4 Types of Flexible Electrical Conduit Explained
Flexible electrical conduit is much easier to work with than rigid metal or plastic conduit. This is because there is no bending involved. However, it will not offer quite as much protection as the rigid types of electrical conduit. Many DIYers appreciate the invention of flexible electrical conduits because they can use it to easily install wires in walls. There are some types of conduit which are designed specifically for industrial applications, and others which are perfect for various DIY projects.
Flexible Metallic Conduit
Flexible Metallic conduit is also known as FMC and this is a type of flexible conduit used in commercial buildings, specifically underground car parks. FMC is made by coiling up metal and interlocking all of the rings together. This forms a flexible hollow tube which can be used to pull wires through.
This is suitable for use in dry areas where it's not possible to fit any type of rigid conduit. It has enough strength to protect the wires while still being flexible. This isn't, however, waterproof and that could be a problem in certain circumstances.
Rigid conduits such as Thin Walled Conduit are essentially solid pipes. Special tools are needed for bending these conduits. FMC has an advantage over Thin Walled conduit in that it does not need bending. However, it is slightly more complicated to work with and requires a special tool is needed to cut through it. This tool has been designed to cut through the armoring without damaging any cables inside.
Liquid Tight Flexible Metal Conduit
Liquid Tight Flexible Metal Conduit is also commonly known as LFMC and this is a flexible type of conduit which covers cables and remains flexible while still being waterproof. This type of conduit was designed by Kopex international before patent expired and it can now be brought from numerous brands.
The waterproofing is provided by a waterproof jacket which is fitted over the top of a similar material to FMC. The waterproofing jacket means that the flexible metal conduit can be fitted pretty much anywhere, including through damp areas. As long as suitable outlets are used, LFMC can be used in hazardous areas.
Flexible Metallic Tubing
Flexible Metallic Tubing, or FMT, is a type of metallic tubing which is fully flexible. However it doesn't have the waterproof protecting jacket. Flexible metallic tubing can be bent into pretty much any shape and routed through the wall easily. This makes it ideal for use in DIY projects when you don't want to bother bending and joining sections of conduit.
Liquid Tight Flexible Non-Metallic Conduit
Liquid Tight Flexible Non-Metallic Conduit, or LNFC or FNMC, is a group of a number of different types of electrical conduit which are non-metallic and flame resistant. These types of conduit also have a waterproof jacket to provide protection from water.
Some types of this LNFC have reinforcement inside the walls of the conduit for added strength. Liquid Tight Flexible Non Metallic Conduit is suitable for use everywhere including locations considered hazardous.
These are 4 of the most common types of flexible electrical conduit and they are extremely useful. Using these flexible conduits means that you don't need to worry about bending or using specialist tools to shape the conduit into the right shapes.