The Top 5 Benefits of Choosing PVC Pipes for Electrical Applications

Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is a popular infrastructure piping material

According to a report, the global PVC market size, worth around $78.8 billion in 2021, is expected to reach more than $101 billion by 2028.

PVC pipes have many applications. They are used in above- and below-ground drainage as well as in pressure piping applications, including water supply distribution, irrigation and sewage. There are also PVC pipes for electrical use.

PVC Pipes for Electrical Use

You can use PVC as an electrical conduit in residential, commercial and industrial projects. 

PVC electrical duct pipes must pass applicable PVC piping standards for durability, longevity and efficacy. The appropriate standard varies depending on the installation environment and purpose.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) TC2 is one of the most relevant standards. NEMA TC2 applies to heavy wall (schedule 40) and extra heavy wall (schedule 80) electrical PVC conduits designed for normal duty above-ground, concrete-encased and directly buried.

Meanwhile, NEMA TC 6 & 8 pertain to the general and performance requirements, testing methods and marking standards for PVC duct pipes, including PVC electrical conduit, intended for underground installation, either encased in concrete or directly buried without prior encasement in concrete.

Building codes often dictate the type and variation of PVC conduit you can use on your project. Generally speaking, PVC electrical ducting comes in these form factors:

◍ PVC Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC)

PVC RNC is a rigid, smooth-walled, non-threaded plastic pipe available in different wall thicknesses (commonly schedule 40 and 80). Sections may be heated, according to best practices, in cases when you need to bend rigid PVC duct pipe.

◍ PVC Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (ENT)

PVC ENT is a thin-walled and corrugated plastic pipe available in different sizes, typically in diameters of ½ inch up to 2 inches. It is exceptionally flexible and does not require heat or any special tools for bending.

You can join PVC electrical conduit sections using snap-on connectors and adapters as well as PVC primer and cement. You may even use rigid PVC conduit fittings and accessories to join flexible PVC tubing if the outside diameters match.

Support straps are also required, typically within three feet of any conduit joint or termination.

5 Benefits of PVC Pipes for Electrical Use

PVC electrical raceways are popular among contractors because they offer the following benefits.

1. Long Lasting and Low Maintenance

PVC is resistant to soil, electrochemical and galvanic corrosion. This is why PVC duct pipes can be buried underground, directly or encased in concrete.

PVC is non-reactive to most chemicals, such as acids, alkalis, salts, fats, oils and alcohols. Its excellent chemical resistance means it can be exposed to many types of chemicals without degrading.

Moisture resistance is another characteristic of PVC. It ensures you can install PVC electrical conduits in wet environments, such as laundry areas and bathrooms, without any issues.

Finally, PVC is also resistant to fungi, bacteria and pests like rodents and termites.

Due to their excellent resistance to corrosion, chemicals, moisture, bacterial action and pest infestation, PVC electrical conduits degrade very slowly over time. You can expect them to last a long time (estimated at more than 100 years) and to require little maintenance throughout their lifetime.

2. Effective Insulator

PVC is an effective electrical insulator, good at preventing electrical conductivity because of its high volume resistivity and dielectric strength.

Volume resistivity is the amount of electrical resistance per unit volume of the material, a measure of a material’s resistance to electrical current leakage. Meanwhile, dielectric strength is the amount of voltage the material can resist without getting destroyed.

PVC electrical conduits have both high volume resistivity and dielectric strength, ensuring they can effectively protect people from potentially injurious or fatal contact with electrical cables and conductors.

3. Fire Resistant

Some PVC electrical conduits are treated with flame-retardant chemicals. These pipes do not burn, drip or run when exposed to open fires. While they may get charred on the outside, their interior (and the wires they contain) can remain unaffected.

A fire-resistant PVC conduit is a good option if you want to protect electrical wires from fire.

4. Easy to Install

PVC is much lighter than metal. It is also easy to cut, bend and join. You can cut a rigid PVC conduit with a regular hacksaw, bend flexible PVC conduit by hand, and join conduit sections using PVC primer, cement and readily available fittings.

These characteristics make PVC electrical duct pipes easy to install and use.

5. Cost Effective

PVC conduits are more cost-effective than metal conduits for the following reasons:

  • They are less expensive.
  • They require less support because they are lighter.
  • They require less manpower, fewer specialized tools and a shorter installation time because they are lightweight and easy to install.

PVC Electrical Conduits: A Practical Choice

PVC is an excellent electrical conduit material because of its longevity, effective insulation properties, fire resistance, ease of installation and cost-effectiveness. You can use it above-ground, concrete-encased or directly buried in residential, commercial and industrial projects.

Polyfab Plastic Industry LLC is a UAE plastic pipe manufacturer that supplies PVC pipes for electrical use in the Middle East and beyond. 

Contact us to learn about our range of plastic electrical conduit pipes.


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