A piping system for protecting and routing electrical wiring is known as an electrical conduit. Conduit wiring continues to be the most popular and widely used type of wiring in most residential and commercial structures.
The essential mechanical and electrical engineering industries protect cables, wires, and data lines from heat, cold, tensile stress, pressure stress, and other environmental factors. Many different brands offer a variety of conduit types for a wide range of applications with varying technical requirements.
- 1 What Is Conduit Wiring?
- 2 What Are The 3 Types of Conduit?
- 3 What Is the Best Conduit to Use Outdoor?
- 4 When Is the Best Time to Use Conduit for Electrical Wiring?
- 5 When Should I Use Conduit Electrical Wiring?
- 6 Primary Purpose of Electric Conduit?
- 7 Comparison with Other Wiring Methods
- 8 Advantages of Conduit Wiring
- 9 Disadvantages of Conduit Wiring
- 10 Conclusion
What Is Conduit Wiring?
Conduit wiring is simply wires or cables routed inside the wall in metal or plastic pipes. Because electrical current passes via the wires, it must be safeguarded from external threats such as rodents, fire, and short circuits. Conduits protect wires from exposure, lowering the risk of short circuits, electrocution, and fires. Keeping the wire in a protected sleeve also makes maintenance easier.
Conduit is a sturdy and long-lasting material. This will safeguard your wiring from damage caused by rodents or exposure. Ensure that you purchase high-quality PVC conduit pipes for electrical purposes, including fire-retardant, heavy rigidity, and anti-rodent.
What Are The 3 Types of Conduit?
There are more than three varieties of conduits on the market, but FMC, PVC, and plastic conduits are the most popular. Conduits are created from various materials that successfully shield exposed cables within any structure or building. As a result, several types of conduits are employed for diverse purposes and regions. Let’s look at each one in more detail:
The Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC) is a well-known conduit on the market for safeguarding wires in dry and exposed structures of a structure.
FMCs have a spiral construction, allowing them to be highly flexible and fit into the structure’s tiny gaps. FMCs are an excellent solution for protecting exposed, short wiring in confined spaces, such as water heaters.
The rigid PVC conduit, also known as a plastic conduit, is widely employed in most structures around us. PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, and conduits built of this material are identical to normal plastic plumbing pipes.
These conduits may be easily bent with heat and cemented together to produce connections. These plastic conduits are the finest solution if you require a conduit for a wider region. They may be readily linked together and bent to protect cables regardless of the electrical system.
Electrical Metal Tubing is another common type of conduit (EMT). It is often made of galvanized steel and aluminium. Because of its lightweight and thin nature, this type of conduit is also known as the ‘Thin-Wall’ conduit. Along with being lightweight, it is also incredibly rigid and robust, necessitating special equipment known as a conduit bender to bend it into the desired shape.
Because EMTs are constructed of steel or aluminium, they are useful for protecting wires in electrical applications. Furthermore, these conduits can transmit the electricity travelling through them, offering an additional boost.
EMTs are most typically used to safeguard cables inside our homes, such as the lighting. However, most people prefer to use EMTs just indoors because they must be installed with appropriate watertight fittings if used outdoors. As a result, to prevent any needless difficulty, this conduit is frequently utilized indoors.
A separate conduit will be necessary depending on the type of wiring you need to protect and the location of the wires (indoor or outdoor). As a result, we propose conducting a preliminary study and selecting the appropriate and precise type of conduit required to avoid future wire protection complications.
What Is the Best Conduit to Use Outdoor?
The LFMC is an ideal solution for conduits that will safeguard outdoor cables. The Liquid-tight Flexible Metal Conduit (LFMC) is an abbreviation for the Liquid-tight Flexible Metal Conduit. Because of its watertight nature, this conduit is ideal for use outside, as it will efficiently safeguard your cables in the event of rain.
As a result, LFMCs are most typically used to safeguard outer wires, such as those found in outdoor air conditioning equipment. As the name implies, this type of conduit is watertight due to the plastic wrapping wrapped around the flexible metal conduit.
When it comes to outdoor wiring, we always advocate installing a conduit because leaving wires exposed can appear unsightly and be unsafe. Exposed cables are at risk of deterioration if you reside in a rainy climate. Using a conduit over these wires will give adequate protection while also reducing the wire’s lifespan significantly.
However, in addition to LFMC, rigid PVCs can be utilized to conserve exposed outdoor wiring. PVC can be used for wiring outdoors since it can survive sun exposure and temperature changes. PVC is relatively inexpensive, and because the conduit connections are composed of PVC adhesive, they are also quite simple to attach. As a result, this is a perfect alternative for any exposed wires that require extra protection outdoors.
When Is the Best Time to Use Conduit for Electrical Wiring?
Conduits are an excellent way to protect and secure the wiring inside and outside your home. It enables your wires to perform in a much safer manner. Conduits are not only protective but also strong and long-lasting. They can even survive extreme temperatures!
Exposure might cause irrevocable harm to your electrical system. However, by choosing a high-quality conduit, you will be able to protect your cables for a longer amount of time. Because the market offers such a diverse choice of conduits, you can locate the right conduit for your needs and secure your electrical systems indoors and outside.
When Should I Use Conduit Electrical Wiring?
It would be preferable if you used an electrical conduit for cables running along with exposed places, such as the exterior of a wall. Electrical conduits can be an important aspect of our home’s electrical wiring and systems, both inside and outdoors. As previously stated, conduits protect electrical wires by encasing them, adding an extra layer of protection, and keeping them from becoming damaged or damp.
Exposed cables or electrical lines are potentially hazardous. Because the wires will be broken or torn, it may have an impact on their effectiveness and durability. You can protect these wires from harsh weather and other environmental elements by encasing them in a tube, such as a conduit.
Conduits may also be useful when used indoors for exposed wiring in places like attics and basements. The biggest advantage of protecting your cables with conduits indoors is that they are protected from troublesome rodents like mice that may eat them away.
Primary Purpose of Electric Conduit?
Conduits are used to shield electrical lines from damage. Conduit protects both humans and electrical wiring by preventing wires from becoming entangled and posing a shock hazard. It is critical to utilize conduit to protect the wiring from damage caused by digging and dampness, even for buried cables.
Almost all conduits come in a variety of diameters. They are not only useful for shielding your connections but also for keeping all of your wires organized. Conduit can help if you think your home’s wiring is a jumble with too many wayward wires. Conduit enables you to arrange your cables, safeguard your family, and comply with local electrical laws.
Conduits will make your home look cleaner because fewer wires will be exposed, and they will assist you if you need to repair any of the wires in the event of a short circuit. Another advantage of installing conduits inside your home is that it makes replacing or repairing wiring easier. Furthermore, because the wires are housed within the tubing of a conduit, they would be easy to locate.
Comparison with Other Wiring Methods
Electrical conduit shields enclosed conductors from collision, moisture, and chemical vapors very well. When compared to many lengths of cables or the expenditure of specialized composite wire, varying numbers, sizes, and types of conductors can be pushed into a conduit, simplifying design and construction. Building wiring systems may be susceptible to frequent changes. The usage of an electrical conduit simplifies and protects frequent wiring changes by allowing existing conductors to be withdrawn. New conductors are inserted with little interruption along the conduit’s course.
It is possible to make a conduit system waterproof or submersible. Metal conduits can screen sensitive circuits from electromagnetic interference and prevent such interference from being emitted by enclosed power connections. Non-metallic conduits are corrosion-resistant and lightweight, lowering installation labor costs.
When properly built with suitable sealing fittings, a conduit will not allow the movement of flammable gases and vapors, protecting from fire and explosion hazards in areas handling volatile substances.
Some pipe types are permitted for direct encasement in concrete. This is widely utilized in commercial buildings to install electrical and communication outlets in the centre of huge open areas. Conduit boxes installed on the floor, for example, are used to connect power and communications cables in shop display cases and open-office settings.
Metal and plastic conduits can be bent on the job site to allow for a clean installation with fewer manufactured fittings. This is very useful for following uneven or curved construction profiles. Special tube bending equipment is utilized to bend the conduit without kinking or denting it.
Conduit installation is more expensive than alternative wiring methods due to materials and labour costs. A high level of physical damage prevention may not be required in applications such as a residential buildings. As a result, the expense of a conduit might not be justified.
Because conductors installed within conduit cannot dissipate heat as rapidly as those installed in open wiring, the current capacity of each conductor must be lowered (derated) if many conductors are installed in the same conduit. More than 360 degrees of total bends in a line of the conduit is impracticable and illegal underwiring standards; hence special outlet fittings must be provided to allow conductors to be fitted without harm in such runs.
Some types of the metal conduit may also be used as a bonding conductor for grounding (earthing); however, wiring regulations may also demand artistry standards or extra grounding for certain types. In some cases, a metal conduit can be utilized as a grounding conductor, although the circuit length is limited. A long piece of the conduit as a grounding conductor, for example, may have too high an electrical resistance and prevent overcurrent devices from operating properly during a fault.
Advantages of Conduit Wiring
Below are the advantages of conduit wiring:
- It protects conductors against impact, moisture, and chemical vapours, and it has a long lifetime. It will serve you well for a long time. It is simple to set up. It’s even possible to do it on your own.
- It protects the insulation from unintentional damage.
- It has a pleasing appearance.
- A conduit can accommodate conductors of various sizes and types. This function makes the design easier to understand.
- The installation of an electrical conduit allows for simple and safe wiring adjustments regularly.
- When properly sealed, a conduit will not allow the flow of flammable gases and vapours, protecting against fire and explosion threats in areas handling volatile compounds.
- Conduits come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including EMT (Electrical Metal Tubing), IMC (Intermediate Metal Conduit), GRC, or RMC (Galvanized Rigid Steel Conduit), RAC (Rigid Aluminum Conduit), and PVC (Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride). These kinds can be utilized based on the project’s needs.
- Polyamide 6, Polyamide 6.6, Polyamide 12, Polyamide 11, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, PFA, PVDF, PVC, Steel, Aluminum, and Bronze are some of the materials that can be used to make electrical conduit.
- Conduit wire can run over the surface of the walls and ceiling or be hidden beneath masonry work.
- The metal conduit can shield delicate circuits from electromagnetic interference.
- Metal conduits safeguard against fire caused by short circuits. Both metal and plastic conduits can be bent to allow for a proper installation without using an excessive number of prefabricated fittings.
- Conduits can be fitted in temperatures ranging from extremely low to very hot.
Disadvantages of Conduit Wiring
Some disadvantages of electrical conduit are:
- The conduit is more expensive than alternative wiring options.
- It is extremely difficult to detect wiring flaws.
- The conduit’s conductors cannot dissipate heat. As a result, the current capacity of each conductor decreases.
- Having more than 360 degrees of total bends in a conduit run is impracticable and illegal underwiring rules. • Metal conduit wiring takes longer.
- Metal conduit wiring necessitates the use of specialized workers.
- While metal conduits can be utilized as a grounding conductor, the length of the circuit is limited.
The best wiring system is conduit wiring. Conduit installation can be done in two different methods. Conduit is applied to the surface of a wall, ceiling, or other structure in one manner or another. Surface wiring is the term for this.
The alternative option is to hide the conduit behind the wall or in the ceiling, known as concealed wiring. Conduit is available in two types: rigid and flexible. Flexible conduit is used for short-distance runs, and rigid conduit is used for long-distance runs. Conduit is joined and terminated using a variety of fittings. Conduit and its accessories must be galvanized or enameled to be weatherproof and rust-resistant.
At a distance of not more than 1 m, wooden plugs are grouted into the wall. Conduit pipes are attached to these wooden plugs using saddles of appropriate size and wooden screws. Bushings in rigid conduit should be placed at all outlets and junction boxes to prevent wire insulation abrasion.
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