wrong conduit, or no conduit?
This has irked me for quite some time. I of course have my own opinion and habits but at the moment I happen to be thinking of it and happen to be online at the same time.
I'll use my current project as an example.
I'm putting a 40A subpanel in a detached garage. It is literally five feet from the house. I am using 8/3 UF - not for any calculated or specific reason but simply because the guy who wants power in his garage handed me a length of it and said "can you use this?"
UF can be direct-buried. I don't need conduit.
I have an entire metric gazillion feet of 2" PVC drain pipe kicking around.
I don't need conduit at all. WHY can I not run the UF through a piece of PVC drain pipe? Are the code people really trying to tell me that directly buried in the dirt with rocks and all manner of completely random debris is BETTER than inside a nice smooth plastic tube, just because that tube happens to me made of a slightly different formulation of plastic?
I understand, when conduit is actually REQUIRED as part of the installation, that there should be limitations and requirements as to the type of conduit used - but when there isn't any need for conduit at all, and I'm just adding it out of personal preference for "physical protection", what the heck difference does it make?
I have a similar issue with indoor wiring. There's another thread about running power and data cables through one conduit from the attic to the basement. Why? It's a tube. It's just an opening. It doesn't DO anything. As long as it is relatively huge, it's just another opening in the structure. It's no different than a stud bay. If I am insane enough to line my studs and the back side of my sheetrock with sheets of flat plumbing-grade PVC, I'm allowed to do that, and I can still run wires through there after. Why does everything change when Zurn forms those PVC sheets into tubular form?
Telling me I can't use drain pipe when the code tells me I need conduit - that is fine. I understand that, but telling me I can't run wires through a piece of pipe that happens to be there... or telling me I have to treat it as conduit as soon as I fish a wire through it... that irks me.