How to Install EMT Conduit and Wiring

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Many people die every year when they are electrocuted by exposed wiring. One way to prevent this is to install the conductors inside EMT conduit. This is a thin metal pipe that keeps hands away from the wires and protects them from mechanical damage. It is used when wires are run on the outside of your home or exposed on the exterior of walls. Installing EMT conduit is a simple process that requires a specialized bending tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • EMT bender
  • EMT conduit
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Conduit supports
  • Screws
  • Fish tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Determine the best path to run the EMT conduit on the surface of a wall. The route needs to be at least 18 inches from the ground while taking the most direct path. A single run of EMT conduit can not have more than 360 degrees of turns in it to facilitate fishing the wires through it.

  • Measure from the start of the EMT conduit to the first bend. Mark the center of the bend and the number of degrees on the pipe with a marker. Repeat this process to mark all of the corners on the pipe.

  • Center the pipe in the EMT bender, aligning the middle of the first bend with the handle of the bending tool. Lay the conduit on the ground and make the bend by pulling the bender's handle with your hands to the correct angle. Repeat this process to complete all of the required bends. It is wise to periodically check you work against the wall to determine if the conduit is taking the correct shape.

  • Hold the EMT conduit against the wall in the location you wish to mount it. Position a conduit support 3 feet from the start and mark the screw hole on the wall with a marker. Drill a hole in this location with a bit that is slightly smaller than the mounting screw's diameter.

  • Secure the support to the wall with a screw. Repeat this process to install a conduit support every 10 feet, with one installed within 3 feet of the other end.

  • Push the end of the fish tape into the start of the conduit. Keep pushing the fish tape while it works its way through the pipe. You may have to work it back and forth at corners to make the turns.

  • Pull the fish tape out the other end and secure the wire to it with electrical tape. It is important that the leading edge of the wire is taped tightly to the fish tape to keep it from catching on joints and corners in the pipe.

  • Pull the fish tape slowly, but firmly, back through the conduit. Once the wire is pulled through the conduit, remove the tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • EMT conduit can only be bent once before its structural integrity is compromised. Measuring twice and bending once helps avoid wasting material.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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