water in schedule 40 underground servic


Old 03-08-05, 06:02 AM
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water in schedule 40 underground servic

I am building my own home. We finished an adjacent cabin and had 200amps service installed. After finishing the framing of the new home, I recently had 200 amps added to new home-- from the original 200amps in the cabin 70 feet from the new home. The service is underground, through schedule 40 conduit. Service enters above ground at the new home, down to service panel in the basement.

Since we are only there on weekends until we complete the home, I kill the power during the week. All was well until the first heavy rain. That weekend when I got to the house water was streaming in through the service panel in the basement. I went outside and took off the LB cap. Water came pouring out.

Long story made shout, I cleaned and dryed everything out, called the electrician who did the work. He said the sched 40 is not meant to be watertight, and that I might want to drill a weep hole in the pvc. I did this and it prevents water from rising in the riser, however this seems like a patchwork solution. IS THERE ANY WAY TO CORRECT THIS SO I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WATER IN THE PIPE?

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Old 03-08-05, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
It is true that outdoor conduit (especially underground conduit) is never expected to be dry inside. But that's primarily due to condensation, not water infiltration. You need to put on your thinking cap and figure out how so much water is getting in, and put a stop to it. The weep hole was a good idea.
Old 03-09-05, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
I have had this problem in a commercial situation with existing underground conduit coming into a building service below grade. Weep hole in conduit elbow, if side entry into panel, is a good idea. Beyond that, what I did was this: first I treid to determine which end or corner of the panel was the lowest, where the water remained when the panel had nearly dried out. I drilled a 1/8" hole into the bottom of my panel in that area or near that corner. I screwed a #10 sheet metal screw part way into the hole from outside the panel enclosure. Using a claw hammer, I hooked the claw onto the screw and gently pryed downward, creating a downward dimple in the bottom of the enclosure. Then I removed the screw. That dimple, being the lowest point in the bottom of the panel, drew any water to it and drained it onto the floor. Since you really can't stop water infiltration into the conduit, at least you are preventing any water buildup in the panel.

Hope that helps.

Old 03-10-05, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for the responses. After speaking with the local power authority, they agreed that putting three weep holes on the riser would suffice, in the absence of digging up the pipe and redoing the joints. Also, they suggested stuffing flexible sealant on the hose entrance hole as well as the top of the riser.

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