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  • Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

    Here is the situation.

    I am in the middle of remodeling a bathroom on the upper floor of a split-foyer. It is right above the unfinished laundry, where the electric box is situated (the lower level is the basement and above the first floor is an unfinished attic). I have taken everything off down to the framing. In the corner of the bathroom there is a roughly 3x4 enclosed passageway that runs straight from the laundry to the attic. In it, the builders ran the main A/C air duct to upper floor, as well as the flue from the Gas Water heater and Furnace.

    I had this idea about running 2 conduits from Basement to attic to “future-proof” the place and get ready for future remodel ideas! Conceptually, I would use one to fish electric wires (I was thinking of the usual 14/2 NM-B and 12-2 Romex NM/B which have been ran elsewhere) and the other to run low-voltage wires (RG-6 and Cat 5e. perhaps speaker wire). The purpose of the conduits would have been to simply have a path (it will be about a 9 foot run) between the attic and the basement) to simplify future wiring.

    As I look into this, there seems to be more to it than the electrician at the local home improvement store conveyed. I am hoping readers here have better ideas:
    1.
    What other approach would you use (if not what I trying to do) to accomplish the same purpose? (the rest of the house if finished and I won't get the same straight shot to laundry on any future project)

    2.If going the conduit route, I was recommended to use 2 x 1inch PVC 10 foot conduits.
    a. Would that be OK for low-voltage wires;
    b.

    I have come across things like fill % (seems to be 40% for 1” pvc pipe) for NM wire in conduit. Apparently, there is danger of overheating. But this would barely give me 2 runs and defeat the purpose of what I had in mind! Ideas?


    c. If I run a conduit, what could I do at the two ends for:
    i. Fire protection;
    ii. Prevent Insects from crawling it;
    iii. Preventing heat loss from basement to attic
    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

    I'm not an electrician by any means, but I would run at least 2" pvc if it would fit.

    i. fire caulk
    ii. the above would take care of this
    iii. see i.

    if nothing else stuff some insulation in both ends.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

      Pvc conduit is pretty much the same size as pvc sprinkler pipe. If you can't find the grey caps , then just buy the white pvc caps. On the belled end, either buy a plug, cut the bell off and cap it or add a short piece of pipe and cap it.

      As far as fire protection, they sell fire proof caulking. But your house is wood framed and most likely other than drywall for fire rating, nothing else is.

      Is the run just a straight 10' stick? Pvc is cheap. I would run separate 3/4" , multiple pipes. Much easier than 1 larger pipe for future wire pulls with multiple conductors.

      Rick.
      Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 01-30-2013, 11:47 AM. Reason: spell.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

        What I was told by by my electrician is that if the pipe is open on both ends it is not considered a conduit, it is then a raceway:

        - if plugged, a conduit, you cannot run romex in it, you need stranded like THHN
        - if open, a raceway for protection of the wire, you can run romex

        I also would use multiple smaller pipes. I believe it is against the code to run both high and low voltage wires together. It's bad practice, too, because of the frequency induced noise. Why worry about fire proofing and heat loss when you already have a giant square run right into the attic already?
        ~~

        ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

          My best advice is don't run anything except a piece of poly string, so in the future if you want to run something it will make it easier to pull wire.

          NM can be run in conduit provided it is not exceeding the conduit fill (but doing so is stupid and a waist of time, unless its needed to protect from physical damage)

          PVC is OK for "low voltage" but it is against code to have unused or abandoned communication circuits hanging around.

          Your low voltage wires must be rated for in wall "riser" type (see NEC and AHJ)

          If you use conduit it must be properly secured (how are you going to strap it inside the walls?)

          Conduit is a type of raceway, if you want to use it land it in a properly sized junction box for the size cables you use to allow for bend radius.

          Fire stopping is very important, usually a red caulking is used but check your city inspector.

          If you use pvc use expansion joints to allow for expansion.

          If this chase is a plenum area the rules get allot trickier.

          Everything used must be listed for its use. (Don't substitute with non-electrical parts)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            Pvc conduit is pretty much the same size as pvc sprinkler pipe. If you can't find the grey caps , then just buy the white pvc caps. On the belled end, either buy a plug, cut the bell off and cap it or add a short piece of pipe and cap it.

            As far as fire protection, they sell fire proof caulking. But your house is wood framed and most likely other than drywall for fire rating, nothing else is.

            Is the run just a straight 10' stick? Pvc is cheap. I would run separate 3/4" , multiple pipes. Much easier than 1 larger pipe for future wire pulls with multiple conductors.

            Rick.
            Thanks, Rick. Yes, it is just 9' run between the ceiling of basement and the floor of the Attic. I am concerned about passing inspection...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

              Originally posted by G3sprinklers View Post
              if nothing else stuff some insulation in both ends.
              Thanks. Just regular insulation I have in the attic?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                What I was told by by my electrician is that if the pipe is open on both ends it is not considered a conduit, it is then a raceway:
                ....
                - if open, a raceway for protection of the wire, you can run romex
                ... Why worry about fire proofing and heat loss when you already have a giant square run right into the attic already?
                The top (to attic) and bottom (to basement) of the chase are closed, admittedly not perfectly, with metal sheeting.

                I am concerned about worried about passing inspection and don't want to make the wonderful handy work of someone any worse, if possible!

                I will look into "raceway" idea. Would I still be limited in terms of number of wires that can be put in the conduit?

                Thank you

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                  Originally posted by Andi.M View Post

                  I will look into "raceway" idea. Would I still be limited in terms of number of wires that can be put in the conduit?
                  Yes, I believe the fill requirements are the same.
                  ~~

                  ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                    Originally posted by Andi.M View Post
                    Thanks, Rick. Yes, it is just 9' run between the ceiling of basement and the floor of the Attic. I am concerned about passing inspection...
                    I'm sure advice was given with good intentions, but If you want to pass an electrical inspection I wouldn't take electrical advice from a plumber.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                      Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                      I'm sure advice was given with good intentions, but If you want to pass an electrical inspection I wouldn't take electrical advice from a plumber.
                      And how does

                      "Occupation seniorsupervisorinsubterainiansanitation" (garbage man supervisor?)

                      make you any more of an expert? Just because someone is a master plumber does not necessarily make them a dunce in other areas. Please make sure you know ALL of someone's personal qualifications before you start trading barbs.


                      Consultation with a qualified licensed master electrician will provide the only good answer for the OP in their area.
                      ~~

                      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                        Thank you, all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                          I am not in this field but I saw the electric wire running inside the wall many times. It is a job of expert so I like this kind of post so that I could know more about it.
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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Running Wires in Conduit inside a wall

                            Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                            And how does

                            "Occupation seniorsupervisorinsubterainiansanitation" (garbage man supervisor?)

                            make you any more of an expert? Just because someone is a master plumber does not necessarily make them a dunce in other areas. Please make sure you know ALL of someone's personal qualifications before you start trading barbs.


                            Consultation with a qualified licensed master electrician will provide the only good answer for the OP in their area.
                            Firstly, I did mention a "good intent". Secondly, I don't give advice about things I don't know what I'm talking about. and Thirdly, if your read my clearly laid out post you might pick up on the fact that I am a licensed Master Electrician. otherwise I would not be posting advice on an Electrician forum.

                            Maybe plumbers should stick to plumbing, at least no one will die if there is a leak.

                            Comment

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