Rain water comes into electrical conduit

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Old 10-17-19, 01:06 PM
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Rain water comes into electrical conduit

When it rains really heavy my electric conduit fiils up with water and overflows into the wall at bottom of the breaker box. I have run a water hose at top of the hill where the meter is and cannot duplicate water coming in. My question is can i tap into my conduit and run a drain hose to a drain? the conduit runs from meter at top of hill, runs about 200' drops down 50' and comes up through my foundation. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 10-17-19, 10:21 PM
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Interesting problem. I noticed nobody had a fix for this.

Water can never be kept completely out of an underground conduit but there shouldn't be water running thru it. If it's not coming in at the upper end..... it would appear there is a break in the conduit or possibly one of the couplings came apart.

Hard to make a recommendation. Drilling a hole in the conduit sounds like an ideal solution but that is not something you could do with the service energized. You may need to bring in an electrician to make this repair.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 06:41 AM
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Zip seal is made for el conduits:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Krmy3WSww7A

But the potential issue is having 50' of water head. If any seal lets go, due to this 20psi of water, things will get wet fast.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 04:07 PM
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Thanks Pete
Was hoping someone may have had same problem with a fix.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 05:17 PM
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Thanks Telecom Guy. I may have to give this product a try.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 05:51 PM
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Hi, I donít think I would try to tap into the conduit even if it is deenergized you run the risk of nicking a conductor which is more than likely laying on the bottom of the conduit.
Geo
 
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Old 10-18-19, 06:24 PM
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The conduit cannot be allowed to fill up with water.
With that length and drop it will be very hard to stop the water at the panel.

Is this a new or recent install ?
 
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Old 10-19-19, 10:51 AM
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I've seen this a few times, but mostly in commercial buildings. In one case a simple drain in the service conduit resolved the issue, but in another case the water was entering the conduit at the pad mounted transformer. That resolution was to extend the three conduits at the transformer pad up about 8 inches. Of course, that meant involving the utility as well as shutting the building down for most of a Saturday.
 
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Old 10-20-19, 01:42 PM
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I bought this house 2 years ago, i think it been happening since it was built 11 years ago
 
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Old 10-20-19, 01:47 PM
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Casual Joe, Thanks for replying. My conduits run from the breaker box to meter. How could water get in conduit from the transformer? Transformer does sit close to meter.
 
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Old 10-20-19, 03:37 PM
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I would use a variable speed dremel to cut a hole in the conduit.

Go very carefully and very slow.
You do not want to heat it up.
Once you get close to through slow the dremel right down or even use a file to get all the way through.

I would wear rubber boots and rubber cloves just in case things go badly.
Or anything else that will isolate you from the circuit.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 10:40 AM
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Casual Joe, Thanks for replying. My conduits run from the breaker box to meter. How could water get in conduit from the transformer? Transformer does sit close to meter.
In your case you can forget the transformer. You should carefully inspect every inch of the conduit between the meter socket and the panel. I suspect you'll find either a break in the conduit or a joint that was never glued that has pulled apart.

In the case of the transformer in my example, the transformer pad was at a low spot and water pooled around it. Since the conduits stubbed up at the transformer were below the elevation of the concrete pad, the conduits were actually draining water from the pool till we raised them about 4 inches above the level of the pad. This was about 10 to 12 years ago and as I recall now, there were about 3 - 3 1/2" PVC conduits to be lengthened, but that resolved the issue except the owner was still left with some pretty rusty FPE switchgear. At least it no longer had water running out of it every time it rained.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 08:57 PM
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We're talking about 250' of an underground service here. How is that going to be visually checked ?
Or do I have the wrong idea of this installation ?

My impression is that this conduit is taking on water underground.
 
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Old 10-24-19, 10:18 AM
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We're talking about 250' of an underground service here. How is that going to be visually checked ?
Or do I have the wrong idea of this installation ?

I think you have the right idea. This thread is about a week old and I didn't go back to the beginning where the conduit length was mentioned. I'd like to see a picture of where the service conduit "comes up through" the foundation at the panel. I am thinking this could be an ideal location for a J-Box with a drain and then a new conduit from the J-Box to the panel.
 
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