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Thread: moving an island

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Mr. Fixit's Avatar
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    Default moving an island

    Noo not an earthquake, just a kitchen remodel

    Re-doing our kitchen that is original to our 1980 slab-on-grade Florida home. Part of the project is to turn a built-in table into a counter-height island with seating. To that end, the whole island is moving closer to the kitchen work area. Electrical conduit is running from a near wall to the current island under an inch or two of slab. Some of the tile is coming up anyway so I will be able to dig the conduit up, but it must be redirected. It's currently bent away from the kitchen and I need it in the opposite direction.

    SO, my questions are:

    Is what is in my slab likely the same "EMT" that I can get from a box store today? I have done electrical boxes with conduit in my garage, this stuff is much thinner.

    What is the correct way to change the direction of the conduit? Cut and attach an elbow? How are fittings attached for in-slab work?

    Wrong section I know but while I'm at it, any harm in tiling under the new island? I have read a lot on this and it seems personal preference? Seems like less work for me w/no island in the way.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Don't know on the electrical, but it's easier (but more materials, and therefore could be more expensive especially if the tile are pricey) to tile under the island, then install. This gives you the advantage of not having to try to cut all those extra tiles, caulking and grouting under the toekick, and, if you decide to take it out, it will probably make installation of a new island cabinet easier as the size then isn't critical. It does make it harder to anchor the island, but in concrete, probably not by much. You'll probably need a diamond core bit to drill a hole in the tile, although some softer tile can be drilled with carbide.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Mr. Fixit's Avatar
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    Thanks Jadnashua, we're only talking about 75 sq ft of tile so I think I'll save myself some trouble and tile before setting the cabinet. I plan to tapcon in some 2x4's and screw the cabinet to that, so will be same with/without tile.

    As for the electrical, still want to hear from the experts but I'm thinking I just need a 90 degree bend and some compression fittings. I will be doing this under owner/builder permit so want to make sure it's correct though.

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    No EMT as it will not last very long. It needs to be PVC and you will need to cut out the concrete to access the new location. Use a factory 90 but do not use an elbow as you will not have access to it after pouring the concrete you will need to cut out in order to access the original conduit

  5. #5
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    . ..........
    Last edited by ActionDave; 06-21-2011 at 08:03 PM. Reason: remove doulble post.

  6. #6
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Fixit View Post
    What is the correct way to change the direction of the conduit? Cut and attach an elbow? How are fittings attached for in-slab work?
    Yes cut back and add some more conduit if needed, then add an elbow.
    The conduit and fittings in the slab should be PVC and are glued together with PVC cement.

  7. #7
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    No EMT as it will not last very long. It needs to be PVC and you will need to cut out the concrete to access the new location. Use a factory 90 but do not use an elbow as you will not have access to it after pouring the concrete you will need to cut out in order to access the original conduit
    Why does he need access to the ninety?

  8. #8
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    Why does he need access to the ninety?
    he will not need to access a 90 but if he uses an elbow then access would be required.

    Read his first post.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Mr. Fixit's Avatar
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    I'd rather not replace the whole thing with PVC, that would require pulling up tiles I didn't intend to and digging into a wall I plan to leave alone. Maybe it's not EMT? I'll try to get a picture tonight. As I said this house was built in 1980 (31 years old) so the conduit has lasted at least that long. Would it be illegal/immoral/fattening to join the existing conduit to PVC?

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    If this conduit has been installed for 30+ years when you open the concrete to expose the conduit you can see for yourself what will happen to EMT when used as you suggest if EMT was used.
    I would bet that there is not enough wall left to install a fitting to so if it is EMT you might not have a choice but to replace the entire run.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member Mr. Fixit's Avatar
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    Ok maybe it's not EMT. What would have been normally installed in a slab-on-grade home 30 years ago?

  12. #12
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Good question and one that you will have to answer. You should be able to see what type of installation that was made where it enters the bottom of the cabinet now.

    If I had been the one making the installation it would have been PVC with THHN/THWN copper #12 conductors consisting of one black one white and one green or it would have been UF cable with a short sleeve of PVC where it went through the concrete and buried in the dirt below the concrete.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    rigid conduit (pipe with threaded ends or special compression fittings used for it)? possible
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  14. #14
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    EMT. galvanized, in a dry slab should outlast the cement. Lets seee.... how about all that raw rebar in a road, or galvanized or epoxy coated rebar in a bridge? Leave it alone.

    Would be good to change the wires though.

  15. #15
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    The key to your statement is dry

    Under a slab in contact with earth is far from dry.

    I have removed many EMT pipes from a poured slab and found nothing but wires and rust.

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