A conduit is simply a type of pipe that electricians use to protect a building’s wiring. The wiring runs through the center of the hollow conduit tube. Electrical conduits can be made of either metal or plastic and can be either rigid or flexible. The type of conduit used generally depends on where it will be used, as well as the type of cables or wiring.
Rigid Metal Conduit
The most commonly used electrical conduit is rigid metal. It’s extremely tough, protecting wiring in both outdoor and indoor environments. A rigid metal conduit can also double as a grounding conductor. Rigid metal conduit piping is incredibly tough and resilient, it will last for years and years into the future. It will protect the wires that typically run through the center of it.
While rigid metal conduit is often preferred, it can be difficult to work with. Without specialized equipment, it’s impossible to bend. You’ll also need specialized fittings to complete the procedure.
Rigid Plastic Conduit
Made of tough PVC plastic, this type of conduit is also appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use. The advantage of the plastic conduit is that it’s non-conductive, non-magnetic, and non-galvanic. This makes rigid plastic conduits very appropriate for data and communication cables. Like rigid metal, rigid plastic conduit requires a few specialized tools and fitting. The plastic conduit is good, but not as good as a metal conduit. However, it is cheaper and a lot easier to produce, so it is still used in many applications the world over.
Electric Benders for Rigid Conduit
If you work regularly with rigid metal electrical conduits, you’ll need electric benders for rigid conduits. An electrical bender quickly and accurately bends rigid metal conduit for a perfect fit. These highly engineered machines are not only fast and accurate, but they are also extremely reliable.
But, if you’re a homeowner doing your electrical work, you could get by with a hand bender
. In any case, you’ll need a machine to help you bend rigid metal conduits. You’ll also need to choose a bender that can handle the diameter conduit you plan to use.
Flexible Metal Conduit
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, the best choice could be a flexible metal electrical conduit. The obvious advantage is that you don’t need a bending tool. However, you will need a tool to cut it to length. A flexible metal conduit is a great way to go when doing any sort of project. There is always time for this sort of thing.
A flexible metal conduit is tough, so it won’t be easily damaged. While rigid conduit is relatively easy to install in new construction, flexible conduit can be more appropriate when remodeling. It can snake and bend through existing walls, something a rigid conduit can not do.
The type of electrical conduit you use depends on where you plan to use it, as well as your experience and the tools that you have. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, a flexible conduit is a good choice. But, as a professional electrician, you’ll need an electrical bender for a rigid conduit.