Running conduit on basement ceiling or..?


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Old 09-04-14, 06:35 AM
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Running conduit on basement ceiling or..?

We have a semi-finished basement in our home I'd like to add more outlets and lighting. Right now there are only a couple of ceiling lights (finished ceiling) and outlets on the walls. (The current outlets and light fixtures are wired above the finished ceiling and date to when the house was built). The person we bought the house from added a few more lights by stapling Romex to the ceiling back to the subpanel..we've taken most of that out.

My question is what is the best way to run conduit to the places where I want lights and outlets? Running it along the ceiling appears to be the easiest way as there are various obstacles running it along the walls:

Stairwell to the left of the wall mounted subpanel (not shown)..can't run along wall here:


Then to the left of this stairwell and around a corner is an i-beam that runs the width of the house:


And in this "room" beneath our front porch I want a light, but is tricky to route here as well (another i-beam and then a header over the room opening:


On the other side of the basement (and to the right of the subpanel), is a semi-circular wall:


And then, finally to the right of this is two sets of block walls that support a chimney above (we have storm windows stashed in between there here). You can also see an old piece of Romex, disconnected, that the previous owner ran along the header:


So with all these obstacles, it looks like the easiest way is to route several pieces of conduit along the ceiling instead of the wall? The other option is to cut holes in the basement ceiling and below the floor joists to fish Romex above it, but what happens when I need to get the Romex "over" a couple of joists? This is never going to be a "finished" basement while we own it, in the sense of furniture etc, but is used for storage and workshop area, so I'm not concerned in the slightest with appearance. What are your suggestions for the areas shown in these photos? Will I run conduit parallel to lighting fixtures that are outlets on circuit(s) separate from the lights?

Dukester
 
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Old 09-04-14, 07:21 AM
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IMO - the easiest way it to buy a 1/2" EMT bender and install 1/2" EMT. With a bend you can offsets, 90s and kicks around objects. You might have to add a few special fittings like LBs, or pull ells, but it should get you where you need to be. You may waste some pipe learning how to use a bender, but EMT is fairly inexpensive at about $2 per 10' stick.

There are lots of videos online and we can give you some pointers after you buy the bender. Some rental places might rent them too. Also check into a box offset bender.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 09:34 AM
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I agree, get rid of that Romex and get some EMT and a bender.

However, I don't think you need a box offset bender That like a 150$ tool for something you can easily accomplish with a standard 1/2" bender. And you should be able to do this without paying for fittings like pull elbows or lb's which kind of defeats one of the key benefits of bending emt.... its cheap!

PS- In addition to a few extra sticks of conduit for practice, pick up a copy of 'Benfield's conduit bending manual'... and you will have all the information you need to accomplish what you need to do.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 10:12 AM
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However, I don't think you need a box offset bender That like a 150$ tool for something you can easily accomplish with a standard 1/2" bender
If you read my post again, I meant to rent the box offset bender, not buy one. Yes, you can do it with a regular bender, but the box offset really speeds up a job. The fittings I mentioned is for if there was no other way, didn't want to just offset around something, or just wanted to keep the pipe tight to a beam.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 11:06 AM
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If you read my post again, I meant to rent the box offset bender, not buy one.
No difference, renting one cost money too.......... its all covered in Benfield's manual......... no need for elbows or specialty tools. Like they used to say in the Navy... KISS!
 
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Old 09-12-14, 05:48 PM
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And if you really wanted to.. you could run wire mold.. its more aesthetically pleasing.. you won't get the industrial look of EMT and 4 in squares
 
 

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