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"Wire conduit" refers to a durable tube or other type of enclosure used to protect and provide a path for a single electrical wire. It is usually necessary to use conduits where the wires are exposed or where the wires may be damaged. The catheter can be made of metal or plastic, and can be rigid or flexible. All conduits are equipped with compatible accessories and electrical boxes, usually made of the same or similar materials. Conduit must be installed in accordance with NEC and all applicable local regulations.
Seven different types of conduits are commonly used in residential and light commercial wiring.
Rigid metal conduit or RMC is a heavy-duty galvanized steel pipe fitted with threaded joints. It is usually used outdoors to provide protection from damage, and it can also provide structural support for cables, panels and other equipment. The length of RMC is 10 feet and 20 feet, and both ends are threaded.
The Intermediate Metal Conduit or IMC is a thinner and lighter version of the rigid metal conduit and is approved for all the same applications as RMC. Since IMC is lighter and easier to use than RMC, it is more common in new structures.
Another example of a rigid conduit is EMT, which is most commonly made of galvanized steel, but it can also be aluminum. EMT is also called "thin-walled" catheter because it is thin and light, especially when compared to RMC. EMT is rigid, but can be bent with a simple tool called a catheter bender.
EMT is equipped with couplings and accessories, and is fixed with fixing screws or compression-type fasteners. The pipe itself is not threaded like RMC and IMC. Common sizes of EMT include 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch. It is commonly used for exposed indoor wiring in residential and light commercial buildings. If it is installed in an outdoor exposed location, special waterproof accessories must be used for assembly.
Non-metallic electrical pipes are flexible corrugated plastic pipes that are moisture-proof and flame-retardant. It is easy to bend and can be installed using snap locks or glued plastic fittings. Unlike EMT, non-metallic pipes cannot be installed in exposed locations, so they are usually used inside walls. In addition to being installed in a standard wooden structure or metal frame wall, the ENT can also be installed in a concrete block structure and covered with concrete. Due to the blue color of a common brand of the catheter, ENT is nicknamed "Smurf Tube" with the Smurfs cartoon characters.
Flexible Metal Conduit is also called "unexplored areas" after their inventor's name. It has a spiral structure that makes it flexible, so it can meander through walls and other structures. Standard FMC is used in dry indoor places and is usually used for short-distance operation between wall boxes and motors or fixed equipment.
Liquid Tight Flexible Metal Conduit is a special type of flexible metal conduit with plastic coating and used with sealing fittings to make it watertight. It is usually used with outdoor equipment, such as air conditioning units.
Rigid polyvinyl chloride is similar to plastic pipes and is fitted with plastic fittings glued in place. It can be bent after heating in a portable heater box. Because the conduit and fittings are glued together, the conduit assembly can be impervious to water, making PVC suitable for many applications that are directly buried in the ground. It is also allowed to be used in corrosive environments.
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