Flexible electrical conduit is easier to use than rigid metal or plastic conduit. This is because there is no bending involved. However, it does not provide as much protection as the rigid types of electrical conduit. Many DIY enthusiasts appreciate the invention of flexible electrical conduit because they can use it to easily mount wires on the wall. Some types of conduit are designed for industrial applications, while others are perfect for a variety of DIY projects.
Flexible Metal Conduit, also known as FMC, is a type of flexible conduit used in commercial buildings, especially underground parking lots.FMC is made by coiling metal and interlocking all the rings together. This forms a flexible hollow tube that can be used to pull wires through.
This is suitable for dry areas where any type of rigid conduit cannot be installed. It has enough strength to protect the wire while still being flexible. However, it is not waterproof and in some cases this can be a problem.
Rigid conduit (such as thin-walled conduit) is essentially solid pipe. The advantage of FMC over thin-walled conduit is that it does not require bending. However, it is slightly more complicated to use and requires a special tool to cut it. The tool is designed to cut the armor without damaging any of the cables inside.
Liquid Tight Flexible Metal Conduit, also commonly referred to as LFMC, is a flexible type of conduit that covers the cable and remains flexible while still being waterproof.
Waterproofing is provided by a waterproof jacket that is installed on top of a material similar to FMC. The waterproof jacket means that the flexible metal conduit can be installed almost anywhere, including wet areas. LFMC can be used in hazardous areas as long as the proper receptacles are used.
Flexible Metal Tubing, or FMT, is a metal tube that is completely flexible and liquid-tight, with no non-metallic jacket. Flexible metal tubing can be bent into almost any shape and easily passed through walls. This makes it perfect for use in DIY projects when you don't want to bother with bending and joining conduit sections.
Liquid-tight flexible non-metallic conduit, or LNFC or FNMC, is a group of different types of non-metallic and flame-retardant electrical conduit. These types of conduit also have a water-resistant jacket to provide waterproof protection.
Some types of LNFC have reinforcements within the conduit walls for added strength. Liquid-tight flexible non-metallic conduit is suitable for use anywhere, including areas considered hazardous.
These are the 4 most common types of flexible electrical conduit that are very useful. Using these flexible conduits means you don't have to worry about bending or using specialized tools to mold the conduit into the correct shape.