I am researching conduit options for direct burial. From what I can tell, it seems like the flexible, non-metallic tubing is cheaper than the PVC and can be buried. Also, as far as I know, EMT is not intended for burial. So is there any reason not to use the non-metallic tubing?

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    AIUI, flexible tubing is going to make pulling your cables through much more difficult. You'll end up paying the same, or possibly more, when you add in your labor cost. Even if you're doing the work yourself, your time costs you something. I'll let the real electricians chime in with any code concerns and facts/experience.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 10:54
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    When you say "flexible, nonmetallic tubing" are you referring to ENT ("smurf tube"), LFNC ("Carflex"), or some other product? Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 11:42
  • The only way I'd consider ENT for burial would be with concrete around it. LFNC is generally far more expensive, as are its fittings, and is by far the most miserable <expletive> I've ever pulled through.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 12:01
  • On Home Depot’s website, it’s simply called “non-metallic, liquidtight conduit”.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 14:01
  • @Andrew that's carflex, Liquidtight Flexible Nonmetallic Conduit. Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


EMT is approved for direct burial has been since the 2017 code release.

I would put EMT in over NM liquid tight any day.

Non metallic liquid tight is easily damaged or cut compared to rigid PVC or EMT.

Both rigid pvc and EMT are easier to pull than flex.

Prices are off topic but PVC and EMT will be less expensive when fully assembled compared to NM LT flex.

  • Oh interesting. I was going off information from a book I bought about 15 years ago that I thought was still accurate, which mentioned that EMT can’t be buried and you have to use IMC. That explains why I’ve had a hard time finding it, since you can bury EMT now.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 16:09
  • Yes old books can be a problem as the code changes every 3 years, in 15 years there have been hundreds of changes some really affecting installs. Asking on a diy site can bring these issues up if the group is current on the code.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 16:44

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