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Is a vented crawl space area considered inside a dwelling?

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  • Is a vented crawl space area considered inside a dwelling?

    Yes or no.

    Thanks.
    8 kWp gnd;SE 7600A;P400;Hanwha Q.PLUS L-G4.2 335W

  • #2
    Originally posted by CharlieEscCA View Post
    Yes or no.

    Thanks.
    For many purposes (such as service conductors entering a building) the entire area under the footprint of the building floor, whether enclosed as a crawl space or not, is considered to be inside the building. If the building is a dwelling or "residential unit", then it would be inside that.

    For other purposes, such as whether it is an area exposed to weather and therefore wet, it is also generally considered not be exposed.

    It definitely would not be considered a "habitable area" of a dwelling.

    What is the specific determination you are trying to make?
    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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    • #3
      For HVAC no.

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      • #4
        I'll be doing a complete post of my 8.04 kW installation that was done last week later this week -- I have to finish my tax return that I have been putting off forever and a day before I can do the full write-up with pictures. Very clean, well done, professionally installed ground mount by a top local company.

        There is about a 50 foot run of DC inside my crawl space from where the trench was brought to a corner of the house nearest the ground mount to where the SolarEdge inverter is mounted on a different outside wall of the crawl space. During pre-installation discussions, it was mentioned that this inside run would be in EMT conduit. On the day of the install, I was asked if I cared if the inside DC run was done with the same grey electrical PVC conduit used in the trench. Without giving it much thought, I deferred to their judgement / decision.

        Since then, in searching some over the weekend, it seems like this may not be NEC compliant, as it seems to indicate than any DC wiring within a dwelling must be in metallic conduit. I'm not particularly worried as the conduit is well run (as later installation pictures will show), and when I asked specifically today about this I was assured that this is permitted and what they have used in similar situations. However, even if permitted, I will ask for some additional "Caution: DC circuit" stickers for the conduit as there are no warning labels on the conduit run and I believe the NEC calls for stickers every 10 feet.

        And in terms of final inspection, the inspector never looked under the house, so none of the DC wiring (noted above) or the #6 romex A/C run (again in the crawl space) from the inverter to the subpanel in the house (with the 40 amp solar breaker) was actually inspected.

        So, back to the question, is the DC conduit NEC compliant, and if not, should I really care / do anything about it?
        8 kWp gnd;SE 7600A;P400;Hanwha Q.PLUS L-G4.2 335W

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CharlieEscCA View Post
          So, back to the question, is the DC conduit NEC compliant, and if not, should I really care / do anything about it?
          You could ask the inspector.
          They're the one who is the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
          It might depend on the code version you're on (I think 2017 NEC changes the rules)

          "Mr. Inspector, my friend said he didn't think the PVC conduit under my house was OK under code - that it should be metal conduit. He told me he thinks it's required to be metal by something called section 690.31. Did my installers do something they shouldn't have?"

          Or when you sell you go with "I assume everything is up to code - the install was permitted and passed inspection."

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          • #6
            Oh, the metal conduit under the house in the damp crawl space? I know what that will look like in 5 years..
            Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
            || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
            || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

            solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
            gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              Oh, the metal conduit under the house in the damp crawl space? I know what that will look like in 5 years..
              Not sure how to read your comment.I think you might be saying I'm better off without metal in your opinion.

              I've pretty much decided to leave it as is, and take the "it was fully permitted and fully passed final inspection" viewpoint.

              Taxes were finally done today, so I should be able to get the install write-up done in the next couple of days.

              Now if SDG&E would only get their act together -- still waiting for PTO despite being a fast track program participant who's final inspection posted complete last Wednesday.
              8 kWp gnd;SE 7600A;P400;Hanwha Q.PLUS L-G4.2 335W

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              • #8
                yes, I think in a crawl space, PVC is a better choice. And in your case, it's installed
                Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                  Oh, the metal conduit under the house in the damp crawl space? I know what that will look like in 5 years..
                  My crawlspace isn't damp... Well, except when I put gallons of pool water into it on accident. But even then it dried out pretty quickly.
                  I don't think I'd be worried about EMT in my crawlspace in only 5 years - I think there'd be a few spots of surface rust but no real degradation to the mechanical properties of it in that short of a time.
                  But it'd definitely depend on the conditions - a crawl space that regularly gets ocean water spray into it would be very different from mine where it's dry and dusty.

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