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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read in a current post that the gray "electrical PVC" conduit that many people including my self have used or are going to use for audio/video wire runs should not be used for indoor use as they emit fumes?


The post that suggests this can be found at : http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=175741 (look near middle to end of post)


Is this correct and should we be using plumbing PVC (or maybe the flimsier central vacuum plastic pipes) as the post suggests is indoor user friendly?


I have most of my grey electrical 2" PVC ready to go into my walls and ceiling with a short run going through my return air vent? Is this dangerous?


Any electricians want to comment?
 

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I am not an electrician. I also saw the other thread. That said I know the electrical inspector might have a major issue with the plumbing PVC. Additionally since the plumbing PVC has tight 90s pulling cable would be tough. I think the previous thread and the inspector was jerking that guy around. The grey PVC is for electrical and I would use it. Come to think of it that grey PVC is used around here for bringing 200A cabling from meter to main panel.


Example of what an inspector can do:

I built a house 20 years ago and realized I was 4sqft short of the zoning. I went to the building inspector hat in hand and asked for advise. He asked if I was bricking the house, and since I was that added 4" and put me over the minimum.

My neighbor ticked the same inspector off. The inspector excluded all exterior walls and closets from living space. The neighbor was way under the zoning and a 2 week battle insued before he got approval.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I spoke to an employee at Home Depot that is also an electrician and he did not seem too worried about the electrical PVC.


He said that the problem really arises if there is a fire in which case the PVC will burn and produce bad fumes. He suggested that if I was still worried that I should paint the PVC with enamel paint.


He also said that many things in a home give off fumes that are not the greatest ie. furniture etc. He commented that there was a show on TV this past week by David Suzuki, an environmentalist, that looked at various items in the home that produces bad fumes. Apparently there was this one family that bought a new car and became sick from the fumes inside the car.
 

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I am an industrial electrician and The only thing that produces fumes from PVC is the glue when it is applied. Once it cures fully you will never smell it.
 

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You can heat the grey PVC to bend it and I know for a fact that produces a lot of fumes. Enough fumes to make you pass out while heating it outdoors. Maybe you aren't supposed to use it indoors because of fumes during a fire or something. I haven't talked with my electrician friend about it yet to ask him.
 

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If you are worried about fumes and fire, use steel conduit. However be aware that bending and cutting steel conduit is more work than dealing with PVC conduit. Also you are supposed to ground the conduit, and any metal junction boxes.


There are many sources of unhealthy fumes inside a house:

carpets, carpet padding, carpet adhesives

polurethane in insulation, furniture, pillows

paints, glues, cosmetics, areosol sprays for various products

cooking

many plastic items

soldering equipment

mold, mildew,

improperly vented sewer pipes

improperly built chimneys

etc.
 

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You can use almost anything to heat the PVC. Most people just pour out some of the PVC cement and light it. Then use that flame to heat the PVC and bend it. I used a tiny butane torch to heat it. Granted, I did this outside since I was using the conduit inground outside. I was within arm distance when heating the PVC when I started getting dizzy and ill.


The code that is in question was written by the APCA or ACPA or something like that. An electrician can tell you what the letters are. Anyway, the code involves the fumes from the PVC in the event of a fire. The fumes are toxic or something and cause people to pass out. I had a friend pass out before heating and bending the PVC on a job site. This only involves the grey electrical grade PVC and not the plastic boxes you use nor the white water grade PVC.


Since I already bought a bunch of the 2" grey PVC, I am going to go ahead and use it.
 
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