How to Protect Outdoor Electrical Conduits

What You'll Need
Bituminous paint
Latex paint
Extension cord covers

When taking on a project that requires outside power, it’s important to know how to protect outdoor electrical conduits. You might be adding patio lights to your deck, or running wiring from your home out to your garage, or you might be doing a professional job for a business. Whatever your purpose, being safe should be on your list of musts. Electrical conduits come in rigid steel, rigid aluminum or rigid plastic and they all work well, but some are better for outdoor use or underground use. Just protecting the wiring itself is not always enough, though. You should think about protecting the actual conduit as well. If you want to save time and cash in the long run, though, there are many different ways you can save your new outdoor conduits from experiencing wear and tear. They are listed for your convenience below.

Step 1 - Working with Rigid Aluminum

Aluminum is very flexible, which might come in handy for you. However, it’s integral that you cover aluminum conduits with a few coats of bituminous paint if you will be placing the conduits under concrete. The paint prevents the conduits from corroding, which is great, because chemicals can be present in any number of places, and if corrosion occurs, you will run into more problems that you’d prefer to avoid.

Step 2 - Working with Plastic Conduits

Sometimes, plastic conduit is your best bet financially, but, as stated, make sure it’s right for your project. If you choose plastic, and it sits in an area where sunlight shines down on it all day, it could deteriorate. If you don’t want to worry about possible deterioration of plastic conduit due to the sun’s very powerful rays, simply use 2 coats of latex paint to cover it, but make sure it’s dry before you continue working with the conduit!

Step3 - Enclosing Power Cords in Extension Cord Covers

Sometimes, when people are working around conduits, they might trip over the plugs, which results in unplugging them, perhaps at a very inopportune time. However, if you use conduit covers, it’s unlikely that this frustrating scenario may occur. Additionally, the rubber gaskets work as a waterproofing mechanism. Finally, these covers stop dirt or other unwanted debris from making contact with the conduit.

Step 4 - Keeping Conduit away from Heat Sources

Allowing wiring to be too close to heat can also damage it. Therefore, another way to protect conduit is to lay it down at least 1 foot away from any heat sources, which include appliances, steam pipes, general heating devices and flues.

Now you have not only protected your wiring by using an outdoor electrical conduit, you have protected the conduit itself! Taking extra steps to maintain your conduits is a smart move, and you should be proud that you took the time and energy to do so.