Conduits are a critical component of any installation when it comes to electrical wiring. The proper conduit is essential for ensuring safe and effective operation, whether you’re building a new system or replacing an old one.
But still, with so many different conduit types on the market today, choosing the best one can take time and effort. Here are six tips for buying and upgrading the conduits that will help you ensure you get exactly what you need.
1. Consider PVC Alternatives
You might be tempted to utilize PVC conduits rather than metal ones to save money. PVC should only be used in specific circumstances because metal is more dependable and durable.
Be sure the PVC conduits you choose are rated for the kind of wiring they will be carrying if you do decide to use them. Use high-quality PVC conduit-compatible connectors and fittings as well. Learn everything there is to know about fiberglass conduits as an alternative, including how to install them, before choosing it over metal conduits. It’s usually a good idea to be well-informed before making essential choices. This lets you know what you are entering into and the required effort.
Also, you must confirm that the cables and wires you are passing via PVC conduits do not exceed the rated load limit. Doing this can prevent your conduits from becoming overloaded and breaking.
2. Recognize Your Needs
It’s crucial to decide which kind of conduit best meets your needs before you start searching for conduits. Consider the surrounding environment and any unique criteria or laws that must be followed when installing conduit.
Remember that many conduit types are offered for both indoor and outdoor applications. For instance, copper conduits are better suited for outdoor use than PVC conduits are for inside purposes.
You can occasionally make an exception to the norm. For instance, PVC conduits can be used outside if a lot of wiring needs to be run in a damp or potentially moist area.
Use the appropriate connector type for each cable or wire as well. While some connectors work with many cables and wire kinds, they may not always offer strong connections or function as safely or dependably as those created, especially for the kind of wiring you’re installing.
3. Utilize High-Quality Supplies
Think about buying high-quality materials when purchasing new conduits. Avoid buying inexpensive or subpar products because they will offer a different amount of protection than those made of better materials.
Moreover, ensure that each conduit has a jacket that is securely sealed and entirely covered with a protective substance. In addition to protecting the conduit from abrasion, corrosion, and other potential risks, this will ensure that it can resist any environmental conditions it may encounter.
At the same time, thoroughly inspect them for any signs of damage before you install your new conduits or upgrade existing ones. Look for flaws like splits, cracks, or dents that can point to future issues. Moreover, look for any evidence of degradation or wear on the connectors and fittings.
4. Check Local Building Regulations
Conduits and wiring installation are governed by explicit legislation, while local regulations may vary. Be cautious to confirm the applicable rules and regulations with your local building department before beginning any modification or installation job.
Before starting the project, you might occasionally need to submit your plans for approval. If you’re installing wire for high-voltage applications, this is highly crucial. Before submitting your plans for approval, ensure they are complete and accurate.
There are times when you might not have to follow local laws. Depending on your project, you might be eligible to seek a waiver in specific circumstances. To ensure you fully comply with all relevant laws and regulations, it is essential to speak with the neighborhood building department first.
5. Verify Ratings
Check the ratings of the conduits you plan to purchase to ensure that they have been given the go-ahead for the installation environment. For instance, you must choose conduits marked as “Outdoor Rated” if you intend to place them in a wet region.
Be sure the conduits are rated for such conditions if the area is very hot or cold. The conduits’ labels often contain this information. Check the ratings of your connectors and fittings as well if you’re installing high-voltage wiring. In their packaging or labels, these ought to be noted as well.
There are some unique situations where dual-rated conduits may be required. These conduits can offer a practical solution in places where the climate changes frequently because they are made to be utilized in both wet and dry applications.
Investigate the many conduit kinds that are offered, their ratings, and the installation procedure online. This will aid in your decision-making and increase your understanding of the subject. To learn about any applicable local laws, you should contact the building department in your area.
Read the installation instructions with your conduits and fittings before you begin your installation endeavor. This will guarantee you have a fundamental comprehension of how they should be installed and what you must perform to get them configured correctly.
6. Choose the Correct Size
The conduit you choose must have an internal diameter large enough to accommodate the wires or cables you intend to pass through it. Make sure the conduit you choose has a minimum interior diameter equal to the outside diameter of your wires and cables, plus a little extra room for expansion in the future.
In some cases, you can choose a conduit that is smaller than the size of your wires and cables. Nevertheless, this should only be done if the conduit only transports low-voltage cables, such as telephone or data lines.
It is recommended to stick with larger conduits if they carry high-voltage wirings, such as electrical lines and cables. In general, you should leave at least one inch between the conduit’s interior diameter and the exterior diameter of your wires and cables.
Using the advice in this article, you can ensure that your conduits, connectors, and fittings comply with all applicable safety requirements and are appropriate for the environment where they will be installed. This will make your wiring more likely to be safe from harm and run reliably and safely.