I've decided to clean up the ceiling of my shop with Unistrut like stuff (I will most likely use superstrut because I can get it easily) and I have a few questions.
I want to organize three things,
1. Florescent lighting
2. Electrical conduit
3. Air supply
Right now the ceiling is a mess with each of these elements hogging the ceiling and forcing me to route around.
My dream is to organize all of these using the same struts. With the channel oriented up-wards (the U shape is up) I would like to:
1. Hang lighting from the struts
2. Clamp electrical conduit to the top
3. Clamp air lines (1" copper) to the top
My plan is to hang the struts from the ceiling perhaps 8" using threaded stock. The stock would be mounted to the ceiling in a manner TBD but the support would be to the bottom of the floor boards.
Is this workable? Or is it more common to use separate struts for electrical and pipe?
Lastly, there seem to be at least three vendors. So far, I've seen Unistrut, Superstrut, and Kindorf. Is there any significant difference between these folks?
Bob -- FWIW, there's a lag type bolt with an integral threaded socket to accept threaded rod. This would handle the "mounted to the ceiling in a matter TBD" part of your question.
If it were me, I would lag the Unistrut to the floor joists with the "U" downwards. There are all sort of fittings available to mount pipe and such. Unless there is something I don't understand, mounting the Unistrut on threaded rod just adds another level of complexity and having the "U" upwards means you have to get the conduit and pipe above the Unistrut which could be difficult on long runs.
I would use the U downwards as Geo. has suggested. More rigid/more forgiving than trapeze hangers IMHO.
I see no main difference in the manufacturers.
Google Cooper B-line, they have a .pdf catalog with a wild selection of anyhting and everything you could ever want to build things out of Unistrut.
IMHO, planning is quite important, that's not been my strong suit, I've added as I went and have a spaghetti of conduits coming out of my shop single phase panel.
before boilermaking i was an electrician,we used the stuff everyday. i would mount direct to ceiling using the lags mentioned,u-down. as stated there are many different clamps for these.the only thing with the air lines might be condensate build up at any sagging low points,if it were me i would run the air lines at a slope to allow the moisture to run.all in all an exellent product,good luck
It is funny - in the superstrut catalog they tend to show the struts U-up. I'd assumed there was some issue that I was not getting.
I was going to trapeze them so that it would be easy to put the lights below. I suppose it would be easy to trapeze the lights and mount the struts to the ceiling (I'm feeling a Duh moment here).
The other reason I was going to trapeze the struts is because there are a few downward protrusions that would make it impossible to do a long run of conduit.
Do the lag bolts allow me a small amount of hang - I need about 2-3 inches. The struts themselves will eat up part of my problem.
Planning - yes that is something I wish I had more of ...
Thanks for all of the replies.
The only reason to mount strut with the U up I can think of is ease of laying the conduit, pipe etc on it loose before fit-up. u down would give you a little more head space and I think looks better
The threded rod approach works fine if you have room to do so. Emt is 10' long. By dropingit down and putting it less than 10' you dont have to try to hold one end up while you put the other end to gether. Mel
We've got this stuff all over the place I work. We hang everything with it. At first I would agree with the general idea of putting the strut with the U down but as I thought about it, and some cases at work, you might be better with the U up. The biggest is not having to hold your, conduit, pipe, whatever, up and trying to fight clamping it at the same time. Just lay it across the strut and when you are ok with the layout, clamp it down. Second, you won't have the clamps hanging down which, depending on your headroom, could cause a nasty head injury.
if you need to hang down a little,no biggy,we put an offset or a u bend in it called a saddle but what ever is easier for you. the less you hang down the more rigid as i'm sure you know.the only time we hung it down alot was stacking the struts so we had 2 or 3 runs at different levels on the same allthread.sometimes we put them u up and another u down back to back of each other with runs over and under the struts if you follow me!whatever works best for you,thats why its such a versatile product.