If you find your electrical wires have been run through plumbing pipe – that’s a pretty big red flag that you’re dealing with an amateur – not an electrician! There are big differences between plumbing and electrical pipe and a rookie mistake or careless use of improper materials can be very dangerous. Recently we’ve come across several cases in which a good meaning neighbor or friend installed pvc that cannot provide any protection for electrically wiring – posing a serious electrical hazard. No pun intended, but it’s quite shocking to see!
So, what’s the big deal? Here goes. Electrical pipe, which is gray, is rated for outdoor use because it is made to withstand ultraviolet exposure and is weatherproof. It will not crack or be otherwise damaged when exposed to the elements. This is extremely important as you want your electrical wires, especially those outside, to be very well protected. Even when indoors, using plumbing or other pipe to run electrical wires is dangerous and against National Electrical Code. Electrical pvc is very flexible and does not usually requires couplings as the flared ends allow it to be connected easily. This is unlike plumbing pvc, which is meant to withstand extreme pressure. Plumbing pipe (which is usually white) is rigid and often requires couples and cement.
Just as it’s imperative that you get the right man for the job, you also need the right tools and materials for the job – including the pipe!
In this photo, you see that an unknowing worker used plumbing pipe instead of electrical pipe – dangerous inside or out. It will all be removed and replaced to meet National Electrical Codes.