Conduit for Surveillance Explained

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 16, 2014

Cameras frequently need conduit to protect wires and cables connecting them to the headend / recorder.

However, with so many types available, it is may be difficult to determine the right one to use in each application. 

There are three types of metallic conduit common to surveillance systems:

  • Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT)
  • Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC or simply "rigid")
  • Liquidtight Flexible Metallic Conduit ("sealtight" or "liquidtight")

Additionally, there are two types of non-metallic conduit commonly used in surveillance:

  • Rigid PVC conduit
  • Electrical nonmetallic tubing (ENT)

In this note, we break down these types, their costs, and where they fit best.

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Electrical ******** ******

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Rigid ***** *******

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Liquidtight ******** ***** *******

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PVC *******

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Comments (5)

Ethan, Is there some reason that you did not include Intermediate Metalic Conduit (IMC)? It has a better cost structure than rigid and can be used most everywhere rigid is used. Also it is about 2/3s the weight of rigid, making it easier to handle.

I left it out because it doesn't get used nearly as much as EMT or rigid. I agree that it's lighter and lower cost, it just isn't as common. I've seen quite a few distributors not even carry it.

Is PEX a form of ENT?

Is there a formula to get from the ID (3/4") to the OD of the PVC? What is the relationship between schedule numbers and actual thickness? 40 to 80 is twice as thick?

PEX is generally for plumbing. I haven't seen electrical fittings for it, but I could be wrong. Chances are it isn't listed for the purpose, though.

From memory, I can't tell you if 80 is twice as thick as 40, but I don't think it is. There's info on that here.

Ethan, how common, in your opinion, is the practice of direct burial of emt without additional corrosion protection? I have always used pvc whenever the job called for direct burial. I think there may even be some issues with AHJs in using emt even with watertight connectors in direct burial situations, especially without addition corrosion coatings.

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