Commercial Conduit Is a Lost Art

As a young apprentice, I began carrying tools, parts, materials, and ladders. After a few days on the job, I was introduced to the names of the materials. After a week I began to understand that a coupling connected the pipe together. It didn't take long to realize that I had to install a junction box or pull station, within every one hundred feet of pipe and or 360 degrees of bends in the conduit. I learned soon thereafter that the better flowing the conduit run was, the easier it was to pull wire into the same pipe. Now in the beginning, I merely handed up straps, screws, couplings, connectors, four by four junction boxes, and anchors. As my journeyman electrician bent the raceway, cut to the desired length, and attached it to the run, and the wall, I began to learn the ins and outs of installing this type of EMT.

After several months of being on the job, wearing a hard hat, boots, and safety glasses, I was instructed on bending this stuff so that it will not only look professional, but so it would house wire that provides energy for equipment in schools, hospitals, jails, and courthouses in South Georgia. After a year or so, the Commercial Electrical trade allowed me knowledge of interpreting electrical blueprints. As I was introduced to this knowledge, I was forced to plan the conduit schedule according to the Blueprints and specifications laid out by the Architects and Electrical Engineers that planned the work that I was installing. This knowledge has helped me make a living for years.

Today, due to our society, we use more mc cable than conduit. This is because it is quicker to install, and the cost is significantly less than conduit, wire, and labor. Although this cable is good, much like flat cable known as Romex, which is used in houses, once installed there is not much deviation. As I was trained to use a saw to cut conduit, use a bender, and install the conduit, the guys breaking into the trade are really very amateur when it comes to these installs and the wire pulls. Truly, the Loss is the Electrical Trades'.

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