welding unistrut clamps. - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Trade Topics > Industrial Electrical Forum


Like Tree20Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-09-2018, 06:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: florida
Posts: 1,332
Rewards Points: 880
Default welding unistrut clamps.

When you run unistrut (stainless) vertical in a area with a high level of vibration it seems the clamp always come loose and slip down. It might take years but every make and model of clamp seems to do this (mild steel is not to bad as it rusts and gives the clamp something to grip)

As a patch we tig the bottom clamp or use a spring nut and a square washer to act as a stop if the conduit slips. (normally years after original install)

I was wondering if you hooked a spot welder to the clamp after the conduit was installed (ground on the unistrut and stinger on the clamp) if you could get the contact points between the clamp and unistut to weld. Now it wouldn't be that strong that you couldn't wiggle it and snap it off and it defiantly wouldn't hold up to a couple of silverback mechanics hanging of it but it should stop the clamp from slipping.

Any thoughts?
gpop is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-09-2018, 06:53 PM   #2
Hackenschmidt
 
splatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 7,987
Rewards Points: 3,376
Default

I never thought of that, it sounds like it should work.

I have just deformed the channel a little to make sure things don't slide.
__________________
Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler
splatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 06:55 PM   #3
Cow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Oregon
Posts: 2,804
Rewards Points: 4,448
Default

Hmm, good one.


We've wired some grain mills, getting ready to do another here shortly, but we use regular strut for those and weld it to the the frame work for vibration reasons. But, like you said, we've never had an issue, that I know of, with the strut straps sliding down.


I can't think of any place we've ran stainless that has had the issue you're describing. Interesting problem, sounds like a pain in the @ss to deal with though.


I wonder if there is a way to grind a notch with a skinny wheel, die grinder, whatever that would keep the strap from sliding.


On second thought, maybe welding a small ss nut or similar to the face of the strut right up against the bottom of the strut strap? At least then you could still remove the strap if needed.


Just throwing out ideas here...
Cow is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-09-2018, 07:14 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Chops146's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Midwest
Posts: 516
Rewards Points: 1,032
Default

I have used spring nut, square washer and bolt for this. One rack where they didn't want the squares showing I used a spring nut and bolt, I think it was 1Ĺ", and turned it until it was grinding into the block behind the strut.
Gnome, Helmut and gpop like this.
__________________
None of us is as important as all of us.
Same plight, same fight.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
Chops146 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 07:14 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 648
Rewards Points: 112
Default

Iím no longer working as an electrician so my code book is stowed. Iím pretty sure there is a code prohibition about welding conduit straps shut. Welding the strap to the strut is possibly ok but welding the strap closed is prolly a violation. I know people that interpreted it as absolutely no welding on any conduit or clamps. Wish I could read again now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Flyingsod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 601
Rewards Points: 46
Default

My brother is a hobbyist welder so I asked him about this. He says it's too great of an area for a spot welder to work. They concentrate the weld in a very small spot.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
Forge Boyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 08:13 PM   #7
Moderator
 
John Valdes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 15,479
Rewards Points: 2,588
Default

I have never used a welder once in my whole career. Except to practice with scrap on the night shift when there was little else to do.

I have never really seen an application where an electrician needed to weld anything or have anything welded.
In fact I was under the impression welding and electrical systems/support were a "No No"

A foreman in a plant who decided to practice his welding, decided to weld a Hoffman enclosure to strut once. To save time was his excuse.
It looked horrible. Even scorched the inside of that expensive enclosure.
I once had a ship yard electrician ask me "why not tack weld" the 2" EMT conduit to the strut to save time and not need any strut clamps. HUH?

Like I said. Never welded any electrical parts in my life and see no reason to start now.
I always thought it was hack. And silly.
I mean we are not pipe fitters. We have a product or part to do every job we can ever come up against. Welding something was never even considered.
John Valdes is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 08:37 PM   #8
Cow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Oregon
Posts: 2,804
Rewards Points: 4,448
Default

We weld all the time.

Ag services(on tube frame stanchions), strut brackets, transformer supports, conduit layout jigs for switchgear underground stubups, etc etc, on and on.

In my opinion, it's fairly limiting, if the only things an electrician can build are the ones they make strut brackets or electrical hardware for.

I've seen some real contraptions electricians have built out of strut and strut brackets, that would of been half as complicated and take half the time and resources, if they had just been welded.

For instance, I built this stanchion and had it powdercoated, because there wasn't enough wall space for this equipment. Another EC attached all the electrical equipment to it though.
Attached Thumbnails
welding unistrut clamps.-20180905_134836.jpg  

glen1971, Forge Boyz and gpop like this.
Cow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 08:51 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: florida
Posts: 1,332
Rewards Points: 880
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Valdes View Post
I have never used a welder once in my whole career. Except to practice with scrap on the night shift when there was little else to do.

I have never really seen an application where an electrician needed to weld anything or have anything welded.
In fact I was under the impression welding and electrical systems/support were a "No No"

A foreman in a plant who decided to practice his welding, decided to weld a Hoffman enclosure to strut once. To save time was his excuse.
It looked horrible. Even scorched the inside of that expensive enclosure.
I once had a ship yard electrician ask me "why not tack weld" the 2" EMT conduit to the strut to save time and not need any strut clamps. HUH?

Like I said. Never welded any electrical parts in my life and see no reason to start now.
I always thought it was hack. And silly.
I mean we are not pipe fitters. We have a product or part to do every job we can ever come up against. Welding something was never even considered.
Working in a food grade stainless plant means welding as there are so many rules about making sure that the conduit and supports do not harbor food for bacteria. It why most strut is mounted vertical.

I have seen a new design for the food industry that is half round with a slot as a replacement for unistrut in SS so maybe that is the answer. In the mean time i might just borrow a spot weld timer and see what happens on some scrap. If it can tack the 4 small spots where the strut clamp grips it might work. The conduit is pvc coated ridgid (which may be the reason it loosens over time as the rubber between the strut and the conduit wears and compresses) So i do not think that a tiny weld will affect it.
gpop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 08:55 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: florida
Posts: 1,332
Rewards Points: 880
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post
We weld all the time.

Ag services(on tube frame stanchions), strut brackets, transformer supports, conduit layout jigs for switchgear underground stubups, etc etc, on and on.

In my opinion, it's fairly limiting, if the only things an electrician can build are the ones they make strut brackets or electrical hardware for.

I've seen some real contraptions electricians have built out of strut and strut brackets, that would of been half as complicated and take half the time and resources, if they had just been welded.

For instance, I built this stanchion and had it powdercoated, because there wasn't enough wall space for this equipment. Another EC attached all the electrical equipment to it though.
Isnt that a damp area with that ammonia vessel behind it (ice). Do the vfds hold up ok or do they grow mold?
gpop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 08:56 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 648
Rewards Points: 112
Default

Iím surprised youíre allowed to use strut. That little lip curl ya about impossible for the porters to clean. Also when I did extensive work in a bakery the rule was all pipe work had to be min 3Ē off the wall to facilitate wall cleaning. We had to have a sheet metal co fab some stainless standoffs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Kevin_Essiambre and gpop like this.
Flyingsod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 09:02 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: florida
Posts: 1,332
Rewards Points: 880
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingsod View Post
Iím surprised youíre allowed to use strut. That little lip curl ya about impossible for the porters to clean. Also when I did extensive work in a bakery the rule was all pipe work had to be min 3Ē off the wall to facilitate wall cleaning. We had to have a sheet metal co fab some stainless standoffs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Bakery's and places that use dry powder are way worse than a place that does liquids.
gpop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 09:13 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Jlarson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,105
Rewards Points: 3,906
Default

I wouldn't allow that just because it might leave stray arc marks.



We typically use food grade strut or ss angle and U bolts.
__________________
Everything has user serviceable parts inside.
Jlarson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 10:26 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Alberta Rockies
Posts: 2,638
Rewards Points: 3,636
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Valdes View Post
I have never used a welder once in my whole career. Except to practice with scrap on the night shift when there was little else to do.

I have never really seen an application where an electrician needed to weld anything or have anything welded.
In fact I was under the impression welding and electrical systems/support were a "No No"

A foreman in a plant who decided to practice his welding, decided to weld a Hoffman enclosure to strut once. To save time was his excuse.
It looked horrible. Even scorched the inside of that expensive enclosure.
I once had a ship yard electrician ask me "why not tack weld" the 2" EMT conduit to the strut to save time and not need any strut clamps. HUH?

Like I said. Never welded any electrical parts in my life and see no reason to start now.
I always thought it was hack. And silly.
I mean we are not pipe fitters. We have a product or part to do every job we can ever come up against. Welding something was never even considered.
Guess it all depends on the area(s) that one works.. We've welded thousands of supports over the years for electrical cable tray, unistrut, and structural steel (C-Channel, square tubing etc) for panels, disconnects, Junction Boxes, conduit runs, etc.. Some places where structural steel was fireproofed, they had very strict installation guidelines on how to build electrical supports so that they could later be properly fireproofed. One place had the switchgear welded to 4" C-channel that were set in place in the concrete floor.
Gnome likes this.
glen1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #15
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,519
Rewards Points: 7,706
Default

I would just give the strut a nice squeeze with a pair of channel lock and it buggers up the channel enough to where the straps cant slide.

I have found a few straps and even conduits welded and its always some cross over trade Hack that has done it. It really sucks for the next guy that ends up having to bring out a grinder to do some simple demo.

We had a rack made like COW posted for a distribution panel but, I think I would draw the line at welding straps. Maybe consider vibration proof nuts or something else.
John Valdes, Flyingsod and splatz like this.
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 08:10 AM   #16
Hackenschmidt
 
splatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 7,987
Rewards Points: 3,376
Default

Actually if you just nick the channel with a bandsaw, and drive a tiny sheet metal screw into the kerf, it isn't going anywhere, but if you remove the screw, you can move things around if you ever need to.
glen1971 likes this.
__________________
Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler
splatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 09:32 AM   #17
Russian Bot
 
Helmut's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: THE United States Of America
Posts: 3,405
Rewards Points: 3,691
Default

Count me in on the cone nut, bolt and washer crowd.

I wouldn't weld it.
__________________
Alright, Alright, Alright... I'll tell you what to do. Go that way, reeeeeeeeeally fast. If something gets in your way......turn.
Helmut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 10:26 AM   #18
Senile Member
 
macmikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 26,504
Rewards Points: 15,355
Default

I haven't pulled out any of my welding machines in decades from the gang boxes they live in , but yes I can walk around the tarmac at Honolulu International Airport and point out probably a thousand pieces of strut people in my employ welded to jetways and other metal supports. Never tried welding a strap though, just mounting the unistrut to metal as a support means. If you have a guy working all day 5 days a week doing nothing else but welding like I had , you can cut a lot of time out of a project and it is a very good way to make some money , but you need something like that to make it worth the setup. You guys talk about mounting panels on plywood all the time. Well, we were mounting plate steel to iron column's and then spot welding panels to that.
Southeast Power likes this.
__________________
Thought for the Day: President Trump is the first sitting U.S. president to EVER step foot in North Korea... Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for being black.
macmikeman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 11:13 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 648
Rewards Points: 112
Default

Everything Can be done with strut but some things look way better with welded structural steel. Take for instance hanging a transformer. Get a fabricator to build a shelf for it and it looks like part of the building meant to be there. On the other hand hang it from all thread and strut like we often do and itís janky looking like an after thought. Strut to me (while I used it and really liked working with it) is like an erector set for adults. Itís toyish looking.

I love that idea about squeezing the strut as long as you can keep from scratching it. Scratches are places for bacteria to grow. Thatís also a concern with cutting or adding a set screw.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
glen1971, splatz and gpop like this.
Flyingsod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 01:43 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Chops146's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Midwest
Posts: 516
Rewards Points: 1,032
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpop View Post
Working in a food grade stainless plant means welding as there are so many rules about making sure that the conduit and supports do not harbor food for bacteria. It why most strut is mounted vertical.

I have seen a new design for the food industry that is half round with a slot as a replacement for unistrut in SS so maybe that is the answer. In the mean time i might just borrow a spot weld timer and see what happens on some scrap. If it can tack the 4 small spots where the strut clamp grips it might work. The conduit is pvc coated ridgid (which may be the reason it loosens over time as the rubber between the strut and the conduit wears and compresses) So i do not think that a tiny weld will affect it.
What kind of straps are you using? If it's the PVC coated ones, there's your problem. All that PVC doesn't like gravity. There's a spray coating (I will edit this if I remember the name) that is listed to make rigid straps able to replace PVC coated. It allows for a much firmer grasp on the pipe! Just hang the straps from tie wire and spray them a good coat and dry overnight. I use bolts and nuts from PVC coated sets.
gpop likes this.
__________________
None of us is as important as all of us.
Same plight, same fight.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
Chops146 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Conduit Clamps need to be certified CSA or not?? Explorer1 Canadian Electrical Forum 8 03-15-2018 11:07 PM
unistrut product, where do i get it?? benderbus Business, Marketing, and Sales 24 11-09-2017 06:25 PM
Welding Machine Cord Length martindag General Electrical Discussion 7 06-12-2017 04:10 PM
wiring for a welding receptacle McDaniel8402 Industrial Electrical Forum 16 03-01-2017 04:20 PM
Welding without a shield Nom Deplume Off Topic (Non Trade) 10 05-11-2016 11:59 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com