Electrical cables on my roof: What to do?

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Old 12-12-10, 11:16 PM
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Electrical cables on my roof: What to do?

I had my whole roof removed and then reroofed. Previously these electrical lines ran underneath the roof. Now these electrical lines are above the roof. The roofers just slabbed tar on these exposed electrical lines. (I snapped these pictures before the new roof was put on) Can anyone tell if this electrical conduit is intended for exterior? And what might I do to better protect these lines. I would prefer NOT having to unscrew the conduit. I'm looking for an easy solution if a solution is needed.

 
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Old 12-12-10, 11:32 PM
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I can tell you that conduit certainly does NOT belong underneath roofing materials and I would have hated to see the roof before it was stripped.

As for whether or not that EMT and Greenfield (flexible) conduit is legal running across the roof you would have to check your LOCAL code. Some places may prohibit EMT and / or Greenfield in such an installation while other places may simply prefer a rigid or intermediate conduit. Also, no matter what that C conduit fitting MUST remain accessible.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 12:28 AM
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I'm less concerned with city code and more concerned with whether or not this conduit is designed for exterior use. Do they make water proof conduit that looks like this?

Also I wanted to better protect this conduit, what might I use? Foil backed tape maybe?

BTW this is a vaulted ceiling. There is no attic. Just 2 X 6 T & G. This line powers a light over the dining area.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 05:41 AM
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How did these conduits transpose themselves from below the roof to above the roof? Is it a flat roof? Can you stand back safely and give us a wider picture of the conduits and the roof structure?
 
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Old 12-13-10, 06:25 AM
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The foil backed tape will add little to no protection.

This looks like a less than ideal situation that may have been made worse.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 07:11 AM
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Just my non-pro opinion, get rid of this hideous mess even if it has THWN in it which I'm not sure it does. Run new power to the light using surface race in the house. It can be painted to blend in. If you provide a few picture of the light and area around it we may be able to offer suggestions for powering it.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 08:24 AM
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I agree, Ray, even the surface mount track will be safer than the stuff on the roof. Sheesh, I can't believe what some people do to hide things!! I am even questioning if the "pipe" used was even EMT, but copper?? and is that actually watertite, or BX?
 
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Old 12-13-10, 08:51 AM
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I thought it might be copper also, but looking again it may just be rusted EMT.

I sure wouldn't want to count on it for the ground.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 09:21 AM
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The EMT is legal exposed to weather because it looks like they used the correct compression fittings; however yours looks to be in very bad shape. Outdoor EMT really should be primed and painted when newly installed to prevent rusting and this obviously wasn't. The flexible metal conduit (FMC) is not approved for wet areas or for areas where it could be damaged (stepped on), so that is definitely not okay on the roof.

I'm quite surprised it hasn't leaked into the interior ceiling actually.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 06:20 PM
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Dont be cheap, replace it, already! de-energize it immediately, too!
 
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Old 12-13-10, 06:41 PM
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Here's the finished roof. The non-flexible conduit is not copper. A city inspector looked at the roof and approved it. Not sure if the inspector checked for electrical stuff or just decking. BTW I'm in Los Angeles.
Can water penetrate the flexible conduit?
What does "de-energize" mean in this situation? I'm not an electrician.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 07:03 PM
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BTW this is a vaulted ceiling. There is no attic. Just 2 X 6 T & G. This line powers a light over the dining area.
There's your answer. I'd venture to say that this roof deck is also an exposed vaulted ceiling. I can't speak for the integrity of the installation, but I can say that this method of wiring is quite common on church roofs of similar construction where the actual roof deck is thick tongue and groove material and is exposed on the interior. I'd also venture a guess that the skylight was added since the building was built. On church roofs, there is usually a think rigid insulation board applied to the deck with space left beteween the pieces just wide enough for the conduit. Thus, a flat and true finished roof.
 
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Old 12-14-10, 05:44 AM
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I also have a 2x6 T&G pine vaulted ceiling, with a stained (natural) finish. When time came to install ceiling fans, I used a brown metal surface mount raceway; the stuff is only about 3/8" wide or so. Mounted on the center joist edge, it's not at all obtrusive. The idea of an outdoor conduit run never crossed my mind; both since the roof is concrete tile, and being in a hurricane zone, the high wind risk is unacceptable. A continuous run of EMT is one thing, but that picture showing a rusty emt with flex, all unsupported, appears to be a total flail.
 
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