Conduit and boxes . . . EMT and metal boxes? PVC conduit and PVC boxes?
PVC conduit & metal boxes?
Will be covering all walls & ceiling in shop with 1/2" plywood. Would use
3/4", but here in Louisiana building materials are high and scarce.
Will insulate walls & ceiling also.Want to surface mount electrical . . .
lights, receptacles, switches, etc . .
What have you guys used? What works best & is there much difference in cost.
Have done a lot of residential electrical using ROMEX.
Never fooled with conduit except in an industrial setting . . . . I was an
instrumentation technician ( PetroChem).
Any suggestions as to material or layout appreciated . . . Shop is 20' X 22'
with 10' ceilings . . . . Will be running 115vac & 220vac receptacles.
Shop has it's own meter with 200amp service. I want to surface mount
EVERYTHING . . . . .
Thanks in advance,
If you use PVC, make sure you ground the pipes. All of that electricity
running through there will generate a lot of static and the next thing you
know, you'll have an explosion. OK, j/k.
Here in the Chicago area, we don't get much of a choice. You're pretty much
using EMT for everything. It just so happens I was looking at some PVC
conduit at Lowes today. (For some reason, at least at the ones I visited
this weekend, Home Depot and Menards don't carry it). I get why it might be
used outdoors, but I'm unclear why it would be used in place of EMT indoors.
To be honest, I don't remember where they fell in terms of price. To me,
for indoor use, it seems that EMT is the way to go. One consideration is
the ability to bend EMT as needed. You could probably get the desired
effect with the application of enough PVC elbows, but now we're just adding
more $$. If it was me (and imagining I actually had the choice), I would
I just looked up the online price at Lowes. 1/2" EMT is $1.87. 1/2" PVC is
$3.22. For larger sizes, EMT is more expensive, but AFAIK, most conduit in
peoples' homes is 1/2". Something tells me that bending PVC might be a
little trickier than bending EMT.
Better check your local building & electrical codes. Locations subject
to accident or abrasion may require EMT or even rigid steel conduit. It
would be too bad to get it all installed and have the electrical
inspector red tag the work.
Just my opinion but EMT and metal. It's a bit more work, but you carry
ground via the conduit and it saves wire in the conduit. I'm not really
sure how the costs compare these days. PVC can add up quickly once you
start throwing all the miscellaneous stuff into the shopping cart.
All irrelevant to your question. Either system will work. Your choice.
Using emt as a ground is not a good idea, (I'm not sure if it does or
doesn't meet code any longer). It tends to loose continuity causing
problems with the circuits. The MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas was caused by
an emt ground that lost continuity in the deli. Things heated up, and all
hell broke loose.
The Electircal Engineers I used to work with, were aware of several other
major instances of fires caused by over heated conduit grounded circuits,
and wouldn't spec or design for it, because it is a known problem and they
didn't want the liability.
On Sun, 5 Feb 2006 23:47:54 -0600, Steve DeMars wrote:
I used PVC conduit and boxes. Ran everything in 3/4-inch, which made pulling
the wires a bit easier and allowed me to use larger gauge and/or more circuits
in a run. I used off-the-shelf elbows and offsets, rather than bending my own
for the most part. When I did need to modify a bend, I just soaked the part in
hot water for a few minutes.
Check with your local AHJ to be sure PVC is acceptable in your area, and for a
wood shop application. Regardless of which material you choose, make sure you
compute and verify fill on every run, and for every box. And use the right
kind of wire.
Check local codes first... it's a real pain to have them find out you're doing
it and make you tear it out and do it "their way"...
Even worse if they red tag it and stop progress OR tearing it out until they
"resolve" it... DAMHIKT....
I used Romex wiring for my shop, seven circuits. One circuit is 220.
I installed all the boxes, switches flush mount with the drywall.
However, one wall is poured concrete so there I used surface mount
tracks and low profile boxes, fastened with concrete (blue) screws and
construction adhesive. The surface mount is a bit more expensive and
doesn't look as nice, but that was my only choice if I wanted outlets
on that wall. I installed my sub panel in a closet, centrally located
in the shop which saves some wiring and work. Instead of the tracking
you can use the conduit, but you'll have to deal with the bending and
To expand on that, it is a definite violation to put a subpanel in a
clothes or coat closet. Additionally, the panel must have clear space
36 inches in front of the panel and (IIRC) 18" or 36" on either side of
On Tue, 07 Feb 2006 00:29:11 GMT, email@example.com (Scott Lurndal)
30" wide, 36" deep, 6'7" high of clear space in front of the panel.
You can start the 30" wide at either edge of the panel, it doesn't
have to be centered.
You can include the open closet door in your working space if it is
wide enough, located in that "box" and swings open 90 degrees or
greater. They are just trying to establish a safe place to stand and
work while you are working in the panel.
Is there any reason why you dont just cut holes in the plywood and sink your
boxes into the wall?
why run conduit on top of the wall and have the box sticking out?
seems it would be cheaper to just use romex and put it in the walls just
like you would do inside your house if you were using drywall.
Thank you everyone for your input and suggestions . . . After reading the
replies, pricing EMT and surface mount boxes, the complexity of routing and
dealing with NEC . . . I have decided to wire the shop like a residence . .
. just a lot more outlets ! ! !
Wiring with romex can certainly be easier from the stand point that you
don't have to master a new skill - bending EMT, but that's about the extent
of its ease. It's not a bad choice for a shop, so I'm not trying to talk
you out of a romex solution, but dealing with NEC is something you do every
time you run power - whether that's encased in EMT, romex, or, or, or...
Presently in small sizes emt is much cheaper then pvc. EMT is also
easier to get a good looking installation with. PVC tends to sag alot
and really has a high coeffecient of expansion. If your doing surface
runs look into using kindorf channel. You can put in your strut and
then run all of your runs on it and planned out you can use strut
spacers to avoid doing offsets to pass over other runs of pipe.
On Sun, 5 Feb 2006 23:47:54 -0600, "Steve DeMars"
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