Electrical conduit is robust tubing, which securely routes electrical wires right from the power source to the socket or appliance. It serves to protect exposed electrical wires in external wall and roof surfaces. Conduit cutting precedes conduit installation. Hence, commercial electricians must carry out effective conduit cutting so that it works properly and satisfies all building and zoning ordinances. This article outlines how commercial electricians perform conduit cutting using either a hacksaw or a pipe cutter.
Types of Tools Needed
- Pipe cutter
- Pipe vise
- Pipe reamer
Using a Hacksaw to Cut Conduit
When commercial electricians choose to use a hacksaw to cut electrical conduit, whether it is rigid PVC, steel or nonmetallic conduit, the general rule of thumb is that the conduit should be cut at a 90-degree angle. The pipe vise serves to steadfastly hold the electrical conduit during the cutting process. Sufficient space should be provided between the pipe vise and the actual cut markings. This allows the electrician to cut the electrical conduit without bumping their hands on the vise. Besides, there's sufficient enough room for threading purposes upon completing the cutting process.
In terms of the type of blade used, it should feature at least 18 to 32 teeth per inch. Blades with fewer teeth will likely lead to hang ups and even binds. Note that the blade is typically mounted on the hacksaw frame with the teeth facing straight ahead. This actually allows the blade's teeth to slice through the conduit with every firm frontward action of the hacksaw. Electrical metallic tubing and PVC are best suited for this method of conduit method.
When Using a Pipe Cutter
Akin to cutting using a hacksaw, a pipe vise also comes in handy in terms of holding the conduit firmly in place when cutting the conduit with the means of a pipe cutter. The electrician positions the pipe cutter just on top of the conduit and adjusts it accordingly until the cutting teeth make firm contact with the marked cutting point. The pipe cutter is tightened to chafe the electrical conduit on the first turn. The electrician proceeds to spin the cutter's knob in repeated rotations around the conduit until the cut is done. The use of cutting oil during the cutting process serves to ease everything. Steel pipes are best suited for this method of conduit cutting.
Once the cut is complete, burrs and fragments might appear on the inside of the conduit. Commercial electricians (such as Lollo & Allan Electrical) often use pliers or a pipe reamer to get rid of such burrs or fragments in a process referred to as reaming.