Is it permitted by NEC to use a conduit reducer in an underground installation of PVC? We would like to reduce from 2 1/2" to 2" PVC for an underground service conduit system.
I am leaning towards yes, as long as it is done with a listed PVC reducing fitting, specifically for that purpose.
But you should ask the inspector ahead of time if they feel it complies with 300.12. Raceways have to be "continuous" from point A to point B. It depends how the inspector will look at this. They may say that the 2.5-inch PVC must be "continuous" from point to point.
There is nothing in the code that I know of (yet) to specifically prohibit a reducing fitting from being used underground. But like I said, a lot of this might be the AHJ call. I might send in a PI to have it added into the code, just to see what the code panel does. If someone had to re-pull wiring, theoretically the reducing fitting might interfere.
What is the reason you can't just stick with the 2.5-inch?
This question has come up from time to time over the years. A strict interpretation of "continuous" would prohibit it. As far as the real world is concerned, I would not accept reducers unless they are "bell" type reducers. No reducing bushings accepted. This way a fish tape could be pushed in without hanging up.
A further complication is that it appears there are no listed bell reducers available as they seem to be mainly for utility use. A small detail but some AHJ's could make it an issue.
I'm still waiting to hear why they need to go down 1/2. What is the reason behind the proposed reduction?
If it's money, then I'm submitting the PI.
We are installing the underground conduit for the utility company and the meter base they have provided has a 2 ½” hub. The conductors they require can be installed in 2” conduit per NEC table. We would like to convert to 2” conduit after the conduit is underground. Thank you for your response.
Like I said, I don't think it is currently prohibited, but check with your local AHJ and see how they view the situation. And now you have another issue to deal with - the power company.
If you are a sub for the power company, then they usually have the specifications set in stone, that your company will need to adhere to. If the contract calls for 2 1/2 inch conduit, then that isn't up for debate. It can be a contractual issue as well.
I COULDN'T RESIST:
This isn't meant to pick on Jamie. Jamie, thanks for contributing and keep asking questions! The best electricians keep the questions coming!
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