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Old 09-27-2016, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default What's your process when figuring out how to run conduit?

I'm not bad at bending conduit when someone tells me exactly where to go but I struggle when I have to come up with my own route. I do it the way that seems best and then more experienced guys will tell me how they would've done it different. There way always seems so much better. So how do you guys figure out your route for conduit?
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:38 PM   #2
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This is one of the things I hated when I was an apprentice.

I had the technical/mechanical ability to do the job, but the "etiquette" is what I lacked due to inexperience. Just like you said, I could bend the hell out of pipe, but figuring out which way the foreman is going to prefer is what got me stressed out.

This is simply something that you will pick up as time goes on. The more you see the more you will know and the more confident you will become.

As for your specific question, it's hard to say thru a forum without seeing the job. You essentially want a straight run that will be out of the way of other trades and will leave access to things that need it.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:52 PM   #3
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I'm not bad at bending conduit when someone tells me exactly where to go but I struggle when I have to come up with my own route. I do it the way that seems best and then more experienced guys will tell me how they would've done it different. There way always seems so much better. So how do you guys figure out your route for conduit?
Try shortest distance and fewest bends.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:01 AM   #4
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Try shortest distance and fewest bends.
Yup!!! Or ask some oldie where they'd do it first!?
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:21 AM   #5
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Depends also on location. Exposed or hidden? I had to tell a guy recently to forget all the commercial habits he's developed. All the eyeballing and "close enough" wasn't cutting it in an exposed, eye level install.

On the flipside, this past summer I was running conduit in a ceiling of a high security building that was very difficult to remove and reinstall. Every piece had to go back in a particular order and could take up to 40 minutes depending on how much we took down. I opted for rigid because supporting was going to be very difficult even though I could have run emt. We only opened the ceiling where was necessary and I can tell you there was almost no regard for aesthetics.

As far as finding paths, try to get eye level, sometimes pathways that look great from the ground have a lot of obstacles, like those triangle purlin braces that don't always line up just right. Could be the difference of running above, or below the purlin. Above may be easier, faster, but hung below might look nicer and easier to match if there will be additional conduits.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:12 AM   #6
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I sit cross legged lotus style on the bundles of pipe and spend 30 minutes chanting Ommmmmm ommmmmmmm ommmmmmmm just loud enough for the conduit to hear me. It practically runs itself after that.......
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:35 AM   #7
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I sit cross legged lotus style on the bundles of pipe and spend 30 minutes chanting Ommmmmm ommmmmmmm ommmmmmmm just loud enough for the conduit to hear me. It practically runs itself after that.......
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:57 AM   #8
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I just throw it up and pray.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:25 AM   #9
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I try to figure what will take the least work and look the best. Most times the least work will look the best but not always.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
I sit cross legged lotus style on the bundles of pipe and spend 30 minutes chanting Ommmmmm ommmmmmmm ommmmmmmm just loud enough for the conduit to hear me. It practically runs itself after that.......
I have found the ommm method is resistant to the watt or amp method...
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:41 AM   #11
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Everybody is a pipe snob. There isn't a part of our trade where you will be criticized more harshly.

Me, I've lost most of my pipe skills so don't check the dumpster for bad bends once I'm finished.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:44 AM   #12
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there are 2 schools of thought:

1) get in before anyone else, throw it up with as few bends as possible, and as few branches as possible.

2) draw it out on the plans, and get with the supt, the HVAC and plumbing foreman and tell them your plans, work it out best for everyone (including yourself)


I know a lot of guys that use plan #1, and I've seen a lot of racks torn out because of it. #2 works for me, and also puts the other trades on notice, and also gives you backup for change orders some times. I hate doing stuff twice, even though it happens.

You also have to consider what is easier (ie. less work instead of building a bunch of trapezes, multi level racks,sleeve layouts, or ridiculously complicated ditches/manholes or fancy bends that weren't necessary).

If you don't know where to start, just try drawing 3 different routes, and see which one you like better.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:00 AM   #13
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I have found the ommm method is resistant to the watt or amp method...
I get it!
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:52 AM   #14
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Everybody is a pipe snob. There isn't a part of our trade where you will be criticized more harshly.

Me, I've lost most of my pipe skills so don't check the dumpster for bad bends once I'm finished.
All because it's out in the public eye where everyone sees 'crooked' and thinks "that should have been leveled".

In the past I have moved a couple straps on emt at stores that ticked me off everytime I saw them.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:02 AM   #15
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I try to figure what will take the least work and look the best. Most times the least work will look the best but not always.
Sometimes one can luck out.

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I just throw it up and pray.
Throw up usually stinks.

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Originally Posted by Majewski View Post
Yup!!! Or ask some oldie where they'd do it first!?
Most oldies are goodies.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:02 PM   #16
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Depends also on location. Exposed or hidden? I had to tell a guy recently to forget all the commercial habits he's developed. All the eyeballing and "close enough" wasn't cutting it in an exposed, eye level install.

On the flipside, this past summer I was running conduit in a ceiling of a high security building that was very difficult to remove and reinstall. Every piece had to go back in a particular order and could take up to 40 minutes depending on how much we took down. I opted for rigid because supporting was going to be very difficult even though I could have run emt. We only opened the ceiling where was necessary and I can tell you there was almost no regard for aesthetics.

As far as finding paths, try to get eye level, sometimes pathways that look great from the ground have a lot of obstacles, like those triangle purlin braces that don't always line up just right. Could be the difference of running above, or below the purlin. Above may be easier, faster, but hung below might look nicer and easier to match if there will be additional conduits.
I try to bend every thing as if it's exposed. I was told that would help me. The eye level idea seems like a good one I never thought of doing that
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:05 PM   #17
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there are 2 schools of thought:

1) get in before anyone else, throw it up with as few bends as possible, and as few branches as possible.

2) draw it out on the plans, and get with the supt, the HVAC and plumbing foreman and tell them your plans, work it out best for everyone (including yourself)


I know a lot of guys that use plan #1, and I've seen a lot of racks torn out because of it. #2 works for me, and also puts the other trades on notice, and also gives you backup for change orders some times. I hate doing stuff twice, even though it happens.

You also have to consider what is easier (ie. less work instead of building a bunch of trapezes, multi level racks,sleeve layouts, or ridiculously complicated ditches/manholes or fancy bends that weren't necessary).

If you don't know where to start, just try drawing 3 different routes, and see which one you like better.
I guess I should try to think easier. I mean I see the more experienced guys doing all the fancy bending I just assume it all has to look that good
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:46 PM   #18
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First off look for a pull by
If not loosen up other straps and make there's look crooked so you're will look better
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:21 PM   #19
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if your having trouble visualizing the best route, take a slow patient look at the environment and then run a string down the route you think is best. this will show you obstacles and problems that you may not have noticed. i carry a masons line and line level, but jet line works. you obviously want the least amount of bends and as much elbow room that you can have while also not making your rack stand out more than it should. i also use strings beside long pipe rack's (and lights in a long line or anything else in a line) while installing, it's faster and straighter than measuring off crooked stuff. (check prints for other trades as well)
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:17 PM   #20
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I used to visualize and even draft out conduit runs before I started them. Now I can pretty much look at the job and size it up in my head. I can't believe the amount of time some people will waste to avoid an offset. When I'm coming out of some gear I choose the best route I can see and I commit to it. I've seen dudes that think it's a better idea to work with 6-7' deep trapezes rather than keep the traps shallow and workable and just bend the offsets when the ceiling changes. Whatever though it all pays the same


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