All my electrical lines are EMT conduits in the attic. There is a perfect
spot in my bathroom I would like to install an exhaust fan but the 1/2"
conduit is in the way. It is 4" above the ceiling board and I need 8" of
clearance to fit that fan. I have considered all other spots and this is
the only logical spot for a variety of reasons.
Is there a way I can reroute this conduit "locally"?
What I mean is I have no idea where it goes and where it is coming from, it
is in a tight spot in the attic and I can see as far as I can see with a
flash light and not sure where this conduit is going each way.
Can I cut the pipe where I would want the exhaust fan, and put in four 90
degree elbows to "offset" the pipe around the fan? If so, how would I do
I cannot think of a way to do this without having to insert two junction
boxes at the two cut ends. Is that the only way?
Unless you're willing to remove & re-pull some wire.....the two
junction boxes is the only way I can see to do it.
If you do decide remove & re-pull, you'll have to find the boxes where
the run starts & ends. When you pull out the conductors, tie a 1/8"
nylon cord to wire so you don't have to run a fish fresh.
To accomplish your offset I would suggest making a multiple bend
offset segment at you can place in the conduit run using only two
Of course you'll have to cut the cord to insert the offset and knot
the cord back together. You'll also have to buy replacement wire
since the run is now longer.
It all depends on whether you are ok with junction boxes in the attic.
I don't mean I can't find where the conduit begins and ends. What I mean is
I don't want to bother with it because it runs at least twenty feet in each
direction and I am not sure where it ends. In any event I don't want to
reroute over fifty feet or more of wiring to side step a fan, It is at the
tight end of an A-frame roof so space is tight.
As far as offseting the fan that is a problem like I said there are a
variety of reasons I cannot do that due to other obstructions.
Power source for the fan is already taken care of via a different junction
I figured if I cut the wire in the middle, and rerun one side of it due to
it being longer to do the offset, I still need one junction box. The only
way to avoid it completely is to trace to both ends of this run and I can
shine my flash light to one end and see about 15 to 20 feet of it and same
on the other side. One end of it actually might go outside of the house
from the attic into the soffit to feed the soffit recessed lights on around
the exterior perimeter of the house, the other one may be a home run back to
the panel which means it will be over 70' from where I was standing. I
think cutting it there and offseting is much simplier.
That's the way. Cut the conduit in the area where the fan is going, then two
more times, at the locations where the junction boxes will go. If there is
no requirement to use conduit, you can bridge the boxes with greenfield.
You wouldn't have to move the offending conduit more than a few inches
to get it out of the way of an average size bathroom exhaust fan, and
that's if the conduit is miraculously exactly dead center of the
intended exhaust fan location. You might not have to mess with the
wiring at all. Since you have long runs of conduit, and the required
lateral offset is just 3 or 4 inches at most, you might be able to
just free up whatever clamps are holding the conduit in place
(probably very few in an attic) and see how much leeway you have.
Another alternative is to use the conduit wiring to feed the exhaust
fan. You should definitely know what the conduit feeds in any case,
so trace that out first, then see what sort of loads are on that
line. If the line can handle it you could open up the conduit and cut
the wire, add a couple of ganged junction boxes (both boxes side by
side to gain the required wire length inside the junction box to allow
the connections to be made) and make all of your connections using
whatever length pigtails you need to make the wiring work, and then
run the switch leg down inside the bathroom wall. While you're at it
you could add a light and/or receptacle up in the attic to facilitate
*Shut the power off. Follow that conduit until you find a coupling. Loosen
the coupling and go back the other way and find another coupling and loosen
that. Remove all straps in between. Now get a pipe cutter and use it to
cut the conduit at least 12" out from one of the couplings. Where you cut
the pipe with the pipe cutter you should now be able to get in between and
cut the wires. Now remove both pieces of conduit. Remove the couplings if
they are still on the conduit that remains in place and replace them with
1/2" EMT connectors. Install 4" square junction boxes on each EMT
connector. The boxes should be fastened in place so you may need to install
a block of wood or a support bar that the box can be screwed to.
The easiest thing to do is install 1/2" flexible conduit (Greenfield)
between the new junction boxes. Use the proper Greenfield connectors and be
sure to strap the Greenfield using 1/2" heavy wall straps. Pull new wires
and if there isn't one already pull in a grounding conductor and bond it to
each new junction box.
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