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Thread: Light Pole

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Light Pole

    Recently I have been given the task of designing a relatively cheap light pole that will light up path ways etc. These are a couple pictures of my finished product and I would like to here input on the design.
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  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It would be "stronger" if you bent the PVC into a "U" shape instead of using elbows. You would also have to use "sunlight resistant" PVC electrical conduit and then paint it white.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    It would be "stronger" if you bent the PVC into a "U" shape instead of using elbows. You would also have to use "sunlight resistant" PVC electrical conduit and then paint it white.
    How do you bend it? do you mean heat it up? because that would change the integrity of the pipe.
    Last edited by Cameron Fields; 04-06-2013 at 07:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Unless you have a suitable oven, careful use of a heatgun can easily get PVC soft enough to bend into many shapes. PVC is thermoplastic, not thermosetting. As long as the bend is not tight enough to cause kinks or to thin the outer circumference excessively, it works. I bent a (smaller OD) piece for the drain on my a/c with a heatgun...worked fine. I figured it would be less likely to clog up verses an elbow (but that's not an issue for what you're dealing with). I do question the ability of the tall fixture to not bend under the weight over time...pvc is not structural.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
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  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Heat it and then bend it around a mandrel. The pipe's "integrity" will not be compromised.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6

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    Ok thanks I will try that on the next lamps I build.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Glennsparky's Avatar
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    Sorry to be a wet blanket. PVC (any kind) is not legal for this use. The National Electrical Code regulates 120 volt circuits. It sets out how long pipes can go unsupported and whether they're allowed to hold fixtures or not. The rules for low voltage are much looser.

    After a few hot sunny days your light poles will wilt. They'll bend right over till the lamps touch the ground and start grass fires. The wind is going to mess them up too. With age the PVC gets brittle and they would snap, but the other stuff will happen first.

    You may be able to use Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC) or Intermediate Metal Conduit (IMC). Someone would have to confirm that in the code. But you wont like the price or the hassle.

    If what you built is PVC, and 120 volts, it is dangerous. It is either going to destroy property or it's going to kill someone. Take it down now. It wont just be a lawsuit. It will be jail time for reckless disregard.
    Last edited by Glennsparky; 04-09-2013 at 03:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glennsparky View Post
    Sorry to be a wet blanket. PVC (any kind) is not legal for this use. The National Electrical Code regulates 120 volt circuits. It sets out how long pipes can go unsupported and whether they're allowed to hold fixtures or not. The rules for low voltage are much looser.

    After a few hot sunny days your light poles will wilt. They'll bend right over till the lamps touch the ground and start grass fires. The wind is going to mess them up too. With age the PVC gets brittle and they would snap, but the other stuff will happen first.

    You may be able to use Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC) or Intermediate Metal Conduit (IMC). Someone would have to confirm that in the code. But you wont like the price or the hassle.

    If what you built is PVC, and 120 volts, it is dangerous. It is either going to destroy property or it's going to kill someone. Take it down now. It wont just be a lawsuit. It will be jail time for reckless disregard.
    FULLY agree here.
    You have NO place "designing" and building light fixtures for sale or installation. You need certification and testing. You also need to use the right kind of materials, which technical and legal knowledge of the field would have told you.

    I completely agree, TAKE IT DOWN and buy a proper fixture assembly.

  9. #9

    Exclamation Not Sure

    Quote Originally Posted by Glennsparky View Post
    Sorry to be a wet blanket. PVC (any kind) is not legal for this use. The National Electrical Code regulates 120 volt circuits. It sets out how long pipes can go unsupported and whether they're allowed to hold fixtures or not. The rules for low voltage are much looser.

    After a few hot sunny days your light poles will wilt. They'll bend right over till the lamps touch the ground and start grass fires. The wind is going to mess them up too. With age the PVC gets brittle and they would snap, but the other stuff will happen first.

    You may be able to use Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC) or Intermediate Metal Conduit (IMC). Someone would have to confirm that in the code. But you wont like the price or the hassle.

    If what you built is PVC, and 120 volts, it is dangerous. It is either going to destroy property or it's going to kill someone. Take it down now. It wont just be a lawsuit. It will be jail time for reckless disregard.
    I am not sure if you are right. I have other lights with the same design, I personally made them my self. And they have survived hurricane after hurricane and the wind it really unpredictable. I also have some pull in local government and law enforcement in my county and I literality just installed four of theses lamps at no charge to the mayor of my town. I will definitely ask her if it is illegal and if it is I really don't know what I will do, probably petition the government for their ignorance like I have done in the past or have the law mended. However I really appreciate you telling me of this, its always better to here this before it becomes a problem. rest assured the problem with be quickly dissolved.
    and it is around 40 volts not 120.
    Last edited by Cameron Fields; 04-09-2013 at 10:40 AM.

  10. #10
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Fields View Post
    I am not sure if you are right. I have other lights with the same design, I personally made them my self. And they have survived hurricane after hurricane and the wind it really unpredictable. I also have some pull in local government and law enforcement in my county and I literality just installed four of theses lamps at no charge to the mayor of my town. I will definitely ask her if it is illegal and if it is I really don't know what I will do, probably petition the government for their ignorance like I have done in the past or have the law mended.
    SO you would look to have a law amended just so you can do what you want? Sounds very American.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Fields View Post
    and it is around 40 volts not 120.
    Care to explain what "around" 40 volts is? And just where are you getting this odd voltage? And what exactly are you running on around 40 volts?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    SO you would look to have a law amended just so you can do what you want? Sounds very American.


    Care to explain what "around" 40 volts is? And just where are you getting this odd voltage? And what exactly are you running on around 40 volts?
    Ok so you are saying its American to have a law mended?? It sounds non American and dictatorship not to change laws, for the good and better of the people in which it governs. And the 4 Volts strange outlet was professionally installed by an electrician. I had him install four low volt outlets 1, for my small pond, 2, for these precise built lights 3, Driveway alert system 4, out door siren. These outlets are on different ends of my house and are on the same breaker. And not for you but the commenter above what would make you think the PVC would wilt. I mean they make PVC fences, PVC siding, etc.? and PVC gutters are of the same gage in fact I think the PVC fences are that of a thinner gage!


    “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
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    Last edited by Cameron Fields; 04-10-2013 at 09:05 AM.

  12. #12
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Is it raining on the parade here ?

    Not all PVC is made of the same formula.


    The Rocket test should be later tonight or tomorrow...
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Is it raining on the parade here ?

    Not all PVC is made of the same formula.


    The Rocket test should be later tonight or tomorrow...
    I do not know what rocket test you are referring to. But PVC, gutter is the same as PVC pipe which is the same as PVC fence. now I do know that you are correct indoor paneling is a different compound of PVC. But as far as I know PVC gutter, fence and pipe is the same to my current knowledge of it.

  14. #14
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    410.6 Listing Required.

    All luminaires and lampholders shall be listed.
    What his means is that one cannot just throw some pipe together and call it a light. It must be evaluated by a NRTL

  15. #15
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Fields View Post
    I do not know what rocket test you are referring to. But PVC, gutter is the same as PVC pipe which is the same as PVC fence. now I do know that you are correct indoor paneling is a different compound of PVC. But as far as I know PVC gutter, fence and pipe is the same to my current knowledge of it.

    It is the difference in the UV protection mostly.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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