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Old 02-10-2008, 04:45 PM   #1
 
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Default romex/conduit

hey everyone, a bit on my backround, im in my 6th week of my first year apprentice of ibew local 134.. we have midterms coming up and a whole lot of homework right now. one of my projects is to write a paper for conduit bending class on romex vs. conduit. basically being a chicago local where romex is outlawed, i need to swy my opinion to how horrible romex is, but i would love to hear both sides of everyones opinions and also any personal stories about each.. i have very very limited experience in the field and i would like to impress them so thank you very much in advance...


ROMEX vs. CONDUIT(EMT) PROS, CONS, DIFFERENCES, SIMILARITIES, ANY PERSONAL SUGGESTIONS, STORIES, INFORMATION?????

WHICH IS BETTER GUYS AND WHY??
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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Like night and day. Conduit is labor intensive, but does allow some finess in running circuits that NM doesn't allow.

Conduit tends to quench fire so it ******s its spread while NM doesn't.

I guess the biggest difference (to me) is in the labor skills and costs.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:22 PM   #3
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A well laid out conduit system allows for easy installation of additional circuits after the building is finished. Not so with NM.

There are times when an easy conduit run with multiple circuits can actually be faster than a bunch of NM.

Rob.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:57 PM   #4
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Conduit in houses...

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

I keep my tongue.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:54 AM   #5
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If romex is outlawed, how are you wiring houses? Conduit and MC? That would be time consuming and expensive.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:56 AM   #6
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They use conduit.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:42 AM   #7
 
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I've done conduit and romex in houses. If I had my choice I would use conduit. Sure romex works but I certainly wouldn't want it in my house. Taking an unskilled conduit bender and putting him/her in a conduit house will definately waste time in both the piping and pulling of the house. Once the skill is learned the conduit system is far superior and almost as fast as romex. It costs a bit more but so does any upgrades.

Now, why do people disagree with conduit in houses? How in your right mind can you say romex is better then conduit???? 2 skilled journeymen in a conduit 3000 sq. ft. house with no extras can have the rough completed in as low as 40 to 60 hours, perhaps not quite as low as romex but close enough for a much better quality elecrical system. Don't let your personal lack of conduit experience decide that conduit is a waste of time and money.

In my opinion, all romex should be outlawed in houses..... everywhere
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:45 PM   #8
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I'd like to see some pics of a conduit house. It definitely keeps the drywallers from popping screws in the wire. I agree repairs could be alot easier. As far as conduit goes, I am slow, just don't do it that much.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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When I wired my own house about 12 years ago, I used a combination of EMT and NM. It's 3400 sq. ft. 2 story, with a 1700 sq. ft. garage. It's served with a 208/120 3PH 4W wye. Mainly because most of my shop equipment is 3PH.

I ran 2- 3/4 EMT's from the panel on the wall that separates the house from the garage both directions on the outside wall of the house part. In each one are 9 ckts. 3 for recpt's, 3 for lighting, and 3 more for night lights. (Split recpts.) These are fed thru a contactor controlled by a photocell. They run things like table lamps, electric blankets, etc. Stuff you only want on at night.

Another 3/4 EMT runs to the kitchen area under the floor (wood joists). Still another to the laundry room.

From these, I branched out with NM to anything that was difficult to pipe.

Since I do mostly industrial work, I already had the EMT, and had to buy the NM. Looking back from here, even if I had to buy all of it, I likely would have done it the same way.

Rob.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:30 AM   #10
 
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super 33 are you 134? thanks for all of the input guys, my printer was actually screwed up the morning it was due so now its late but i have another day to add anything so keep the comments coming.. and as far as my personal opinion, i definately firmly believe that romex should be done away with for anything with the exception of temp lighting on a jobsite.. sure beinding conduit is hard for anyone at first, but i think im getting pretty good at it.. just aced my 3 and 4 bend saddle quiz
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:13 PM   #11
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"Two skilled journeymen" versus two employees "roping" a house in about one and a half days? Big difference.

I agree that commercial methods (conduit and MC) are better in the long run, but I don't think it is all that practical for residential. I think "Romex" is fine for the application.

I do think using firestop on sill and top-plate penetrations is a good idea, but the fire people say it doesn't make any difference in the real-world of residential fires. Based on the few I've seen, I can't disagree, but I still think it might help a little.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waco View Post
I do think using firestop on sill and top-plate penetrations is a good idea, but the fire people say it doesn't make any difference in the real-world of residential fires. Based on the few I've seen, I can't disagree, but I still think it might help a little.
It won't help unless you treat all the paths a fire could take. Stairways, plumbing chases and ductwork paths also need to be considered.
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:18 PM   #13
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I REALLY want to see a house with all the outlets and lights piped in at the rough stage. I have never seen or heard of such a thing untill now. Up here almost everything is able to be done with romex. Even in a Drop ceiling that is not a plenum ceiling we can use ROMEX (NEC doesn't allow it).

If anyone has a picture please post it here.....
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
2 skilled journeymen in a conduit 3000 sq. ft. house with no extras can have the rough completed in as low as 40 to 60 hours,

When I started in the trade we (a journeyman and me, the apprentice) would rough in two 1500 sq ft track homes a day INCLUDING the service That is about 16 hours for 3K feet. NM is WAY faster.


There is no comparison between the two if you are talking dollars.


There is no comparision between the two if you are talking quality.




Quote:
It definitely keeps the drywallers from popping screws in the wire.
Nope. Seen it and repaired it. Ive seen both pointers and self tappers run right thru conduit.

Last edited by 220/221; 02-12-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:50 PM   #15
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Benefits of EMT
1. It is harder to run a nail, screw, sawzall through the pipe than romex, and it is more liklely that you will know if you have hit something.
2. It is easier for the homewoner or future electrician to add circuits.

However if installed properly romex will probbly out live the Homeowner anyway. I feel Conduit overall is not practical for residential, Whos paying? Do you really want that bid? Is the customer loaded? Anyway Im from california most people don't live in the same house for more then five years anyway. Romex works fine in my house.

Last edited by 5volts; 02-12-2008 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Spell check
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:24 PM   #16
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I am in local 134 and I have to wonder, to what advantage is this paper? Romex is not an inherently menacing system as 134 would have you believe. Like many have said before, each has its advantages and drawbacks. I know for a fact that Brian John thinks EMT in houses is pure folly. Romex is cheaper and faster but more prone to damage and harder to rework later. Conduit is more expensive, but harder to damage and really easy to rework circuits. When I refer to cost, I refer also to cost of install. Speaking of install: I used to flat houses with EMT and we were expected to run about 800 feet per day. I know also that a rope rocket could smoke that tally no problem.

Bottom line: I wouldn't run romex in my house, you won't run EMT. One is better, one is just fine.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:02 AM   #17
 
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well yes, i think that they want us to be very biased, coming from the union view conduit involves much more work and many more man hours which equals more money in our pockets.. like you said though, i would personally prefer a metallic raceway in my own house as well
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:54 PM   #18
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I think it also has to do with the safety of the install. In the long term over the course of many years and hundreds of picture hangings, I think conduit will definitely fare better. It's also nice that conduit installs gets us out of some of the AFCI installs, but you can learn that in code class.

Since I live in the city I don't have to choose conduit. It's already there.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:51 PM   #19
 
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around here all residential is roped in, do I like it? NO pipe would be much better. Unfortunataly there is no way to win a resi. bid using pipe. Last new construction home I bid on I did not get thankfully, the general wanted to pay $2.25 sqft including materials. Would you run pipe in a 1600ft house for $3600.00 and supply everything?
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wire_twister View Post
around here all residential is roped in, do I like it? NO pipe would be much better. Unfortunataly there is no way to win a resi. bid using pipe. Last new construction home I bid on I did not get thankfully, the general wanted to pay $2.25 sqft including materials. Would you run pipe in a 1600ft house for $3600.00 and supply everything?

Shootfire! I wouldn't even wire a 1600' house with romex for $3600. Around here, 12-2 costs at least $.28/ft. That's about $500 just for the 12-2.
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