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I'm running 2" PVC from my house to a detached garage to run a 60 amp feeder. Looking at the NEC, it looks like I need to put it in SCH 40 below-ground. However, it looks like I have to use SCH 80 anywhere the PVC will be above the ground. Is that correct, or can I get away with using SCH 40 for the whole run?

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When I ran power to my shed about 10 years ago I used EMT. It was about as cheap as PVC and I don't have to worry about anyone accidentally digging and hitting a live wire. I put it down about 2 feet. No problem to date. –  getterdun Feb 12 at 4:56

1 Answer 1

National Electrical Code 2014

Article 352 - Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride Conduit: Type PVC

II. Installation

352.10 Uses Permitted. The use of PVC conduit shall be permitted in accordance with 352.10(A) through (H).

(F) Exposed. PVC conduit shall be permitted for exposed work. PVC conduit used exposed in areas of physical damage shall be identified for the use.

(G) Underground Installations. For underground installations, homogenous and nonhomogenous PVC shall be permitted for direct burial and underground encased in concrete. See 300.5 and 300.50.

Article 300 - Wiring Methods

I. General Requirements

300.5 Underground Installations.

(D) Protection from Damage. Direct-buried conductors and cables shall be protected from damage in accordance with 300.5(D)(1) through (D)(4).

(4) Enclosure or Raceway Damage. Where the enclosure or raceway is subject to physical damage, the conductors shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or equivalent.

352.10(F) says that the PVC conduit "used exposed in areas of physical damage shall be identified for the use". I know schedule 80 is suitable for protection from physical damage, however, the Authority having jurisdiction in your area may allow schedule 40 as well. You'll want to check with your local inspector to be sure, or use schedule 80 for the exposed section.

300.5(D)(4) says that even though the conduit is buried, if it's subject to physical damage (not deep enough, under a garden, etc.) it still has to be schedule 80.

The safe bet, is to use schedule 80 the whole way. If the conduit is protected from physical damage, you can use schedule 40 the whole way.

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