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Thread: Long flex metal conduit instead of rigid pipe?

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    DIY Member electrotuko's Avatar
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    Default Long flex metal conduit instead of rigid pipe?

    If the pricing is not an issue and I need very quickly to install additional outlet and some light fixture in my basement: Can I ran a flexible metal conduit instead of rigid metal pipe?
    The line length would be more than 40 feet.

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrotuko View Post
    If the pricing is not an issue and I need very quickly to install additional outlet and some light fixture in my basement: Can I ran a flexible metal conduit instead of rigid metal pipe?
    The line length would be more than 40 feet.

    Forty feet of flex conduit isn't legal (NOTE/CORRECTION: The length limit statement is incorrect and was brought to my attention by Mikey. There is no limit on FMC.) but you could use prewired MC (the new version of BX).

    I have run 1" PVC through joists on 16" centers but it is diffucult. You can run 1/2" PVC conduit through studs almost as easily as flex, and it is easier to get the wire through it. Put the PVC out in the sun for a while to make it even easier. Just be sure you run a line to make the holes in the studs line up.
    Last edited by Bob NH; 06-18-2008 at 05:25 AM.

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    DIY Member electrotuko's Avatar
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    Bob, thank you for your advice.
    Can I run a conduit not through the holes in the studs but attach it to the bottom of studs (to the edges by using clamps or so)? Would be easier and no holes drilling.

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    You can attach it to the studs and joists. It is permitted for exposed work where not subject to physical damage NEC 352.10(F). Carlon Schedule 40 Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit is listed for exposed or outdoor work; and I expect that other brands are also listed for exposed work.

    1/2" PVC must be supported every 3 ft. That usually means every other joist or stud.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    WHY are you running conduit at all????

    Is it required by code where you are?

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    DIY Member electrotuko's Avatar
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    Thanks for advises.
    I am in Illinois, Kane county.
    It is an old house, all new electrical instalation-additions be the previous owner were done using metal conduit. I was assuming that it is required to have conduits. Never thought that it might be not true. Would be nice to know what the code says.

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    Forty feet of flex conduit isn't legal
    Why isn't it legal?

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Why isn't it legal?
    My mistake. I was thinking of the 6 ft limit beyond where it is securely fastened for connection to fixtures or other equipment. There is otherwise no limit for length of FMC.

  9. #9

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    For the most part electrical codes are standard throughout the U.S., but local areas have their own modifications to the National Electrical Code. I don't know why this is, but maybe because some areas are quite cold, others quite hot, some dry, some very wet, some have earthquakes, etc. Maybe regional differences cause certain problems to crop up and they modify the code for this?

    For example I've seen modifications in some areas for flex conduit installation.

    Anyway conduit is a good thing because it protects the wiring. Also even if it was not required, I would run the new wiring the same just for "looks".

    If you are interested in the code for this, go to your local electrical inspector's office and just ask. The offices in my area have certain times of the day where anyone can go and ask questions. Take plenty of pictures of the area where you want to do the work. Then the inspector can better determine what would be required.

    It is no big deal to get a permit in many areas. Plus then you have an expert checking your work to be sure it is ok. A good learning experience!

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    DIY Member electrotuko's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you for consultations. I will use PVC conduit, nice looking and cost effective.

  11. #11
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrotuko View Post
    Thanks to all of you for consultations. I will use PVC conduit, nice looking and cost effective.
    If you're in Chicagoland I'd check if that's compliant if I were you.

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