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Is Electrical Canalization Essential?

Do you think that sometimes the pipeline is unnecessary and only increases your costs? What is required for ducts, baskets, gutters, pipes or boxes?

In the market, different types of conduits or pipes for electrical wiring are obtained. Perhaps the most common are PVC (SCH40 and Type A), EMT, IMC, RMC, metallic biex and non-metallic biex. Also the ducts, the baskets and the gutters are of popular use.

But, what is the most convenient channel for my installation and why should I use it?

Well, to be clear about why, one must be clear about the why. The channeling is to protect. It fulfills the function of protecting electrical conductors from physical damage to which they may be exposed. A circuit, for example, wired with THHN, is vulnerable to physical damage because its insulation lining is not designed to withstand pressures, contacts or mechanical friction. A blow or friction of the wiring could cause the insulation to break and cause a short circuit fault. The electrical wiring must be protected according to the type of insulation and conditions in which it is to be used.

 Is Electrical Canalization Essential?

 Now, yes, why? Because we all want our electrical installation to be safe. Because we do not want short circuits to occur due to damage to the wiring that causes a fault or, in the worst case, a loss. Because we know that the electrical installation has a high cost, and we seek to extend its useful life to the maximum to save money and setbacks in the medium and long term.

An electrical installation of a house is very different from an industrial installation, but basically the principle is the same: to guarantee the physical integrity of the wiring to preserve its insulation and maintain its conductive capacity throughout its useful life (and more!).

As a fundamental basis in the selection of the correct pipe, first consider the type of cable to be used and its size (diameter). In all cases, the protection of the wiring is always sought without exceeding arbitrarily (increase costs), and the most common in all types of installations is to use piping. The most used pipes are EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing) and PVC (Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride Conduit), as well as metal baskets, flexible pipes and ducts for commercial and industrial installations.

In general, the selected pipeline must be properly sized according to the quantity and type of cables it contains. It has to be supported and be continuous throughout its journey. In addition you must have ALL your accessories and factory couplings.

Also currently in the market, "armed" conductors are obtained, which are already canalized with Type MC metallic protection. It is very practical when installing in accessible places such as ceilings, but it is not advisable to use it on concrete walls or floors because if the cable fails, the channeling is also lost and it will not be possible to replace it easily.

There are other models of cables that due to their lining, type of manufacture and recommended use, do not require ducting, but you must first ensure that it is certified for electrical use by a recognized entity, and also that the electrical engineer has approved it for the specific use what is going to happen The installation of any electrical element must follow the manufacturer's recommendations and be approved by a competent inspector.

electrical installation that is safe

On the other hand, the fact that an item is certified for electrical use, for example, UL Listed® certificates, does not guarantee that it is being used correctly. It is important to respect the electrical design and follow the recommendations of the inspector of the work to ensure that the channeling is correct.

The use of non-metallic gutter is also popular, but special care must be taken to install it correctly. As far as possible, we recommend avoiding this type of channeling in places with high traffic of users or that is exposed to constant blows, because it tends to loosen the cover or its accessories and leave the cable unprotected.
Metal basket and flexible tube

Another detail, no less important, is the aesthetics of the electrical installation. Your electrical system does not have to look ugly or neglected. The order, the symmetry and a correct arrangement of the electrical elements, make it clear that the technician is careful and pays attention to the details.

Make your decisions based on a technical criterion issued by a professional. The Electrical Code indicates the types of pipes, the permitted uses, dimensioning, installation methods and other necessary details for a correct selection and design.

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