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Old 10-04-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default conduit drains

the intent is to leave off the drain fitting at the end of a "tee" fitting on the bottom of a vertical conduit run that is part of a cable tray raceway. The installation is outdoors and/or in a wash down area indoors. Water/condensation accumulates in conduits but drain fittings often plug due to oil, metal shavings, dust, etc. in the conduit. If NEC permits 6ft of mechanically discontinuous segments in a cable tray system (ie; tray rated cable that is exposed), is an open ended "tee" fitting that is carrying tray rated cable an acceptable installation method to allow water/condensation to drain off?

Background
I recieved the following note on the use of conduit drains.

The NEC states that conduit systems shall be provided with an "approved means" to prevent accumulation of condensation and permit drainage of such liquid (Ref. Article 501 Class 1 Locations, Par. 501.15 Sealing and Drainage, (F) Drainage, (1) Control Equipment). In addition, the NEC Handbook provides an example of breather-drain fitting for this purpose. Based on this, I feel that drain fittings are required on conduits.

However,

The NEC also states that cable tray systems shall be permitted to have "mechanically discontinuous segments" between cable tray runs and equipment. The code permits wiring across the discontinuous segment up to 6 feet in length with proper support and guarding from physical damage. (Ref. Article 392 Cable Trays, Par. 392.6 Installation, (A) Complete System.)

Discussion/Interpretation:
The above articles actually address two types of wiring systems (ie; conduit and cable tray). In the plant, we can have 3 types of wiring systems; (1) a totally conduit system, (2) a totally cable tray system, and (3) a combination of conduit and cable tray. In totally conduit systems, standard individual building wire (ie: TW, THW, etc.) may be used. In cable tray systems, tray rated cable (ie: PLTC, TC, etc.) must be used. In a combination conduit and cable tray system, again, tray rated cable (ie: PLTC, TC, etc.) must be used.

In the case where totally conduit systems are installed with standard building wire, an approved drain or breather-drain fitting must be used. Standard building wire (ie, TW, THW, etc) is not rated or constructed for protection against physical damage, so the conduit system must protect it. Yes, even at the fitting.

In the case where tray rated cable is used in cable tray or combination conduit and cable tray systems, the code allows for mechanically discontinuous segments as long as 6 ft. Since tray rated cable has an additional jacket for physical protection, the wiring is protected over the discontinuous segment (3/4" hole). Based on this, I feel that any conduit systems using tray rated cable are in still in compliance without a drain fitting


I would appreciate your opinions.

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Old 10-04-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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I need to spend more time using that thing.

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Old 10-04-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Default conduit drains

Well lets see you got a tee fitting and cable tray when you dump your cable into tray you want to not install the cover on that tee fitting is that correct? or is it the drain plug only?, we use on some jobs drains a kind of air release or pressure fittings for gas or condensation breather stuff plugs ive seen these on rigid 90 elbows runs exposed vertical runs on the bottom of a run. sometimes we dont use a fitting we just dump into tray and use a bonding bushing , to bond to tray with 15 deg nipple slopes down ,or somtimes the 90 deg rigid elbow has the drain fitting in the bottom of that elbow ,factory installed , if we dump out of a tee fitting with cables or wire we use rigid nipples both ends with bonding bushings and the tee has the drain in it from factory installed on the bottom , i agree with your post it does make sense but the cover left off our inspector would want it on ,we even use drains on panels or motor pecker heads when its called out in the specs . but always put the covers back on i think its a listing thing but i maybe out of line , ill think about this and read the code book maybe ill learn a new way . did you fail a inspection or just looking for input ? and also the drain plug left out he would not accept this.but i agree with your point in some areas it to me doesnt make a differance one way or the other its safe as you say . take care best to ya

Last edited by nick; 10-04-2008 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:09 PM   #4
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You can not leave a tee opening un plugged, ether plug it or Re it down to a drain.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #5
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The intent is to leave the drain fitting out. Typical installation will have a piece of conduit extending down approx. 1ft past the Tee, with coupling at the end and no drain.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:08 AM   #6
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Guy, I don't disagree with you, but exactly where does it state in the NEC where you have to install a drain. All I get out of the code is the the need for drainage but no details.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Hopefully, i've attached a dwg showing what I'm talking about.
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File Type: jpg conduit.JPG (10.2 KB, 253 views)
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:18 PM   #8
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i looked in the code book but i cant find anything ? i guess its up to you ? take care best to ya
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:06 AM   #9
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Does 110.12 (A) Unused openings..... force me in to using a drain fitting? Can one make the argument that the open leg of the TEE is used...used for a drain?
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:38 PM   #10
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well 110 .12 it doesnt state fitting or the like, but id say its up to the inspector , ill ask my electrical inspector about what he thinks hes not one to let anything pass, if its a minor thing he likes it fixed asap. or will come back to see if ya did it , but in some cases hes ok on a issue as long as its not a safety issue, i still think its a listing thing if its a factory made ul appoved item you can not use it in a different maner but i maybe wrong ? take care best to ya .
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:18 PM   #11
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What you drew is very close to what we've typically done in chemical plants. The only differences are that we would turn the conduit over into the cable tray and installed the tee at a lower point than the motor so that it would drain the sealtite too. (On one project, we were required to install bushings because a designer didn't like an opening larger than 1/2"...)

We always interpreted an open fitting for drainage is not unused. It's a drain.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:46 AM   #12
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Its not a drain, its an opening in a tee.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:43 PM   #13
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Well our electrical inspector says , he would not let it go . must have the proper fitting ,cover, or plug ,drain fitting ,if its getting clogged by other materials you need to use the correct listed equipment for your area of work meaning keep out the water or the dust in that conduit . dust tight water tight gas tight it should not get clogged if it does get material in it he say you are doing something wrong in that application , also a fitting is used as its manufacture intended not to be use in another way or use , and asked if you everheard of sealing compound or chico ? sorry but thats from the man . not every detail or condition is in the code but there is a rule that say the inspector is the word art 90 ? .take care best to ya

Last edited by nick; 10-13-2008 at 07:45 PM. Reason: just relaying the memo so dont be mad at me you asked.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:05 AM   #14
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Some good discussions, I have approached NFPA (NEC) to help us resolve this issue. When I get the official reply I'll pass it along.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:49 PM   #15
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Post Existance of a manufactured conduit drain

It does (or did) exist. Working here in the bay area, inspectors require a drain on the service entrance conduit, when the utilty vault is higher than the meter/main. I have personally installed said fitting, and will post a pic as soon as possible. To view the patent, goto google patent search, the patent # is 5505027. Included is a drawing of the fitting. When I initialy purchased the fitting, it was very expensive, due to the fact that it was a small outfit which manufactured it. As of this posting the manufacturer has disappeared. I have been on the hunt for a day now, and was hoping to find info on where to find the item here. If any one has this knowledge, please let me know.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:58 PM   #16
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You can get them at any supply house.

http://www.electric-supplier.com/pro...84_w207268.php

http://www.appletonelec.com/PDF/I-2-3-21.pdf

http://www.crouse-hinds.com/CrouseHi...vision%202.pdf
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:05 AM   #17
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Cool Thank you for the lead

Ironically I ended up purchasing suggested item, just today. What I was describing was very different. Will be at a location where I installed my previous posts item. Will post picture afterwords. The thing is unlike I had ever seen before. It has passed U.L. listing, just never made it into mass production.

Last edited by danoclese; 10-29-2008 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:36 PM   #18
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Here's the pics, if it can be found, it is a very handy piece of material. It is u.l. listed and accepted by the powers that be, here in california bay area.
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File Type: jpg utilty service drain 002.jpg (113.8 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg utilty service drain 003.jpg (109.5 KB, 13 views)
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danoclese View Post
Here's the pics, if it can be found, it is a very handy piece of material. It is u.l. listed and accepted by the powers that be, here in california bay area.
My first reaction was, "Shore looks like plummin' pipe to me!"
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:23 PM   #20
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Wow. Totally archaic-looking. I've done plenty of industrial work where these are the spec.:

http://www.crouse-hinds.com/catalog/Pdfs/00195.pdf

They're a standard in a lot of industial applications. They are generally installed on any rigid conduit run on the bottom of a T-condulet.

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