Look closely at the wall penetration where your PVC electrical conduit passes through.You'll notice a small gap around the entire circumference of the pipe. Through this gap, many different unwanted things may penetrate into your home including insects, dirt and water. Water is the main reason to caulk the conduit, as it can lead to rot, mildew and other problems if allowed to enter undesirable areas of your home. Caulking around the penetration is more than running to your local hardware store, buying a tube and applying it -- caulk selection is vital depending on the desired application.
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Things you need
- Utility knife
- Caulk gun
- White spirit
Examine the wall surface the PVC electrical conduit penetrates through to choose the correct caulk. If the surface is smooth, silicone caulk is a good choice. If porous, use an elastomeric caulk. Polyurethane caulk is an excellent caulk for any surface, but it is more challenging to spread and tool to a consistent bead.
Slice off the tip of the caulk tube at approximately a 45-degree angle with your utility knife. Remove enough tip to expose an opening between 1/4 and 3/8 inches. Poke through the seal on the inside of the tip.
Load the caulk tube into the caulk gun. Squeeze the trigger until you notice a tiny bit of caulk emerging from the end of the tip.
Hold the caulk gun so the tip of the tube is in the crevice where the PVC electrical conduit and wall meet. Squeeze the trigger of the caulk gun.
Work the tip around the entire conduit while squeezing the trigger. Aim to lay down a smooth and even bead of caulk around the entire circumference.
Wet your finger, place it on the bead of caulk and gently wipe around the conduit while applying a small amount of pressure. This will force the caulk into the crevice, and promote a good seal to both the conduit and the wall.
Allow the caulk to fully cure up to the time indicated on the caulk tube.
Tips and warnings
- If you desire to paint the caulk once cured, consider using a polyurethane caulk. This can be painted, while silicone cannot.
- If using polyurethane or silicone caulk, clean up wet uncured caulk with white spirit. For elastomeric caulk, water is the preferred solvent.
- Refrain from working on or near the conduit until the caulk fully cures. Disturbing the conduit can result in an improper bond between the conduit and the wall.
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