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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I was wondering what type of conduit I can use between a meter base and load center. Both will be mounted to an outdoor 6x6 pedestal about 5' off the ground. They will be mounted on opposite sides of this pedestal. I assume this is considered by NEC as a location "subject to physical damage"? Correct me if I'm wrong. Is there any type of conduit I can use besides Schedule 80 PVC or RMC? I need to make two 90 degree bends in a small space, and I haven't been able to find 2" PVC or RMC fittings that will allow me to do this, although I'm still looking into it. Thanks!
 

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Assuming you will have to come out of the bottom of the meter hub, you could use two slip hub PVC LB bodies vertically to get back into the bottom of the load center.
 

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If this is a temporary install, I would use SE cable. If permanent, I would build a pedestal to mount the panels side by side and use Sch 40 PVC.

You assumption of subject to damage is questionable.

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Shelly, you may already know this but you cannot build the conduit around the wires. You must finish the conduit complete, then use pulling methods to pull the wires into it. I mention this because it's an area where novices really tend to get thrown.

Obviously, that means sharp corners must provide an access cover, and you must use the access cover to access the wires to pull.

You can route your conduit any way that will comply with Code. However, with "back to back" panels, by far your best way is to go out the back of one panel to the other.

I gather you want to go "down, then up" because the knockouts are all in the bottom of the panels, because that is required for their outdoor rating. OK.

In that case you get a conduit body type called an "LB". The LB has a long side and a short side. You have the long side vertically and the short side back to back.

I would use EMT metal conduit, which is a lightweight tube that does not need threading. The metal assures that safety ground is passed between the panels - PVC won't do that. Often meter pans etc. won't have good provision for attaching ground wires; that's because they expect the box to be connected to other boxes via metal conduit. I once saw someone do a bang-up job arranging their panels, but was going crazy trying to figure out where to attach ground wires. EMT nipples and done :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello, I was wondering what type of conduit I can use between a meter base and load center. Both will be mounted to an outdoor 6x6 pedestal about 5' off the ground. They will be mounted on opposite sides of this pedestal. I assume this is considered by NEC as a location "subject to physical damage"? Correct me if I'm wrong. Is there any type of conduit I can use besides Schedule 80 PVC or RMC? I need to make two 90 degree bends in a small space, and I haven't been able to find 2" PVC or RMC fittings that will allow me to do this, although I'm still looking into it. Thanks!
Hi all, thanks for your replies. I plan to use two LB conduit bodies as suggested. This is partially a temporary install. The meter will be permanent, but the load center is temporary 6 months to 1 yr. So that's why I didn't want to build a large pedestal setup i.e. two 6x6s with plywood between or similar. I can't go from the back of the meter to the back of the load center because the meter only has a hole in the center in the back, and the pedestal will block it. I can go either bottom to bottom, or connect from side to side. Both would require the two 90 degree turns. If I use the side knock outs, do I have to use a waterproof connection? Or is it the same I would do when using the bottom knock outs?
 

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Some utilities will not all wiring to exit the back of the socket. Also depending on the wiring size you may not meet the bend radius into the panel.

Some utilities also will not allow grounding in the socket. It occurs at the neutral bar in the service.
 

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For that short a time I would use SE cable. You also will not have to fight to pull the conductors into the LB or waste the expense of most of a stick of EMT and the costs of the LBs.
 
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Physical protection is entirely subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I am reading that the min bend radius is 5 times the diameter of the cable (please confirm). However, given the SEU cable below is not cylindrical (see table), can I use the shorter dimension as the diameter of the cable? It seem like you could since the cable would probably naturally bend along the shorter dimension, but that's just my instinct.


634389
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am reading that the min bend radius is 5 times the diameter of the cable (please confirm). However, given the SEU cable below is not cylindrical (see table), can I use the shorter dimension as the diameter of the cable? It seem like you could since the cable would probably naturally bend along the shorter dimension, but that's just my instinct.


View attachment 634389

I plan to use 2-1/2" LB Conduit Bodies, which is oversized for this size of wire, so I would think that the bend radius would be ok?
 

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I have no doubt about the bend radius but have serious reservations about the inspector saying something like, "You can't use that stuff down at this elevation without protecting it from damage." That line "protecting it from damage" means what he chooses it to mean. (apologies to L. Carroll). I'd suggest checking with the man before gambling on what he'll say.

If not going with cable, the pvc LB's that have slip joints are easiest to work with and lots cheaper since no threaded fitting needed except at the box connections. They will allow for a little shorter total length of run since no fitting are in the run, which may be another plus.

edit: What size wire?

Example LB
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have no doubt about the bend radius but have serious reservations about the inspector saying something like, "You can't use that stuff down at this elevation without protecting it from damage." That line "protecting it from damage" means what he chooses it to mean. (apologies to L. Carroll). I'd suggest checking with the man before gambling on what he'll say.

If not going with cable, the pvc LB's that have slip joints are easiest to work with and lots cheaper since no threaded fitting needed except at the box connections. They will allow for a little shorter total length of run since no fitting are in the run, which may be another plus.

edit: What size wire?
But can I use the SEU in the PVC LB's? That's what I meant, sorry if it wasn't clear.
 

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But can I use the SEU in the PVC LB's? That's what I meant, sorry if it wasn't clear.
You could but it'd be more difficult to handle.

I'd go with xhhw individual wires... it'll be easier to handle and looser. Those Madison LB's allow plenty of room beyond the normal types.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You could but it'd be more difficult to handle.

I'd go with xhhw individual wires... it'll be easier to handle and looser. Those Madison LB's allow plenty of room beyond the normal types.
Thanks for the input! Could I also use THHN? Just want to have options. And if I can only find wire with black jackets, can I mark the end of one hot and the neutral with colored electrical tape (red and white respectively)?
 

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Could I also use THHN
Not straight rated THHN... it's not wet rated. You can use thhn/thwn but it's pretty much been replaced with xhhw so it'd be old stock.

It'll all be black colored in the size you need. Colored tape is allowed to id it for compliance with code. Bare wire is compliant for the ground wire.

If you can't hold that run against the 6X6 for attaching some support, you can sister some scab 2X4 on and get it where a reasonable inspector likes to see it. It won't pass if dangling.
 

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You don't want to try and use the SE in the LBs. Individual conductors are easier to work with in conduit.
 
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