Our infrastructure is largely dependent on drainage. Often, the conduit used for our utilities is PVC. However, more businesses are realizing that fiberglass ducting has many advantages over PVC.
So, why are more companies and contractors turning to fiberglass? Here’s a look at how the two types of ducts compare to each other.
Comparing Fiberglass Conduit and PVC Conduit
Due to rising raw material prices, supply chain disruptions, and high freight costs, the price of PVC has steadily increased over the past year while available supply has decreased. For some contractors, this means that PVC electrical conduit is either no longer available, or simply not in their budget.
But since most projects cannot be delayed or interrupted, many electrical contractors are turning to fiberglass electrical conduit as a viable alternative to PVC conduit. Fiberglass conduit is not only generally much less expensive than PVC conduit, but installation costs are also lower due to the less labor required to install fiberglass conduit.
In this article, the electrical conduit experts at Team Electrical Supply in the Detroit, MI area compare and contrast PVC and fiberglass electrical conduit – and reveal some surprising benefits of choosing fiberglass for your electrical conduit needs.
Installation Time and Cost
Several factors, some of which we’ll mention below, make fiberglass a more cost- and time-effective option for contractors. It is light and easy to install, saving labor costs. It’s also cheap and easy for custom projects.
As mentioned above, fiberglass conduit is significantly lighter than PVC. However, it doesn’t just mean faster installation and lower labor costs. Due to the lightness of fiberglass conduit, it also places less stress on the supporting structure.
This equates to even greater savings on the construction side as you won’t need the extra support that PVC would require.
Industries that can Use Fiberglass Conduit
If your industry does not typically use fiberglass conduit, you may be wondering if it is a suitable alternative to PVC for your needs. Many people are actually surprised to learn that fiberglass drains are often stronger and more durable than PVC drains. Fiberglass conduit is also more corrosion resistant to many chemicals.
As a result, many data centers bridges, tunnels, utilities, chemical plants, and wastewater treatment facilities choose fiberglass for their ducting needs.
Safer for the Environment
The ultimate advantage of UV stability and corrosion resistance of RTRC conduits is that it makes them the best of all materials for the environment. Also, keep in mind that when an alternative, PVC, is used, there can be a significant impact on the local environment. It has long been known that PVC is manufactured with additives such as lead, phthalates, organotins, and cadmium. As PVC decomposes over time, these toxic additives can leach into the ground and even evaporate into the atmosphere. Children are often most at risk from unnecessary risks associated with PVC.
Cost-Effective Transport of Materials
If you compare fiberglass conduit vs. PVC, fiberglass conduit is much more stable and safer. For example, it is very light in weight. As a result, it will require less fuel to transport it from the manufacturer to the end-user and will almost always cost the contractor less as a result. With gas and diesel prices skyrocketing, keeping these costs down can benefit the contractor, thereby increasing profitability.
PVC vs Fiberglass Conduit and Heat
Fiberglass duct doesn’t burn like PVC – meaning fewer duct repairs.
And while PVC, steel, and aluminum conduit can be prone to melting or welding affected cables during fault conditions, fiberglass conduit does not have this problem. The natural heat and fire resistance properties of fiberglass mean that it will not melt or weld the affected cable through the conduit during fault conditions.
In high-heat conditions, for example, PVC SCH 40 and 80 can withstand temperatures of only 40 degrees F to 150 degrees F. But Champion fiberglass conduit, for example, can withstand temperatures from minus 60 degrees F to +250 degrees F.
Fiberglass also does not weaken or break when exposed to freezing temperatures. In fact, fiberglass becomes slightly stronger in colder temperatures – making it a great choice for exterior duct applications that will be exposed to Michigan’s colder climates.
There aren’t many downsides to using fiberglass conduit over PVC. In fact, in many ways, fiberglass drain leaves its older cousin in the dust. It is more affordable, lighter, and more resistant. It’s also easy to use with customizable layouts. To top it off, it is safe and healthy.
If you want your gutter project to last, use a quality product. In this case, fiberglass seems to be the way to go.