don't shoot the messenger! Oh, one
more thing... Don't tell your local inspectors about this until after
you've found and started using "Listed for Wet Location" stuff... Then
you can sit back and watch the local fur fly, if you like doing that
sort of thing... In which case I'd have to call you a Snitch!
One Note of Caution.... Just because it says Bridgeport and 250 or 260
doesn't mean it's Raintight! It must have the "RT" suffix behind it.
From the B-Port website, apparently they have added an additional
sealing ring that is installed between the end of the conduit and the
split compression ring that we all know and love.... They have also
added an external knockout gasket that seals between the enclosure and
the fitting. Sounds like the price of a good fitting is going up!
http://www.ul.com/regulators/raintight.html
http://www.bptfittings.com/catalog/250-RT2.shtml
Bridgeport Sales Rep Page (If your supplier doesn't carry B-Port, call
the appropriate Sales Rep for your area and request a list of Stocking
http://www.bptfittings.com/rep/
Retirement is looking better and better all the time!
Matt Lafferty
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772 Office
(916) 914-2247 Fax
(916) 628-7694 Cell
www.universalenergies.com
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</x-flowed>
Mo Rousso
2004-03-15 22:58:37 UTC
Permalink
Yes, the City of San Diego outlawed EMT without the appropriate fittings
some time ago. They recommend PVC or rigid. PVC exposed to sunlight for 20
years -- yeah, right.

Unfortunately, all of the heads of the various San Diego County
jurisdictions meet for a monthly luncheon where they swap notes. So,
everyone in San Diego pretty much fails EMT installs without RT fittings.

Is PVC made from oil? Matt, there may be another conspiracy here! Damn
their eyes! :)
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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Mo Rousso
2004-03-15 23:30:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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Bill Brooks
2004-03-16 00:14:33 UTC
Permalink
Mo and William,

I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain of
salt. They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has extremely
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water tightness
is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water lives in outdoor
conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why all conductors
must be wet rated.

I'll be seeing the San Diego inspectors at their annual meeting in a few
weeks, and I'll ask them about this issue. It doesn't make a lot of sense to
me. I believe that outdoor boxes and wiring systems need drains to allow
water to escape. Putting a better watertight fitting on a conduit is going
the wrong way in my book.

Bill.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mo Rousso [mailto:mrousso at heliopower.com]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 3:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by William Miller
Following up on the PVC issue: I spoke to a representative from Carlon
some time ago about UV resistance. Apparently it doesn't say that on the
pipe for no reason. Any UV discoloration of PVC is only a few microns
thick. It does not compromise the structural integrity of the product in
any way. I'd actually like to have PVC on my roof for 20 years over EMT
(especially in any marine proximity). Remember, beauty is only skin deep,
but rust can go all the way through!
That's good to know about the PVC. And I agree with the rust issue. I
guess time will tell if PVC is a superior solution since we have put in
quite a number of these since the rule change.
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
760.451.9374
www.heliopower.com

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Mo Rousso
2004-03-16 01:45:16 UTC
Permalink
Bill,

You raise a good point. Water does tend to find entry in outdoor
installations, regardless of fittings. Wet rated wire is indeed paramount.
Drainage, appropriately protected splices, etc are all worthy
considerations. Please keep us posted regarding the outcome of your
conversations in San Diego. I believe the whole thing was started by Tim
"Uncle Timmy" Owens so if you get a chance to chat him up, he is the key.

Thanks,
Mo
--
Mo Rousso
President
HelioPower, Inc
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Matt Lafferty
2004-03-16 02:08:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Brooks
I would take anything that a Carlon representative said with a grain
of salt.
Post by Bill Brooks
They are in the business of saying that their product is as good or
better
Post by Bill Brooks
than EMT. Show me an unbiased engineering study done on the two and
we'll talk. Waterfront environments aside, most of California has
extremely
Post by Bill Brooks
low corrosion rates, and I would put my bets on EMT any day. Water
tightness is a hoax that I hope UL and others get away from. Water
lives in
Post by Bill Brooks
outdoor conduit systems regardless of their composition. That is why
all
Post by Bill Brooks
conductors must be wet rated. (SNIP)
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I believe that outdoor boxes and
wiring
Post by Bill Brooks
systems need drains to allow water to escape. Putting a better
watertight
Post by Bill Brooks
fitting on a conduit is going the wrong way in my book.
All:

Hear, HEAR!

Bill is on my page on this one... Your's, too, I hope.

I don't consider PVC to be appropriate for horizontally run, elementally
exposed applications. In fact, every single time I can remember pulling
conductors out of underground PVC conduit, the conductors were wet if
installed for a year or more. Something to think about....

I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
and exposed conductors (previously inside the conduit). These
observations are not specific to PV (none have been), nor are they
specific to rooftops (most weren't). Virtually all of them were
strapped and supported "per Code" or better! Didn't seem to matter if
the conduit was painted or not. No observation on my part was ever made
that paint or other external chemicals led to these conditions. Most
had THHN conductors inside. Depending on the duration of exposure to
the elements, some of the conductors had split / separating insulation.
One installation actually had a disposable diaper wrapped around the
conduit break with PVC electrical tape securing it to the conduit. It
failed. It was NOT exposed to direct sunlight, by the way. (I kept it
as an example for a few years, but it's disposed of now....Wish that
were during the day of digital cameras so I had something besides by
memory to show you...)

As far as EMT fittings and UL Listing Standards goes, my take on it is
generally this: UL decided to take the "product based fix-it method" as
opposed to relying on the "installer / inspector based method". (Funny
to me that 1-1/4" - 4" fittings weren't submitted / didn't pass the UL
testing... Gotta use Rigid Conduit or what? Union influence?
Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!! This is a nationwide issue, by the way. NOT just a
CA issue...)

It all boils down to the guy/gal installing whatever it is. Could be a
2x4 wood stud or it could be a 600V conductor. Their appropriate
selection and installation methods of selected materials for an
application ultimately determines the long-term reliability and safety
of the "system" they are installing. This applies to everything... RE,
electrical, or otherwise. I support (Back when I had actual control
over such things, I required!!!!) drain holes in J-boxes and any other
termination enclosure. I only ran into one Inspector who raised the
issue of "this isn't how it was listed"... That guy was easily convinced
of the value using real-world examples based on his own experience. A
small price to pay, in my book.

Apparently UL noticed (or was made aware) that water / moisture is often
found inside J-boxes, etc. (Like... Geeee.... Duh! Like, since the
beginning of conduit-time... What did you think would happen????) In
above-grade, non-flooded applications, two primary sources for moisture
exist inside raceways.... One is "direct, beating rain". The other is
condensation.

Ambient humidity enters raceways via numerous ways. (A NEMA 3-R
enclosure does not prevent intrusion of ambient humidity) I'll leave it
at that. As heat from different sources affects the internal
temperature of the raceway, moisture migrates through the raceway
system. Under certain conditions, humidity is actually attracted and
"drawn" to the interior of the raceway. As moisture migrates, it
aggregates or is "trapped" in different areas, generally larger surface
area enclosures or "high to low elevation" traps. Physical fact. If
these enclosures are not allowed to drain, the moisture condenses
into.... Of all things.... Water! This builds up over time if it's not
allowed to escape. Therefore the drainage holes. (I use a 3/16" bit for
these, personally.)

Long story short.... I hope everybody's using the best information they
have available and the best practices & judgement regarding product
selection and installation methods available for each of their projects.

I must say that it's nice to see on-list discourse on something after I
post... I've come to think that nobody reads my stuff!!!! LOL (No
feelings hurt. I'd have to have feelings before they could get hurt...)

I do have to ask Mo R and others that were aware of this why they didn't
consider this to be relevant to the list???? Nothing personal. Just
hope that what we're here for is not lost in the fray.

Two Cents and Hammock Dreams!

Matt Lafferty
Universal Energies Institute
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 628-7694 Cell
(916) 914-2247 Fax
www.universalenergies.com

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Matt Lafferty
2004-03-16 09:04:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mo Rousso
Unfortunately, all of the heads of the various San Diego
County jurisdictions meet for a monthly luncheon where
they swap notes.
Mo / All:

I don't view this type of thing as "unfortunate"... I prefer to think of
it from an "investment opportunity" perspective.

Invest a few donuts and you'll have their undivided attention!

Matt Lafferty
Universal Energies Institute
mlafferty at universalenergies.com
(916) 422-9772
(916) 628-7694 Cell
(916) 914-2247 Fax
www.universalenergies.com

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Jason Fisher
2004-03-16 15:34:28 UTC
Permalink
A not so often followed NEC requirement is to provide expansion fittings
on longer PVC runs (NEC 1999 347-9, don't have 2002 with me). These
fittings (slip coupled pipe with o-rings and Vaseline, that are still
not "watertight"!) are hard to find in supply shops but are essential
for applications like wiring piers. Generally, I'd hope we keep our runs
shorter but one still should keep in mind just how much this stuff moves
over temperature swings (see table). Frequently, you'll find pipes
popped out of glued connectors at enclosures. While one might blame the
helper for not putting enough glue on the joint, often times this is due
to the conduit being installed during the hot summer, strapped down
tight, then shrinking during the winter. You also see this a lot when
PVC comes out of the ground, especially if it wasn't supported by
undisturbed earth. And yes, all the old PVC I've messed with shatters
easily.

It is sad to hear that the rumors of this EMT-fitting issue are now
being played out in CA. I do not look forward to the day when inspectors
here start pulling this out of their hats. Anyone who has done
electrical service work on equipment in wet applications knows that no
conduit system is watertight, even the expensive PVC coated steel. The
conductors need to be rated wet for a reason and we have always drilled
weep holes in our exposed boxes. I had an inspector once, take issue
with this (not in line with the box's listing) and suggest that we
rather leave out a threaded plug and install screening to keep out the
bugs. Huh? OK, thanks for the tip. I said I'd make sure I did that "next
time".

Jason Fisher

-----Original Message-----
From: William Miller [mailto:wrmiller at slonet.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 10:27 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject
Post by Matt Lafferty
I don't know if my experiences come from UV or heat-related exposures,
or a combination thereof. What I do know is that I have seen and
replaced too many exposed horizontal PVC conduit installations with
sagging runs, split fittings, disfigured shapes, separated connections,
That's easy to fix! Just strap the PVC to some EMT!

William

PS: With PVC you can't ignore thermal expansion effects. (Not so
familiar with EMT-- Is this also an issue?) I don't ever figure any
pipe, on a roof or underground, will stay dry. And it's true, PVC can
sag, it requires better support than EMT.

Wm

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Jeff Yago
2004-03-16 17:14:36 UTC
Permalink
"2 word solution for water in boxes. Weep Holes.
Best regards, Joel Davidson"

I second Joel's comments. I have been called in to "fix" several
large residential solar pv systems installed by others and I have
opened up junction boxes on the back of solar modules that were
completely FULL of rainwater! I don't mean damp, I mean when you
pried off the gasketed cover, a quart of water that had filled up the
junction box and backed up in the conduit came flowing out. Needless
to say, these systems had a few electrical "problems".

I don't care how many gaskets you have, how well you calk and seal
everything, or what the connector UL ratings are, I still think you
need a tiny (insect proof) drip hole at all low points. Remember,
they put bilge pumps in the bottom of ships and submarines for a
reason.

Jeff Yago

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Matt Tritt
2004-03-17 00:01:02 UTC
Permalink
This is sure to get a rise from someone, but on one of the first PV jobs
I did back in 80, I worked with an "old time" electrician who insisted
that the couplings on our underground run be left un-glued at the lowest
point in the trench. He said that this allowed the water, which would
inevitably show up in the conduit, to find a way out. PVC was pretty new
at the time so I don't know where he got his idea.

I thought that what goes out would also come in the same way, but I've
never had a call-back, so who knows.

I have also had very good success with oxidation prevention by painting
PVC with good latex house paint. This can look really crappy if done in
a hurry.

I would like to add that PVC, being non-conductive, has always seemed a
lot safer to work around than e.m.t after getting hit a couple of times
from old e.m.t. installations with ground faults.

Matt T

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Geddes [mailto:b.geddes at clear.net.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:33 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]


Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.

Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of the
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it
is stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.

I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer forms
but it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use two
colours, grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest problem
is impact damage as PVC is relatively brittle.

As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the
conduit will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging
the glue together joints can seperate if not glued properly.

Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on
rooftops still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now
drill small drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low
points before every termination or penetration.

I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on
to run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted and
lay over for maintenance work.

Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that
this is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is
electricity. Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.

So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the
material.

Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)

Bruce Geddes
PowerOn

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Matt Tritt
2004-03-17 15:56:02 UTC
Permalink
Mark,

How about PVC?

Matt T

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Byington [mailto:markbyington at sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 7:57 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Mark Byington
2004-03-17 15:57:05 UTC
Permalink
"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the wire getting wet?? ( or for that
matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in outdoor EMT to be
90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



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Mark Byington
2004-03-17 16:38:29 UTC
Permalink
"Mark, how about PVC?"
Matt T

Sorry, we haven't used PVC on rooftop systems so we don't have experience with inspectors on that issue.



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Keith Cronin
2004-03-17 19:15:54 UTC
Permalink
It has been a while since I lived in a cold climate, but I thought the
supply houses had expansion fittings, i.e. pvc couplings that were able
to expand and contract to compensate for temp differentials. They were
longer and had a deeper coupling, which allowed for movement.
Another option might be to have flex at a certain interval on horizontal
runs, kind of like how it is done on bridges.
The last time I checked, the whole world was moving, so we should try to
compensate for it.

aloha

Keith Cronin
President
Island Energy Solutions Inc
318A Kuulei Rd
Kailua, HI 96734
808-262-3268 Tel
808-263-0338 Fax
keith at islandenergy.net
www.islandenergy.net









-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Lane, Energy Conservation Services [mailto:tom at ecs-solar.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 4:22 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]

put cardboard under the PVC pipes and spray paint with an exterior
automotive spray paint an exterior acrylic the same color as the color
of
the roof. The pipe must age for one year in the sun or clean the
pipe
with PVC pipe cleaner and then spray the PVC pipe with the color that
matches the roof. I suggest automotive spray paints that can be
purchased at
any paint store.

Gator Tom

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Tritt" <solarone at charter.net>
To: <RE-wrenches at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Post by Matt Tritt
This is sure to get a rise from someone, but on one of the first PV
jobs
Post by Matt Tritt
I did back in 80, I worked with an "old time" electrician who insisted
that the couplings on our underground run be left un-glued at the
lowest
Post by Matt Tritt
point in the trench. He said that this allowed the water, which would
inevitably show up in the conduit, to find a way out. PVC was pretty
new
Post by Matt Tritt
at the time so I don't know where he got his idea.
I thought that what goes out would also come in the same way, but I've
never had a call-back, so who knows.
I have also had very good success with oxidation prevention by
painting
Post by Matt Tritt
PVC with good latex house paint. This can look really crappy if done
in
Post by Matt Tritt
a hurry.
I would like to add that PVC, being non-conductive, has always seemed
a
Post by Matt Tritt
lot safer to work around than e.m.t after getting hit a couple of
times
Post by Matt Tritt
from old e.m.t. installations with ground faults.
Matt T
-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Geddes [mailto:b.geddes at clear.net.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:33 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]
Hi All,
Following this thread with interest.
Being in New Zealand complete with ozone hole exposes us to some of
the
Post by Matt Tritt
highest UV levels to be found. PVC conduit is used widely here but it
is stamped UPVC for UV stabilised.
I have seen installations exposed that are older than 20 years and the
conduit is intact. The surface does go faded and a powdery layer
forms
Post by Matt Tritt
but it is only very thin. The underlying material is good. We use
two
Post by Matt Tritt
colours, grey and orange and both behave the same. The biggest
problem
Post by Matt Tritt
is impact damage as PVC is relatively brittle.
As pointed out in other posts if it is not supported frequently the
conduit will sag between fixings. If there is enough of this sagging
the glue together joints can seperate if not glued properly.
Condensation is an issue and even the moistureproof boxes I use on
rooftops still develop some moisture inside after years of use. I now
drill small drain holes at low points and ensure that there are low
points before every termination or penetration.
I use rigid for the main runs and have a length of flexible jointed on
to run up to PV junction boxes. This allows the panels to be tilted
and
Post by Matt Tritt
lay over for maintenance work.
Metal conduit has not been widely used here for decades. I know that
this is not the USA and your NEC is different, but electricity is
electricity. Incidentaly we use 230/400VAC 50Hz.
So at the end of the day PVC conduit has a place and can do the job.
Longevity has as much to with installation techniques as with the
material.
Just my NZ$0.02 worth (US$0.013)
Bruce Geddes
PowerOn
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Joel Davidson
2004-03-17 20:25:46 UTC
Permalink
In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the wire
getting wet?? ( or for that
matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be
90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Jason Fisher
2004-03-17 22:17:27 UTC
Permalink
XHHW Should be marked "sunlight resistant" or similar to be used outside
of conduit correct?
USE has similar qualities but is listed for direct sun exposure. Some
XHHW is also marked USE.

Jason Fisher

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject

In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Bill Brooks
2004-03-17 23:06:59 UTC
Permalink
XHHW-2 is a conduit wire. Occasionally USE-2 is also labeled XHHW-2 so that
it can be run in conduit as well. The reason LA is suggesting XHHW-2 is that
THWN-2 was hard to find about a year or so ago. Now, depending on the
supplier, it can be found a Home Depot in sizes down to 14 AWG.

Bill.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Fisher [mailto:jfisher at nahbrc.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 2:17 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]


XHHW Should be marked "sunlight resistant" or similar to be used outside
of conduit correct?
USE has similar qualities but is listed for direct sun exposure. Some
XHHW is also marked USE.

Jason Fisher

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Davidson [mailto:joeldavidson at earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 3:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: [SPAM] - Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches] - Email found in
subject

In Los Angeles we use XHHW-2.

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Mark Byington markbyington at sbcglobal.net
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 07:57:05 -0800
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: EMT - UL Heads Up [RE-wrenches]




"... so what about using USE wire in EMT? They can't argue about the
wire getting wet?? ( or for that matter the THWN)"

Most inspectors we deal with (SF bay area) require all conductors in
outdoor EMT to be 90 degree C and wet rated. This means USE-2 or
THWN-2.

Mark
Cobalt Power Systems, Inc.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Jerry Caldwell
2004-04-12 16:52:13 UTC
Permalink
===========================================================
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===========================================================

Wrenches;

I have a customer who has had a straight grid tied PV
system on her house for about two years. She just got
a letter from her insurance company saying that her
policy has been cancelled and the only way to
reinstate the policy is to either pay $1000 extra per
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She doesn't know how the insurance company found out
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their decision to drop her policy they expressed
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possibility of fire because the panels get so hot.

Has anyone else had similar experience? Is there any
legislation that could protect PV system owners in
situations like this? I intend to bring this to the
attention of the national and Cal SEIA's. I
appreciate any info y'all can share.

=====
Jerry Caldwell
NABCEP certified PV practitioner
Light Energy Systems
510-205-2798

__________________________________
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===========================================================
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