Amongst the types of wiring, conduit wiring has apparently become the most preferred and commonly employed in most residential and commercial buildings.
The electrical conduit is an electrical piping system used for the protection and routing of electrical wiring. It is used for protecting cables, wires and data links against heat, cold, tensile stress, pressure stress and other external influences in the important mechanical and electrical engineering industry. Many different brands offer various conduit types for diverse applications with various technical requirements.
While conduit wiring offers many advantages, it also has its drawbacks. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of conduit wiring in more detail helping you determine whether this wiring method is right for your needs.
Advantages of Conduit Wiring
Some benefits of conduit wiring are:
- It provides very good protection to conductors from impact, moisture, and chemical vapors.
- It las a long lifetime. You can use it for years.
- It is easy to install. You can even install them by yourself.
- It prevents accidental damage to the insulation.
- It has a good appearance.
- Varying sizes and types of conductors can be pulled into a conduit. This function simplifies the design.
- Frequent wiring changes can be made simply and safely with the use of an electrical conduit.
- When installed with proper sealing fittings, a conduit will not permit the flow of flammable gases and vapors, which protects from fire and explosion hazards in areas handling volatile substances.
- Conduits have various types such as EMT (Electrical Metal Tubing), IMC (Intermediate Metal Conduit), GRC or RMC (Galvanized Rigid Steel Conduit), RAC (Rigid Aluminum Conduit), PVC (Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride). These types can be used according to the requirements of the projects.
- Electrical conduit may be made of the following materials: Polyamide 6, Polyamide 6.6, Polyamide 12, Polyamide 11, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, PFA, PVDF, PVC, Steel, Aluminum, and Bronze.
- Conduit wiring can run over the surface of the walls and ceiling or can be concealed under masonry work.
- The metal conduit can be used to shield sensitive circuits from electromagnetic interference.
- Metal conduits protect against fire due to short circuits.
- Both metal and plastic conduits can be bent to allow a good installation without excessive numbers of manufactured fittings.
- Conduits can be installed in very low and very high ambient temperature ranges.
Disadvantages of Conduit Wiring
Some weaknesses of conduit wiring are:
- The cost of the conduit is higher than other wiring methods.
- It is very hard to find defects in the wiring.
- Conductors in the conduit cannot dissipate heat. Therefore, the current capacity of each conductor reduces.
- It is impractical and prohibited by wiring regulations, to have more than 360 degrees of total bends in a run of conduit.
- Metal conduit wiring requires more time.
- Metal conduit wiring needs skilled labor.
- While metal conduits can be used as grounding conductors, the circuit length is limited.
- Once the conduit pipes are installed, it can be challenging to make changes or add additional wiring without significant modifications to the existing conduit system.
- Conduit pipes take up more space than surface wiring. This can be a disadvantage in situations where space is limited such as in older buildings or cramped spaces.
In conclusion, conduit wiring is a popular and widely used method for protecting and routing electrical wiring in residential and commercial buildings. It offers several advantages, including excellent protection against impact, moisture, and chemical vapors, a long lifetime, easy installation and the ability to accommodate varying sizes and types of conductors. Additionally, conduit wiring can be installed in low and high ambient temperature ranges and metal conduits can be used as grounding conductors. However, conduit wiring also has its disadvantages, including higher costs, reduced current capacity and limited circuit length. Additionally, making changes or adding additional wiring can be challenging once the conduit pipes are installed. Overall, whether conduit wiring is the right choice for a particular project will depend on a variety of factors, including budget, space limitations and technical requirements.
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