solenoid valve code question

NetKarts

Member
Location
reno,nv,usa
Hello, first time poster. My question is about something myself and others have been doing forever, but has recently been brought to my attention that this common practice is a code violation. I did not believe it when I was told this, but I have not been able to refute it.


OK, so the common practice is installing a 1/2in condulet onto a common 110v solenoid valve and splicing with wirenuts 3ea #14 thhn conductors onto the typ 3ea #18 conductors from the solenoid. Well per NEC box and condulet wire fill language, a 1/2 nor a 3/4 condulet has sufficient cubic inch capacity to do this. What have I been missing all these years, or is there an exception in there somewhere that allows this that I cannot locate? You would not believe what we have been utilising in place of the condulets to meet this criteria. Any and all comments are welcome and thank you very much.

Mike
 

realolman

Senior Member
I think that although it is common, it is wrong. Solenoids are available that have j-boxes in which to splice wires, and solenoids that have plugs.

Those little wire nuts will tuck right in there, though, won't they.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
You might not be in violation. Check your conduit body for markings showing the cu in. Take a look at 314.16(C) for the rules. I have seen folks increase the size of the condulet to make such splices compliant.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
The problem is with something like this ...



You really don't want to hang a giant LB off of it either, these are often hanging on a piping system that is not very strong.

I will be honest and say that I have used butt splices to extend the leads 20" to 30" and used LFMC to bring them over to a box mounted close by. I really do not know a code compliant way to do it.
 

masterinbama

Senior Member
The problem is with something like this ...




I will be honest and say that I have used butt splices to extend the leads 20" to 30" and used LFMC to bring them over to a box mounted close by. I really do not know a code compliant way to do it.


Done thousands of them that way.


On a side note do not ever energize one without the actuator inserted all the way into the magnet. Doing so opens the smoke release port.
 

dicklaxt

Senior Member
Way back when before the volume/conductor was a requirement,we used to nipple a 1/2" C-Condulet to the solenoid and use butt splices,then somebody said you can't splice in a C-Condulet so we changed it to a T-Condulet and plugged one opening,then the volume got in the picture and we started with the oversize fittings,then an owner came along and gave us an exception to the rules in writing and we went back to the 1/2" C-Condulet and many owners followed suit with the letters of exception.Those that didn't got an Explosion proof T-Condulet round body, that had adequate volume for splicing and that was nippled to the solenoid. This was on the industry side of the fence and I don't know what they are doing today.

dick
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
I have never used anything other than a 1/2" conduit body with wirenuts for the connection of that type of solenoid. I have never done the numbers to see if there is a code violation or not...even if it is a violation, it is the common industry practice and is unlikely to change.
 

GeorgeB

ElectroHydraulics engineer (retired)
Location
Greenville SC
Occupation
Retired
On a side note do not ever energize one without the actuator inserted all the way into the magnet. Doing so opens the smoke release port.
Only if it is an AC solenoid. The one pictured is 24VDC, and there is nothing exciting energizing the coil out loose.

Another aside ... lots of those smaller coils, for AC, include diodes to convert to DC. Those also are not damaged by no core.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I would say the potential violation is supporting of the conduit body. 314.24 (E) allows conduit bodies to be raceway supported by two or more raceways if supports are within 3ft or 18in if two raceways entering from same side.

I can not find anything saying that flexible raceways are acceptable for this support, but seems like they should not be considered capable of this support.
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
I would say the potential violation is supporting of the conduit body. 314.24 (E) allows conduit bodies to be raceway supported by two or more raceways if supports are within 3ft or 18in if two raceways entering from same side.

I can not find anything saying that flexible raceways are acceptable for this support, but seems like they should not be considered capable of this support.
It's 314.23(E) in 2011 edition... and there's no indication it changed from 2008.

The rub is the exception thereto...

Exception: The following wiring methods shall be permitted
to support a conduit body of any size, including a conduit
body constructed with only one conduit entry, if the
trade size of the conduit body is not larger than the largest
trade size of the conduit or tubing:
(1) Intermediate metal conduit, Type IMC
(2) Rigid metal conduit, Type RMC
(3) Rigid polyvinyl chloride conduit, Type PVC
(4) Reinforced thermosetting resin conduit, Type RTRC
(5) Electrical metallic tubing, Type EMT
The condulet is usually connected to the solenoid with a rigid close nipple, yes?
 

dicklaxt

Senior Member
The condulet is usually connected to the solenoid with a rigid close nipple, yes?[/QUOTE]



I would say normally yes or sometimes an expansion union is installed between the splice fitting and solenoid if needed

dick
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
It's 314.23(E) in 2011 edition... and there's no indication it changed from 2008.

The rub is the exception thereto...



The condulet is usually connected to the solenoid with a rigid close nipple, yes?
My mistake on the .24 instead of .23 - probably a typo as that is where I was looking.

The exception does merit some consideration. It certainly is not a very secure support of the conduit body with the type of solenoid valve pictured in this thread. The coil body easily rotates around the core and the other end is typically a flexible wiring method. Just an observation - feel free to encourage or discourage either way, I have mixed feelings on this one. Most of those I ran into were in food processing areas and were subject to frequent wash down. We often did as others mentioned by extending leads with butt splice and shrink over the splices. Code compliant or not we did this because most any other way ended up filling with water and eventual failure of connections.
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
My mistake on the .24 instead of .23 - probably a typo as that is where I was looking.

The exception does merit some consideration. It certainly is not a very secure support of the conduit body with the type of solenoid valve pictured in this thread. The coil body easily rotates around the core and the other end is typically a flexible wiring method. Just an observation - feel free to encourage or discourage either way, I have mixed feelings on this one. Most of those I ran into were in food processing areas and were subject to frequent wash down. We often did as others mentioned by extending leads with butt splice and shrink over the splices. Code compliant or not we did this because most any other way ended up filling with water and eventual failure of connections.
I was just pointing out the exception. I most certainly will discourage.

Installations I've been involved in, with similar SOVs, I recall putting the condulet at the end of the conduit run and close enough for the leads to reach, run through flex... but when the conduit is run the solenoid isn't always there or available (or cut sheets handy, etc. as there always seems to be any number of excuses for not getting it right the first time :happyyes:).

I also recall some other installations having a terminal block in the solenoid body (i.e. no splice required). I don't recall ever putting the condulet between flex and soleniod... but if I did, must have made a conscious effort to forget :angel:.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
I use a cast aluminum C conduit body (light weight) , control wiring is 14 awg and orange wire nuts. you can get the solenoids with longer wires and flex over to a j box.
 

jap

Senior Member
I have never used anything other than a 1/2" conduit body with wirenuts for the connection of that type of solenoid. I have never done the numbers to see if there is a code violation or not...even if it is a violation, it is the common industry practice and is unlikely to change.
Myself also. Never had an issue with it.
 
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