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BreathSaver® Conduit Frequently Asked Questions

1. Question: What is BreathSaver® conduit?
Answer: BreathSaver® is a registered trademarked phenolic Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC) system which offers unmatched performance in terms of flame resistance, smoke development and toxicity emission. Its characteristics in these areas are far superior to all other types of RNC, especially PVC.

2. Question: What standards apply to the BreathSaver® product line?
Answer: Currently, all requirements are based upon FRE’s own product specifications. However, the development of a U.S. nationally recognized standard is underway.

3. Question: What are the typical installations for BreathSaver®?
Answer: BreathSaver® products are typically utilized in areas with highly stringent safety requirements for flame resistance, smoke development and toxicity emissions. These include tunnels, transit facilities, power plants, mines, risers, ducts, plenums and other air-handling spaces.

4. Question: Can BreathSaver® be installed below ground or above ground?
Answer: While the primary applications for BreathSaver® products are above ground where flame spread, smoke development and toxicity are of great concern, it is also suitable for below ground installations.

5. Question: Is BreathSaver® plenum rated?
Answer: BreathSaver® conduit products have demonstrated a flame spread index below 25 and a smoke developed index below 50 (25/50 rating) when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL considers products that meet this rating to be compliant with the U.S. electrical, building or mechanical code surface burning requirements for materials intended for installation in plenums or air handling spaces. To see UL’s position paper on this subject, click on the following link: http://www.ul.com/regulators/ASTME84_ULCS102.2.pdf

6. Question: What are the differences between the below ground and above ground product lines and the BreathSaver® product line?
Answer: The phenolic resin used in the BreathSaver® product line has much lower flame spread and smoke development indices than does the epoxy resin used for the above ground and below ground products.

7. Question: Do we offer our BreathSaver® with a TriSeal™?
Answer: Our BreathSaver® product is not typically provided with a TriSeal™ as the gasket material would not provide the same flame and smoke characteristics as the rest of the conduit system. However, it is available with a TriSeal™ gasket by special request.

8. Question: How should you store BreathSaver® products?
Answer: BreathSaver® products can be stored in the same manner as any other type of Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC). As with all types of RNC, it is recommended that they be covered with a tarp or if stored outside, on a shaded area in order to protect them against the potential for accelerated UV degradation.

9. Question: How far do you have to push the spigot end into the inside tapered bell end to make a solid and reliable joint?
Answer: The spigot end should be inserted into the inside tapered bell 4” (103 mm) to form a solid and reliable connection. This, in conjunction with use of the manufacturer’s recommended epoxy adhesive, will result in a connection that can withstand a pull of over 1000 lb. per inch of trade size (e.g. 4” trade size = 4 x 1000 lb. = 4000 lb.) or 454 kg per mm trade size or a 5” (127 mm) socket depth for TriSeal™ joints.

10. Question: Do we have a comparison chart between steel and other conduit products?
Answer: A table comparing Reinforced Thermosetting Resin Conduit (RTRC) to other types of Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC) and steel products is currently under development and will be added to our website when completed.

11. Question: Do BreathSaver® products support combustion?
Answer: No. BreathSaver® products have demonstrated that they are capable of being subjected to temperatures up to 932 °F (500 °C) for 1 hour without supporting combustion.

12. Question: Is it mandatory to use the spacings specified in the National Electrical Code (NEC) or Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) for BreathSaver® conduit?
Answer: No. BreathSaver® conduit is not yet listed or certified for use in applications in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) or Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). Therefore, for applications outside of the NEC or CEC, you can space hanger supports much further apart for BreathSaver® conduit than for PVC. FRE Composites publishes a hanger span and deflection table in its BreathSaver® catalog, which will guide you through your project or installation. Please note that our XW BreathSaver® is UL Listed.

13. Question: Can you bend BreathSaver® in the field?
Answer: No. The same material characteristics that provide the BreathSaver® products with their unmatched flame resistance, smoke development and toxicity emission performance preclude it from being bent in the field. However, FRE offers a complete line of BreathSaver® fittings, including elbows, wobbles, skew wobbles, and expansion joints to meet all of your installation needs.

14. Question: How much travel do you get with an expansion joint?
Answer: A BreathSaver® expansion joint provides approximately 6” (152 mm) of free travel in either direction for a total of 12” (305 mm) travel.

15. Question: Can you use the BreathSaver® product in a Class 1, Division 2 area?
Answer: No. While the National Electrical Code (NEC) permits the use of listed Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC) in Class 1, Division 2 locations under certain conditions, BreathSaver® products are not yet listed. The Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) does not permit any type of RNC to be used in these locations but our XW BreathSaver® is UL Listed for these types of installation.

16. Question: Will the BreathSaver® product groove during cable pulling?
Answer: Unlike rigid PVC, BreathSaver® phenolic fibreglass products have a strong resistance to being cavitated or pierced as a result of burn through during cable pulling.

17. Question: Do you offer Extra Heavy Wall BreathSaver®?
Answer: Yes. FRE’s XW BreathSaver® is now available in 1” (27 mm) IPS and 2” (53 mm) to 6” (155 mm) ID trade sizes. UL Listed, corrosion proof and compliant to 2-hour Fire Rating. Complete line of fittings and adapters are now offered. It is also available in 8” (203 mm) IPS trade size but is not UL Listed as 8” (203 mm) products are not a recognized trade size per the NEC and CEC.