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Old 02-08-2016, 09:58 PM   #1
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Outdoor Project


Hey guys, just wanted to get your take on the following outdoor project.

1. approximately 250 of schedule 80 2" ran above ground (maybe 2" underground) at the base of an 8ft block wall.
2. I will have 6 LED lights mounted on the wall
3. 240vac outlet for a jacuzzi
4. 4 GFCI outlets.
5. I have a 200 amp service panel with TTHN 6GA previously ran to the wall coming off a 60 amp breaker
6. I was planning to install a 100 amp sub panel.
7. 50 amp breaker and a couple 15 or 20 amp breakers.

I have already checked with the building inspector to confirm that i can run the 2" schedule 80 above ground.

My questions
a. should a expansion joint be used at the sub panel?
b. when coming off the 2" pvc i want to go to 1" to go into lights, receptacles. Do they make a 2" to 1" "T"?
c. i have seen the LB & RB fittings, which have an access area with a gasket, i guess thats normal, but can they be buried or do they make a "T" without the gasket/screws?
5. i will run TTHN 6GA to the 240 jacuzzi outlet but what should i run for the lights and receptacle?
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballbuzz View Post


My questions
a. should a expansion joint be used at the sub panel?
Posibly, I will defer that one to the more experienced electricians on here

Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballbuzz View Post
b. when coming off the 2" pvc i want to go to 1" to go into lights, receptacles. Do they make a 2" to 1" "T"?
No, you need to run the light and recepticle wiring in a separate conduit so you can use junction boxes for connections


Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballbuzz View Post
c. i have seen the LB & RB fittings, which have an access area with a gasket, i guess thats normal, but can they be buried or do they make a "T" without the gasket/screws?
Again, no. junction boxes can not be inaccessible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballbuzz View Post
5. i will run TTHN 6GA to the 240 jacuzzi outlet but what should i run for the lights and receptacle?
You can use THWN (no such animal as TTHN that I know of)in either 12 or 14 AWG depending on the breaker rating. You will need to familiarize yourself with article 680 of the NEC for wiring the hot tub.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:47 AM   #3
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250' of PVC run above ground subject to temperature variation will need more than one expansion fitting. Reducing bushing are available to reduce conduit sizes from the conduit bodies.

THHN/THWN is readily available. Almost all of it is dual rated.

Most spas are hard wired, not cord and plug assemblies.

Last edited by brric; 02-09-2016 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:17 PM   #4
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250' of PVC run above ground subject to temperature variation will need more than one expansion fitting.
It will also begin to sag, turn brown in the sun, and generally look like crap. EMT with raintight fittings is allowed outdoors above ground, I'd suggest using that and painting it if necessary.

I ran PVC on the outside of my house back when I didn't know what I was doing. It's 2 years old and I'm now preparing to replace it all with EMT because it looks so bad.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danpik View Post
Posibly, I will defer that one to the more experienced electricians on here


No, you need to run the light and recepticle wiring in a separate conduit so you can use junction boxes for connections



Again, no. junction boxes can not be inaccessible.


You can use THWN (no such animal as TTHN that I know of)in either 12 or 14 AWG depending on the breaker rating. You will need to familiarize yourself with article 680 of the NEC for wiring the hot tub.
Thanks for the reply. So I wanted to run a 2" conduit along the base of the wall and I wanted to "T" off and then go to a 1" conduit running up the wall about 6ft to a light fixture or to a receptacle. Inside the 2" conduit would be the THWN 6GA for the spa and also in the 2" conduit I would run 2 separate 12 AWG for the lights and receptacles.
I wasn't sure what you meant by the comment "you need to run the light and receptacle wiring in a separate conduit so you can use junction boxes for connections"?
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Syberia View Post
It will also begin to sag, turn brown in the sun, and generally look like crap. EMT with raintight fittings is allowed outdoors above ground, I'd suggest using that and painting it if necessary.

I ran PVC on the outside of my house back when I didn't know what I was doing. It's 2 years old and I'm now preparing to replace it all with EMT because it looks so bad.
Syberia- Thanks for the info. I didn't realize that the Schedule 80 PVC would look that bad. I was thinking that I would paint it but now I am going to rethink the whole thing and maybe go with EMT.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
it will also begin to sag, turn brown in the sun, and generally look like crap. EMT with raintight fittings is allowed outdoors above ground, I'd suggest using that and painting it if necessary.
Painting EMT is generally just for appearance.
With PVC it helps not only with appearance, but also prevents or delays the degradation caused by UV exposure.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:32 PM   #8
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Do you guys usually see schedule 80 PVC ran outdoors or EMT? I live in Southern California.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:15 PM   #9
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I don't think I've ever seen PVC ran outdoors unless it's coming right up out of the ground and either going into a box or transitioning to metal within a few feet or less.

Admittedly this is the worst case scenerio (unpainted PVC on a south-facing wall that gets direct sunlight all day) but this conduit is only 2 years old and is basically completely ruined. It's turned brown, it's brittle, and it's sagging a couple inches between each strap. Paint will help with the discoloration and brittleness, but will not prevent sagging, which is due to changes in temperature over time.

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Old 02-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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PVC doesn't sag that much with proper support. For 1/2-1 inch, it should be supported every 3 feet.

You can not bury your conduit 2 inches. It's either above ground or underground at the appropriate depth.

You need to give us a better description of what you are doing. If you are mounting the subpanel on the wall, how far from it to the jacuzzi ? How many amps will the jacuzzi draw at what voltage ?

How far is it to from the panel to the last 120v receptacle ? Do you expect full amperage there, or are you willing to accept less ?
How many receptacles at what spacing are you installing ?

What is the distance between the main panel and the new subpanel?

Just going off of your 250ft distance you will have to consider voltage drop problems.

I would be tempted to run 2 smaller conduits out of the subpanel. One for the jacuzzi and one for the lights and receptacles, rather than the 2 inch for everything.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
PVC doesn't sag that much with proper support. For 1/2-1 inch, it should be supported every 3 feet.

You can not bury your conduit 2 inches. It's either above ground or underground at the appropriate depth.

You need to give us a better description of what you are doing. If you are mounting the subpanel on the wall, how far from it to the jacuzzi ? How many amps will the jacuzzi draw at what voltage ?

How far is it to from the panel to the last 120v receptacle ? Do you expect full amperage there, or are you willing to accept less ?
How many receptacles at what spacing are you installing ?

What is the distance between the main panel and the new subpanel?

Just going off of your 250ft distance you will have to consider voltage drop problems.

I would be tempted to run 2 smaller conduits out of the subpanel. One for the jacuzzi and one for the lights and receptacles, rather than the 2 inch for everything.
Thanks for the reply.
1. main panel to sub- 85 ft with THWN 6GA already ran.
2. Sub panel on the wall- 35 feet from jacuzzi
3. Four-120 receptacles spaced 30 to 100ft. from each other with the farthest being 230 ft
4. would like full amperage at farthest receptacle.
5. Jacuzzi is not installed. anticipating 50A 240 volt.
6. just realized I will need a grounding rod at sub panel. 8ft I believe.
7. I was hoping to run 6 gauge for the Jacuzzi circuit and 12 gauge for the lights and receptacle. I was thinking I could run it all through the 2" and below each light/receptacle I could "T" off and run up to light and so on. I couldn't figure out how to attach the drawing I made.
Any comments appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
250' of PVC run above ground subject to temperature variation will need more than one expansion fitting. Reducing bushing are available to reduce conduit sizes from the conduit bodies.

THHN/THWN is readily available. Almost all of it is dual rated.

Most spas are hard wired, not cord and plug assemblies.
Brric -
1. Will expansion fittings be needed inline along the 250 ft run or just when going to fixture/receptacle/sub panel?
2. Do you have a recommendation for the type of wire for the lights/receptacles?
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:20 PM   #13
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First think of your project as 2 sub-projects. 240V to jacuzzi and 120V for lights and receptacles. I would run the 240v in its own conduit to the jacuzzi location. This conduit needs to have 18 inches of cover.

The 120v circuits for lights and receptacles need the same 18 inches of cover unless you GFCI protect them, then you only need 12 inches. Since you need a receptacle near the Jaccuzi, I would run it in a seperate conduit in the same trench and bring the wires up to a box. Use long radius sweeps for your 90 degree turns into and up from the bottom of the trench.

From this box, you would have the choice of staying above ground, or to continue underground. Underground somewhat limits the expansion of PVC, which would reduce the number of expansion joints. But how hard is the digging ? Have you thought of renting a ditch witch ?
If you choose to run it on the wall, I think I would transition to EMT.
If running underground, use two risers to each box. One up to the box, the other back down into the trench. It will make your wire pulls simpler.

Your big problem is voltage drop on the receptacle run. With the last receptacle at 230 ft from the subpanel, I come up with a 7.2% drop on #10 or 4.5% on #8, for a 15amp load. Your #12 would be an intolerable 11.3%.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
First think of your project as 2 sub-projects. 240V to jacuzzi and 120V for lights and receptacles. I would run the 240v in its own conduit to the jacuzzi location. This conduit needs to have 18 inches of cover.

The 120v circuits for lights and receptacles need the same 18 inches of cover unless you GFCI protect them, then you only need 12 inches. Since you need a receptacle near the Jaccuzi, I would run it in a seperate conduit in the same trench and bring the wires up to a box. Use long radius sweeps for your 90 degree turns into and up from the bottom of the trench.

From this box, you would have the choice of staying above ground, or to continue underground. Underground somewhat limits the expansion of PVC, which would reduce the number of expansion joints. But how hard is the digging ? Have you thought of renting a ditch witch ?
If you choose to run it on the wall, I think I would transition to EMT.
If running underground, use two risers to each box. One up to the box, the other back down into the trench. It will make your wire pulls simpler.

Your big problem is voltage drop on the receptacle run. With the last receptacle at 230 ft from the subpanel, I come up with a 7.2% drop on #10 or 4.5% on #8, for a 15amp load. Your #12 would be an intolerable 11.3%.
OSO954- really appreciate the info.
1. digging a trench near the wall would have to be by hand (plants/shrubs in the way)
2. the city inspector said i could run it above ground w/schedule 80 but would prefer it to be 18" under. maybe i should just dig.
3. The 240 to the jacuzzi is just for the jacuzzi. I dont need a separate receptacle. I was thinking it would be plugged in but i guess its hard wired. I need to look into the jacuzzi particulars.
4. would the PVC 90 deg schedule 80/40 fittings be good coming up from the ground?
5. I was going to use THWN 6 ga to the jacuzzi and maybe 12/3 UF-B w/ground to the recep/lights. What do you think?
5. so if i go 18" deep, i can use sched 40 underground and then would you go with sched 80 or go to emt?
5. The last receptacle was just an afterthought so i could do without and then the furthest receptacle would be 150 ft.
Thanks
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:36 PM   #15
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For the 120 recep/lights i would use 10/3 UF-B w/ground
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