How to use a PVC conduit

Written by sue stepp
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How to use a PVC conduit
Make adding electrical sockets easier by running electrical wiring through PVC conduit. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Conduit is a type of tubing pipe system used for feeding electrical wires to different areas. The PVC conduit protects the wires and comes in 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and larger sizes for home or commercial needs. Installing PVC conduit is faster and easier than metal conduit. The PVC is lighter than the metal, and lifting or moving the conduit is easier for most people. Follow these simple tips for using PVC conduit for a small wiring job.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • PVC conduit pipe 1/2 inch
  • Drill and 1/2 inch wood drill bit (if drilling through brick or concrete, use a hammer drill with a 1/2-inch masonry bit)
  • Hacksaw
  • 1/2 inch PVC conduit elbow
  • 1/2 inch PVC conduit coupling
  • PVC glue
  • Anchors for 1/2 inch PVC conduit with screws
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Take a measurement from the spot where the wiring project starts to the spot the wiring project ends. Use the shortest and easiest route possible. For example, if you want the electrical wiring going from inside the kitchen, through the wall and to the porch, measure all of the areas. Start measuring from the point where you want the wiring to start in the kitchen; measure the width of the wall and the length to where you want the wiring to end on the porch. Use this measurement for buying the amount of pipe needed for the project. Conduit comes in 10- or 20-foot sticks. If the measurement is 22 feet, get one 20-foot and one 10-foot stick of conduit.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole through the wall where the pipe will go. Before drilling, make sure there isn't any wiring in the way. Drill through a hollow part of the wall, not through the stud.

  3. 3

    Cut the pipe using the hacksaw, so it fits from the starting point to the wall. If you need the pipe bent, use a PVC elbow. Piece together the pipe as you go, without gluing it in place. Cut a piece of pipe so it fits through the wall. Use couplings or elbows for attaching the next piece of pipe going through the wall. Cut a piece of pipe going from the wall where the project ends. Use couplings of fittings, and attach the piece in the wall to the last piece of pipe.

  4. 4

    Pull apart the conduit pipe and fitting. Swab glue on the joints one joint at a time. Put the conduit and fitting back together with the glue on the joints. Make sure you glue the parts together with the pieces going through the wall. Let the pieces on either side of the wall hang down.

  5. 5

    Anchor the conduit pipe to the ceiling or wall using the anchors with screws. Space the anchors three feet apart all the way down the conduit. The conduit is ready for feeding the wire for your project. Slide the wire through the conduit from the starting point to the ending point, and connect the wires from your electrical source to your new outlet.

Tips and warnings

  • If you wire multiple strands of wire through one 3/4-inch PVC pipe with 3/4-inch PVC fittings, the wires move through the conduit easily.

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