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  1. #1
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    Default EU members: electrical conduit question

    In prep for building a new shop in West Africa, I'm collecting the parts to do the electrical install (after the output of the off-grid solar). I'm looking for a part, which I thought I would find here in Hornbach now that I'm in Germany, but they looked at me like I was crazy and pointed my to a part which obviously had a different function.

    How should one be interfacing between external-to-the-wall rigid plastic conduit and outlets like this?

    img_20191214_113902.jpg

    img_20191214_113904.jpg

    img_20191214_114113.jpg

    The outlet is a threaded M25 connection. It seems like there must be a cheap plastic part with is threaded on one side to go into the outlet, and has a bore on the other side for the rigid conduit to push onto?

    I sure couldn't find one!

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    Something like this, but with a thread that mates to the one in the outlet, no?

    317y76r6hyl.jpg

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    'generally' threaded housings would be intended for flexible conduit, liquidtite or somesuch. Here in 'murica the box would have a place to bond the conduit directly

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    PVC conduit male end to go directly between the conduit and outlet, or use a contractor pack (flexible) conduit) between the male end and outlet

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    Quote Originally Posted by DM View Post
    PVC conduit male end to go directly between the conduit and outlet, or use a contractor pack (flexible) conduit) between the male end and outlet
    Something that looks similar to the pic I posted? The German version of Home Depot had nothing similar!

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    In Europe there are caps that thread into those housings like Jason said. These have threads on one end for the housing and a threaded cap on the other end containing a sealing ring and a rubber grommet sized for the OD of the cable. The conduit does not connect to these housings. It is normally cut about 2 to 3 inches short of the housing where the conduit acts as mechanical protection and a routing facility for the cable. Cable turns are done without conduit.

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    Not sure of thread sizes (as I use 20 mm) but if you are using 25 mm round conduit push in adapter with male threads to screw into the box are readily available in the UK. Prices from £ 0.30 to 0.90 each. For example MK PVC Conduit Male Adaptor - 25mm - White | ElectricalDirect, branded screw in by hand and 25mm PVC Female Adaptor White unbranded with spanner hex. Many more.

    Clive

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    In Europe there are caps that thread into those housings like Jason said. These have threads on one end for the housing and a threaded cap on the other end containing a sealing ring and a rubber grommet sized for the OD of the cable.
    Flex glands.

    I generally take PVC conduit into the outlet or use a length of flexible conduit to protect the cables, (have to if I use single insulated cables).

    Anywhere at high risk of damage such as in a workshop I use galvanised steel conduit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Something that looks similar to the pic I posted? The German version of Home Depot had nothing similar!
    Almost identical

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    In Europe there are caps that thread into those housings like Jason said. These have threads on one end for the housing and a threaded cap on the other end containing a sealing ring and a rubber grommet sized for the OD of the cable. The conduit does not connect to these housings. It is normally cut about 2 to 3 inches short of the housing where the conduit acts as mechanical protection and a routing facility for the cable. Cable turns are done without conduit.
    There were different outlets that had a connector like you're describing, that are meant to grab a cable directly. Like a cable gland. This, though, I think is made to accept conduit to make a liquid tight connection through which wires (rather than cable) can be run.

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    In the USA conduit pipe and fittinf are the same a s water pipe. The only difference is the threads are straight and not tapered. This means the joints never get fully tight and are not leak proof without some gasketing. This also means folks will use water pipe fitting to get the parts they need. Inspectors want to see gray PVC not white. Not sur eof the difference except I think the grey is more sunlight resistant.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    There were different outlets that had a connector like you're describing, that are meant to grab a cable directly. Like a cable gland. This, though, I think is made to accept conduit to make a liquid tight connection through which wires (rather than cable) can be run.
    In europe the plastic conduits are usually installed inside the walls. "wire nut boxes" have fittings for plastic conduits but these go inside the walls.
    Conduits are not needed for surface installations unless its some "rough service" and then it is mostly U-shaped channel over the cable or cable inside aluminium tube. Aluminium tube ends mayne 100mm before your 3-phase outlet and cable runs from pipe to cable gland in the outlet.
    Not like in US where its more like plumbing with steel pipes, boxes and everything.


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    That picture shows the exposed wire kind of defeats the purpose of the conduit. There is probably 2-3 feet of exposed unprotected wire right at the height it would be easy to touch with a hand if the insulation was worn off.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    That picture shows the exposed wire kind of defeats the purpose of the conduit. There is probably 2-3 feet of exposed unprotected wire right at the height it would be easy to touch with a hand if the insulation was worn off.
    Bill D
    That was my impression when I first saw it, but the European system works very well and I like it better than the American system now. It is faster and less expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    That was my impression when I first saw it, but the European system works very well and I like it better than the American system now. It is faster and less expensive.
    Interesting. Tell me more, if you're willing. Living in a culture that isn't my own has trained me not to make snap judgements about ways of doing things that are different than what I'm used to. However, I have to say, like Bill D below, I don't see how the tiny amount of time and cost saved by this system is worth the tradeoff, on the face of it. It's saving a 40 cent part and 20 cents worth of conduit, compared to completing the run and terminating the conduit into the plug body. The disadvantage of exposing conductors right at the point where hands are most likely to be seems... crazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    That picture shows the exposed wire kind of defeats the purpose of the conduit. There is probably 2-3 feet of exposed unprotected wire right at the height it would be easy to touch with a hand if the insulation was worn off.
    Bill D
    The other big disadvantage I see is that doing it this way, you're forced to run cable in the conduit rather than wires. I mean I guess you could, but that would look terribly unprofessional for the 10cm where they're exposed between the end of the conduit and the plug. The extra cost of having to use cable vs wires certainly is far higher than the savings of the tiny bit of conduit and the one conduit adaptor.

    Fans of this system, I must be missing something, so fill me in. The marginal benefits seem far outweighed by the requirement to use cable and possibility of electrocuting someone! (Even more so in a fab shop like mine where sharp pieces of metal stock are being swung around. I'd much rather have to have a piece of bar that I'm swinging break a conduit in order to get to live wires than just cutting the jacket of an exposed cable before electrocuting me!)

    Note to others who have suggested galv. conduit - I know it's tougher and more professional, but everything rusts where I am - so the PVC seems like a more permanent installation. I have high hopes that my new shop, being much more closed up, will alleviate this problem a great deal, but until I know it will, I'm preferring an electrical distribution system that's rust-proof.

    I'm trying to stick pretty close to the German installation method, as I understand it, for my new shop - but in this case, I think I'm going to be making a threading die for M25 and making my own conduit adapters to close the system up like we would in the US unless someone chimes in with a better reason not to, haha!

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    Like these? Tower Male Adaptors 25mm White Pack of 2 | Plastic Conduit | Screwfix.com

    Just take the back nut off n screw em in

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Note to others who have suggested galv. conduit - I know it's tougher and more professional, but everything rusts where I am - so the PVC seems like a more permanent installation.
    Rust is not a problem if you spray cold galv on the joints. It holds up here and I am based 300 yards from the beach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    The other big disadvantage I see is that doing it this way, you're forced to run cable in the conduit rather than wires. I mean I guess you could, but that would look terribly unprofessional for the 10cm where they're exposed between the end of the conduit and the plug. The extra cost of having to use cable vs wires certainly is far higher than the savings of the tiny bit of conduit and the one conduit adaptor.
    That would be no-no around here, you need have the wires in (plastic) conduit or use double-insulated cable.
    Separate wires inside metallic conduit are also no-no, need to use cable. US system relies on conduit being tied to ground somewhat reliably. Ungrounded conduit with single-insulated wire would be considered death trap around here.

    You probably better to stick to one system and ideology(US or europe), they don't mix that well. There is "hard to see consequences" if you start to improvise between two systems. For example the aluminium conduit that is common around here is tricky to ground reliably and hardware is not designed for that.
    And with Limy Sami's fittings you probably lose all the waterproof ratings. "garage installation" in here would be typically IP44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    T
    And with Limy Sami's fittings you probably lose all the waterproof ratings. "garage installation" in here would be typically IP44.
    Not if you screw the adapter in with a bit of clear silicone sealant (as pipe dope) and solvent weld the tube in to the coupling.

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    The German system is much less risky than the american system. I've used both. The German system expects you to use multi conductor cable molded cable. Multi conductor cable comes in all flavors, including armored cable. The safety is insured by the cable, not the conduit. This system is not only cheaper, but faster to install. I have used the system both indoors and outdoors. The cable and the conduit comes as UV proof or not, stranded or solid, high temperature or not. We haven't spoke about the matching connectors/plugs and sockets, they are excellent and very durable. As a user of both, I really like the German system better.


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