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Old 07-02-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default Running emt alone

I've been doing more and more emt runs by myself and I'm having a hard time getting the runs straight without killing myself going back and fourth with straps.

My last run was off a 10 foot ladder, on a cinder block wall about 12 feet high. This jobsite is very unorganized so I've been using whatever material we have. I'm using compression connectors/couplings and sad to say ,Mc straps spread open on 1/2 inch pipe.

My plan of attack . Made my box offset, first strap with in 3 feet of pipe.
The problem running pipe alone off a ladder so high is getting everything straight. To do that I made offset, strapped within 3 feet and put coupling on for next pipe. Now on a long piece of pipe , running it alone I had to put another strap close to the coupling to keep it level. Now I grab a 10 ft piece of pipe , put my ladder 8 feet away so I can slide the pipe in and again strap near the coupling. I feel like I'm working so hard for something so simple. I gotta go back and loosen the strap to get my channel locks in and tighten the compression coupling. Constant back and fourth ....

Am I doing something to make my job harder?
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:48 AM   #2
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Take your screwdriver and pry the end where the coupling is out just a little bit. The screwdriver will remain in place until you pull it out from between the pipe and the wall. Just enough to insert the pipe into the connector. It can be difficult doing this alone especially with compression couplings and connectors. But it can be done and is done all the time.

You really don't need a level for this as the block joints should be used to make it look straight. Sometimes level is not right because it looks crooked. Use the block for your level.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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Chalk line and plumb bob laser.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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Just follow the block and you'll be in the groove.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MechanicalDVR View Post
Just follow the block and you'll be in the groove.
I had a guy using a level once on a sloped floor. When I told him it looked like ****, he pulled out his level and showed me how level it was.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:31 PM   #6
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I had a guy using a level once on a sloped floor. When I told him it looked like ****, he pulled out his level and showed me how level it was.
I've made that mistake starting out myself and learned that day straight with larger lines (ceiling/floor) is far more important than level.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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The trick with strapping and running conduit solo keeping it level or plumb is making sure you have a strap as close to the end of the conduit as possible. If you start by putting a strap 3' from a box and then 10' away from that, that puts it only 3' onto the next conduit. Then, that conduit is going to droop for the last 7' and it will be a game of seesaw trying to get the next stick level.

Another trick I use is snapping a chalk line. It's usually not too much trouble to snap a line that'll flush out with the top of the conduit. When the conduit is installed you won't see it. Use the purple dust off chalk over the more noticeable blue or red chalk. Sure it takes a couple minutes to snap a line solo, but that time is saved when you don't have to get out your level anymore for every piece you put up, you're just following a line at this point.

I also have a rotary laser I use. It'll give me a horizontal or vertical line for 200'. It works great for running conduit. It's really saved me when running pvc horizontally for long distances in barns where I have to strap every 3 feet. It's almost impossible to run pvc straight, but the laser or chalk line gets it done.

I've had customers even ask me how I can get it so straight....
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Old 07-02-2016, 01:46 PM   #8
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Ditch the one holes and use mineralak straps. Pre install the straps up 10-20' down the run. Use a tape measure and just follow block lines. It's hard to level EMT anyway as the pipe isn't always strait.
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:05 PM   #9
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Am I doing something to make my job harder?
Probably a bunch of stuff.

12' up and you are making box offsets ? I rarely ever used a box offset. Maybe an exposed switch box in a nice setting.

When running pipe by yourself it's a good idea to pre install the straps and leave them loose. You can measure from the grout lines if you don't want to use a chalk line.

Pre install couplings on one end of your conduits.


Quote:
I'm Mc straps spread open on 1/2 inch pipe.
Never mind, Go away
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:23 PM   #10
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Ditch the one holes and use mineralak straps. Pre install the straps up 10-20' down the run. Use a tape measure and just follow block lines. It's hard to level EMT anyway as the pipe isn't always strait.
I like minnies too! But they cost xx times what a one hole costs.
I like the finished look too with minnies and the ability to install them before the pipe.

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Probably a bunch of stuff.

12' up and you are making box offsets ? I rarely ever used a box offset. Maybe an exposed switch box in a nice setting.

When running pipe by yourself it's a good idea to pre install the straps and leave them loose. You can measure from the grout lines if you don't want to use a chalk line.

Pre install couplings on one end of your conduits.




Never mind, Go away
I always used box offsets when exposed. But I do admit to forgetting from time to time.

I never had any success installing loose straps before the conduit. Unless you are using Minnies or your on Unistrut. Seemed like more work actually.

Yea, I saw that silly MC strap. Trolling maybe?
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:09 PM   #11
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Just follow the block and you'll be in the groove.
Bingo.

I'm I reading you right ? You're stretching out 3/8" straps into 1/2" straps ?

Are these the one-piece stirrup style { CADDY:: SCH-8 }




or are these the old school ( totally uneconomic ) multi-piece assemblies ?




Are your strut elements attached vertically to the cinder block ?

If parallel runs, use your Kleins torpedo level as a spacer ( 5/8", sideways, it is ... equal to commercial sheet rock, too. )

The common two-screw carpenter's clamp -- you know -- the one with wooden jaws -- makes an ideal prop for that first, bottom-most, EMT run. You squeeze the strut rail -- just so, so that the EMT and its strut clamp can find temporary support while you fiddle with them.

You can even scribe gauge marks on your wood jaws.

They REALLY kick in as a third hand when the size of your EMT scales up.
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:12 PM   #12
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FastCap LaserJamb



And, the latest::

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Old 07-02-2016, 04:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The trick with strapping and running conduit solo keeping it level or plumb is making sure you have a strap as close to the end of the conduit as possible.
The OP is right that the main thing to be productive at this is not moving the ladder back and forth. You can put two straps in two feet apart without moving the ladder.

You can also make up a prop to hold the free end. For this run, you'd make a stub up that you can couple onto the free end that will hold it at 12' from the floor. It doesn't have to be exact. It might be a little awkward but less awkward that letting it flop around unsupported.

If you're having a good day, you can make this work with one trip up the ladder in each position.

If you can take a few minutes to rig up the ladder so you have anchors, screws, straps, and couplers in a nail apron or something, and holsters with an impact with screwdriver bit, and hammer drill with the right bit for the anchors, you save dragging that whole mess up and down the ladder dozens of times.

You get squared away with this and it seems like a waste putting two guys on this task.
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Last edited by splatz; 07-02-2016 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:18 PM   #14
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Hey Man , I use Two 8 foot ladders and i pull a string. I put one ladder at the box and one ladder towards the middle. say 3 inches off the string in the middle. I plug the duel ended box offset stick of pipe into the first box from middle position strap 3" off string move back to other ladder tighten compression connector and install strap. take ladder with me move to the other end install coupling or box with connector. You can get FAST
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:24 PM   #15
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Install the box and then strap the pipe within 3'.
Then you have to burn an extra strap within about 12" from the end of the first pipe.
Then move the ladder and install the next pipe and then strap that one within 12" or so like pipe #1.
If it's on a wall and you can't follow another pipe or mortar joint, use a level. If it's easier, make a story pole out of a piece of pipe.
If the fittings are setscrew, you can use a piece of EMT to go back and tighten the setscrews.
If it's compression, either go back and tighten them or if no one is looking, just pull in a green wire.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:10 PM   #16
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1 - Mount your box
2 - put offset in a 10' stick
3 - add a box connector to offset
4 - move ladder 9' away
5 - place offset end in box ( you on opposite end ) , place one hole strap 6" from coupler end
6 - go back to box & add one hole strap & tighten
7 - go 10' past coupler & add 10' stick w/ strap
8 - repeat #7
9 - follow bed joint of block
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:21 PM   #17
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Kills me when you guys call couplings, "couplers"
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:34 PM   #18
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Just trying to keep it real. Ha.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:35 PM   #19
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But, your right.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #20
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Make life easy and use the Greenlee 1810(1/2") or 1811(3/4") offset bender. I have both & it just takes a second or two. Great on the lift 28' in the air.
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