Ways Of Delivering Electricty throughout Home Depend on Application
Types of Residential Conduits
All the electrical current that powers the home enters at one central location and then is distributed throughout the home from the circuit breaker box, fuse box, or electric service panel. The type of wiring and the conduit that contains it is specified by the local building code. The homeowner may choose to upgrade, which is not a bad idea.
An important first step before any wiring projects is to have an understanding of home wiring.
The most common is called Nonmetallic Cable (NM cable or Romex). This is sufficient for most applications and is quite inexpensive. Upgrades form Romex are members of the residential conduit family – armored cable, metal conduit, and PVC conduit.
Using Armored Cable Conduit
Always consult the local electrical building codes; some are now requiring using armored cable conduit as opposed to Romex. In any event, the expense is not that much more and it is much safer than NM cable.
Armored cable is basically a coiled metal sheathing. It’s as flexible as Romex, but guards against nail puncture when hanging sheetrock, hammering nails to hang pictures, etc.
To cut armored cable, bend it until the coils separate. Then, twist the coils apart until enough wire is exposed. Any excess cable can be cut away with side-cutters or tin snips.
Using Metal Conduit for Residential Wiring
Most people think commercial construction when they think rigid metal conduit. Actually, it’s great for residential applications, especially in garages, basements, attics, and crawlspaces. Mice love chewing on wiring in these areas. Metal conduit will stop them in their tracks.
When installing rigid metal conduit, it will be necessary to use a conduit bender, conduit couplings, offset fittings, and elbows.
Unlike armored cable, metal conduit does not come with wire already installed. Wire must be pulled through the metal conduit as needed. For a super flexible connection off the handy box, Greenfield (similar to armored conduit but without the wiring) is usually used to take the juice to the destination.
Using PVC Conduit for Residential Wiring
PVC conduits are incredible for residential indoor or exterior applications. And, with all the connections available, assembling a PVC circuit is analogous to putting together junior’s Lego project.
PVC conduit can be rough-cut with a hack saw and connected with PVC primer and glue for a permanent conduit.
Where is PVC the best choice? There are two spots that come to mind; outdoors lighting and underground. The benefits in either arena are waterproofing and using a non-rusting material.
Residential Conduit Conclusion
In summary, the means of electrical transmission used in the home depends on several factors – environment, economy, safety, and of course, local building codes.