electrical conduit book

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  #1  
Old 03-16-05, 10:53 AM
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electrical conduit book

Hello. I am a new member here. I have read forums and articles at this site for several years and would like to thank you all for all of the useful advice you have given.

We are in the process of finishing a basement and are still in the design phase. We are having the HVAC done by pros but plan on doing all of the other tasks outselves.

I feel comfortable doing the electrical work since my degrees are in engineering. I recently studied the NEC code and passed the required tests to get a license to do our own domestic electical work in our community. I have also done basic electric work before using ROMEX.

The problem is that I live in "Conduit Country". We are in the Chicago area and have to use conduit for the project. I plan on using the new fittings and connectors that allow you to avoid bending conduit. I have been unable to find any books on basement remodeling that cover using conduit in any detail. My concerns are mainly in how to best design the paths in the framing. For example, I need advice on how to best move from one receptacle to the next around corners. It also seems to me that it is more complicated since you are in the basement and cannot simply pop up the attic or down below the floor to the basement as you can on the other floors of the home.

Can anyone recommend a good reference on these topics? I haven't found any good tutorials on the web. Does the Bendfield Conduit Bending manual cover these issues? Are there any other guidebooks out there you can recommend that actually cover conduit running in detail?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-16-05, 11:06 AM
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Armored Cable?

Can't you use armored cable instead of conduit, or doesn't you local code allow you to use this?
 
  #3  
Old 03-16-05, 11:17 AM
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Nope. It has to be 1/2 " or larger EMT. We can only use flexible connections for 6' going from boxes to recessed lights, for example. It make the whole job ten times harder.
 
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Old 03-17-05, 09:06 PM
P Michael
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I haven't written the book yet but to go around a corner tou have to drill a circular [path] hole through the corner. Milwaukee sells a type of Forstner bit that can do this [available at HD]. Due to the geometry, you will have to have a pre-bent 90 shoer piece of conduit to go through that hole.
Plan to buy a lot of couplings and you mayse well get the appropriate benders also.
~Peter
 
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Old 03-18-05, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for the advice. We plan on building the walls in the following manner. First attach the bottom plate and top plate. Then attach each stud by toe nailing, one at a time, going across the wall. I have a book that recommends framing in this way as it is less error prone. We thought that this would allow us to do the electrical conduit runs as we go by drilling holes through the studs as each are put up. When you get to the cavity where the next receptacle goes you could slide in the conduit and attach the next outlet box. (If there isn't enough room from the end wall to slide it in you could piece it.) I thought it would be a good way to avoid going up to the top, across and down, to get to the next outlet, or having to make lots of little pieces of conduits and a lot of connectors. They are doing the framing and electrical inspections as one inspection so that shouldn't pose a problem. Does anyone see any problems with this technique?

I can get a bender from my father who plans on helping us with some of the work. He doesn't have experience with basement construction but he did all the conduit on their house (30+ years ago) and he was a millwright.
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-05, 09:28 AM
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Time consuming wall framing

Do you have room to build the walls in sections and then prop them up?

It would be much quicker than putting in the studs one at a time.

You could pre drill each stud for the conduit hole using one stud for a pattern and then just build the wall. Leave the stud out on one end and feed in the conduit and then put in the last stud and prop the wall up. You'll have to make the overall height of the wall about 1/2" short in able to prop it up. Once up, you can use shims to take up the gap and secure the top plate to the underside of the joists.

Just a suggestion--I hate toe-nailing!!!
 
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Old 03-18-05, 11:47 AM
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I think the toe nailing would be ok since I am going to use a nail gun and do not have to do it by hand. That is a good suggestion about leaving the stud off on the end. I may do a combination of some that I build and then tip up and some that I build as I go. The advantage of building as you go is that you know for sure that all the window openings and other obstructions are in the exact right spot. Our basement is rather small but has a lot of things to build around, especially up near the ceiling with all the existing conduit to work around.

Does everyone else think this technique would work or have any other advice on using conduit in basement remodeling?

P. Michael, you should write a pamphlet on conduit bending in basement remodeling and sell it as an e-book. I am sure I am not the only Chicago area remodeler who could use more info. I will check the local Home Depot for the Forstner bit.
 
  #8  
Old 03-18-05, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by widing
I plan on using the new fittings and connectors that allow you to avoid bending conduit.
I hope you are talking about factory 90's and such and not el-b's or pulling el's with the covers on them. The covers must remain accessable after installation.
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-05, 07:20 AM
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Oh definitely the pre-bent 90's. I wouldn't dare try to use a conduit body or anything like that in a concealed area. Naperville is very particular about electrical work and it would never pass inspection. I am getting a permit with the many inspections required here.

The problem is that I don't have any real experience with framing or conduit. I was just wondering about the technical issues that would be presented in running conduit in basement walls.
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-05, 09:11 PM
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Conduit bending is not a big deal - not the sort that you will need to do.

Rather than buy all of those factory bends, why not spend a few bucks on a bender and learn to bend pipe? Most benders come with a little book that tells you how to do it? Even if you just bend a bunch of 90's you'll probably save enough money to pay for the bender.

Are you sure Chicago doesn't allow the use of steel (not aluminum) flex?
 
  #11  
Old 03-20-05, 06:58 AM
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I'm getting a bender from my dad so I can try it. In the Chicago area, you cannot use flex except for a short piece less than 6 ft from a box to a recessed light or to a water heater for example. They are very extreme here.

Thanks for all the advice. Hopefully, I am just worrying about nothing and it will be easier than I thought.
 
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