Conduit fittings are used as a way to connect electrical cables together while they are being run through a building, through the ground, between two buildings, between a pole and a building, and so on. There are many types of conduit fittings, and they come in a variety of materials.
General Fitting Components
Because fittings come in such a wide variety of materials and types, it is a good idea to acquaint yourself with the basic components of fittings.
Bushings are pieces that are attached over the connecting points between cables and other cables, boxes or panels. They protect the wire from exposure should the cable get pulled on for some reason.
Combination couplings allow for different types of cabling to connect to one another, with one end attaching to a certain type of cable and the other side to another.
Couplings connect together two sections of the same type of cable.
Elbows help change the direction of a cable by 90 degrees at a time. Pull elbows are a type of elbow that allows access to the cables within an elbow.
Hubs are used when a conduit line is being run into a box without a hub of its own. It provides access to the conduit just as the place where it enters the box.
Locknuts tighten fittings in place and are especially important wherever a conduit is connecting to a box of some sort.
Reducers are fittings that transition between different sizes of cable.
Condulets are useful for changing the direction of a cable. They are shaped like long ovular boxes with two holes on each side and with a small section of pipe extending from each.
Cable connectors are used to connect an electrical cable to a box or an electrical panel.
EMT Conduit Fittings
Electrical Metal Tubing (EMT) is the most common type of electrical conduit cable. Several different varieties of fittings exist for this type of tubing. Fundamentally, they are made of two pieces of tube-shaped metal that are connected together either by set screw- or compression-type connectors or couplings.
Rigid Conduit Fittings
Rigid conduits are more pipelike than EMT, and require their own type of conduit fittings. The fittings for these types of conduits usually come in three parts: a coupling, locknuts and bushings. The coupling attaches to the pipe, the locknut keeps the coupling in place and the bushing covers up the locknut.
Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit Fittings
Rigid nonmetallic conduit fittings are made from PVC pipe. They come in several different types, with different functions. Male fittings are used to attach piping to a box or an adapter, usually with a locknut added. A coupling can attach two pieces of rigid conduit together. Several types of size and gender adapters are also available.
Flexible Conduit Fittings
Flexible conduit fittings are intended to be used with flexible conduits, and are therefore smaller and more compact than rigid conduit fittings.
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