Electrical conduits are metal, plastic or fiber pipes designed to protect electrical cables and wires. They’re used in just about every residential and commercial establishment, especially for wiring that is either exposed, or fitted outdoors. Since they are essentially a safety feature, you should select the material, size and fittings based on the environment of the installation and the type of wiring it’ll be housing.
Types of Conduits
When it comes to options, there are almost as many types of conduits as there are wires and cables, and they can be broadly classified into metallic and nonmetallic variants. Here are some of the most common types under these categories:
To ensure the conduit system meets the requirements of regulatory authorities, safety standards and local building codes, you need to take into account the conditions at the installation location, as well as the method of installation. Some installations may also require different types of conduits to be used in the same system.
Conduit fittings are available in a huge variety of sizes, shapes and materials, and they’re normally used for connecting runs of conduit together, and for connecting conduit ends to boxes, enclosures or electrical devices. Fittings are needed to connect conduits to boxes or enclosures of different sizes and when the direction of most metallic conduits has to be changed. There are also straps and clamps, which are used to provide additional support to conduits and to keep them secured. You may need to use special types of fittings if a conduit run is likely to be exposed to moisture, vapors, or hazardous conditions.
Types of Fittings
Section 110-3 of the NEC requires all the components to be listed and labelled, so all listed parts meet certain construction and performance requirements. However, the Code does not specify the material used for the fittings, of which there are several. This will be determined by availability, design considerations or personal preference. If you’re unsure about how the conditions will affect the fittings, you can contact a manufacturer with details of your application, consult a local distributor, or get an engineering recommendation.
Conduit fittings can be listed as follows, based on the function they serve and how they are installed:
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