The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Parking lot pole light swap....
by ghost307
Today at 04:10 PM
International Wire Colour Codes
by Tjia1981
Today at 12:08 PM
Son of Sparky
by HotLine1
10/20/16 07:43 PM
Speaking of Plugmold ...
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:37 PM
Broken battery charger? Check for cobwebs!
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:30 PM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 12
HotLine1 7
ghost307 6
renosteinke 6
Potseal 4
Who's Online
1 registered (HotLine1), 162 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#97527 - 02/26/06 01:15 PM pvc
watersparkfalls Offline

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Washington...Not DC
if you run pvc on the outside of a building there is a calculation for expansion(never calculated it myself always used emt or ridgid) but how about under a building specifically a crawl, here it isnt exposed to uv light and certainly not as hot in the summer or cold in the winter. but should one consider the expansion of a run under a crawl? what about j boxes do they affect the calcs?


2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#97528 - 02/26/06 02:56 PM Re: pvc
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
You need to look at the problem you're trying to solve, to find your answers.

Materials change size as their temperature changes. Where this change is reflected depends, in part, on geometry.

I would venture a guess that buried pipe isn't going to change temperature very much- so there won't be much in the way of size change either.

Junction boxes in a straight run of pipe won't help to give the pipe anyplace to go- sure, there can be some flexing of the box walls, but you'll still see the pipe flex about in response to temperature swings.
Where there is a radical change in the direction of the run, a lot of the movement will be absorbed. A "saddle" will 'bulge' in response to expansion; an elbow might (depending upon direction) have a lot of torque applied to it, resulting in a broken joint.

When you install the expansion fittings, be aware of the conditions at that time. On a chilly morning, you might want to install the fitting in its' extended position, while on a hot summer day, you might consider the compressed position.
In other words, pipe that's been sitting in the sun is as long as it's going to get, so you have to allow for contraction.

#97529 - 02/27/06 09:03 AM Re: pvc
Tom Offline

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
I would base the calculation for expansion on the worst case, which would be the highest & lowest outside air temperatures in your area. The only thing I'd skip is the addition of 20 degrees for conduit in direct sunlight. This is a conservative approach, but unless you're planning a very long run, one expansion fitting should do the trick.

In the area I live in, for conduit exposed to the sun, I come up with a calculation of about 7 feet before an expansion fitting is needed.

Expansion & contraction is a real problem, I've seen plenty of installations with busted couplings or the conduit pulled apart exposing the conductors.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#97530 - 02/27/06 12:47 PM Re: pvc
earlydean Offline

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
If you use PVC straps (designed to allow movement and required by 352.30) and run the pipe so that it has at least two 90 degree bends at the ends (go up, go long, go down), then the PVC will expand and contract along the long run, spreading the 90s. No expansion fitting is necessary. Article 352.44 allows this in the last part of the sentence: " a straight run between securely mounted items...".
I would leave the risers at least 2 feet long, but remember the first strap must be at no more than 3 feet from the box or LB. I learned this from watching the pipefitters make a long run of stainless welded pipe. They would make a series of turns every 200 feet or so to compensate for the expansion and contraction due to seasons, sun and weather.
Table 352.44(A) shows the expansion of PVC conduit.

#97531 - 02/27/06 02:56 PM Re: pvc
PCBelarge Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
352.44 a straight run between securely mounted items such as boxes, cabinets, elbows, or other conduit terminations.
Pierre Belarge

#97532 - 02/28/06 12:42 PM Re: pvc
earlydean Offline

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
That's why you leave the sweep free, so it is not securely mounted. The first strap is on the other side of the elbow's coupling.

#97533 - 02/28/06 02:24 PM Re: pvc
HotLine1 Online   content


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Do a Google for 'Carlon', the PVC mfg. They have info on expansion joints that you can print.



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals