A flexible conduit helps to protect electrical wiring from exposure to environmental factors. It can also ground wiring and provides a nice, clean appearance. Since each wiring job is different, you’ll need to custom cut each piece of conduit depending on the needs of your job.
Fortunately, learning how to cut flexible conduit is a reasonably straightforward task, and you should be able to master it in just a few minutes. Issues may arise if your home doesn’t have a flexible conduit and it is a stronger PVC pipe or even a metal conduit. While cutting may appear easy with the right cutting tool, you may come up with the question.
How to cut flexible electrical conduit with wires inside? Likewise, the same issue can face you with how to cut metal conduit with wires inside. Not every time can you pull wires out and feed them back through. Contractors have space around the conduit as they build the home and feed the wires.
In our guide, you can learn the best conduit pipe cutter to make your task easier. By the end, you’ll know how to cut conduit with wires inside, regardless of the material. (Read Can You Cut Pex With A Copper Pipe Cutter)
Cut Flexible Conduit Without Damaging Conductors
Here you can find the tools you need and the steps you need to cut flexible conduit.
What You’ll Need
- Bench vise or cutting jig
- Tape Measure
- Metal file
- Work Gloves
Measure Your Project
- You must determine how many conduits you will require to finish your job.
- Depending on your project, the conduit will follow a different path and may need to bend or twist to meet your needs.
- Starting with the wire box, take the first measurement.
- Take those measurements separately, then add them to your total if you need to account for any turns.
- Once it is cut, the conduit’s length will depend on your total number.
Preparing Your Conduit
When you are sure of the conduit’s required length, measure it with a tape measure and mark the conduit where you need to cut it.
The conduit may expand longitudinally and is quite flexible. However, it’s crucial to avoid cutting conduit while it is extended since, once you’re done, it will contract back to its original size, and you’ll get a section of the pipe too short for your requirements.
Bend the conduit before cutting it. The conduit can be bent to lock the many corners or bends in place and create a lovely, clean cut that won’t distort when it returns to its original shape.
The following step may differ depending on the tool you’re using to cut the conduit. (Learn How To Smooth Rough Concrete Patio)
Use a Vise
You should place the conduit into a jig or vise before cutting it with a hacksaw.
Jigs made expressly for cutting conduit are available in a variety of styles.
Unless you frequently work with an electrical conduit, purchasing one is probably not worth the money. A bench vise will serve our needs just as well.
The conduit should be bent before being loaded into your vise and fixed.
Avoid overtightening the vise to avoid damaging your conduit and making it difficult or impossible to load the wire once you’re done.
Cutting Your Conduit
With a bandsaw, cutting conduit is quick, simple, and always results in a flawless cut. However, setting up your bandsaw might not be worth the bother if you’re working in the field or need to cut two pieces of conduit.
If you’re using a bandsaw, start it up, bend the conduit, and then slowly feed it through the blade, letting it handle the bulk of the work.
Gently move the conduit up and down by 90 degrees as the blade slices it until the conduit is entirely through.
A hacksaw is typically the best tool for the job if you’re cutting a few pieces of conduit or working in the field.
Make sure you use a blade with 24-32 TPI that is sharp before cutting.
A piece of conduit that has been improperly cut and is challenging to deal with will be produced by a dull blade or a blade with fewer TPI.
Cut along the mark you drew in the conduit while loaded within your jig or vise. Watch as you cut, so you get a smooth and even cut.
You can find a burr inside using metal conduit or hard plastic. The last thing you need is a sharp edge to cut through your wires.
A few passes using your metal file can smooth the edges and make your conduit easier to work with. (Learn How To Fix Sun Visor With Velcro)
Knowing how to cut flexible conduit is a task every DIYer or home electrician needs. Luckily, cutting flexible conduits is straightforward and takes few tools to accomplish your project.
Cutting Conduit In Location And Full Of Wire
The conduit wiring technique is what you are seeing in this instance. Cutting it without harming the internal wires is a really good approach to run wiring.
How you approach the task of cutting the tube depends on the type of material as well.
According to the code, all junction box covers must permanently be unlocked without using tools after they are installed.
It cannot be covered with drywall, wallpaper, carpet, a plywood panel fastened with screws, or anything else.
You should be able to access the other end of the conduit wherever it may be, so if you are making any changes, you could pull wires back from there.
However, you need to think carefully, as they stand a chance of being separate wires rather than the cable you are accustomed to.
Pull them too far; it can be almost impossible to slide them back in position after you cut your conduit.
In addition, securing them could also be tricky, and if they end up bending or catching on the burr, you’ll need to disconnect that loop and add another.
Additionally, you can see a change from an EMT metal conduit to a flexible conduit system like AC.
Depending on how it was put, you might locate a ground wire distinct from the live and neutral wires. Your flexible conduit could not be permitted to carry ground (EMT is), or it might not work due to the material.
The best course of action is to insert a ground wire inside that conduit throughout the entire route.
Rerouting the flexible conduit and EMT to take an alternative route is the solution. To extend, you might need to purchase a more flexible conduit or EMT.
Do not leave bare wires within the conduit. Pulling brittle, rigid cable through conduit is a hassle and frequently impractical for a DIYer.
So locate this conduit’s other end. In the end, secure a rope to your wires. The rope should then be pulled into the conduit using the wires. After finishing your task, pull the wires back in using the rope.
- Before you start to cut EMT, ensure there are no live wires inside the pipe. Cut off all power to your conductor by tripping the breaker box, so you have no power.
- It is safer to disconnect the power for a few minutes rather than slice through electrical cables with your tubing cutter.
- You can use a plumbing-style pipe cutter, which is most frequently used as a copper cutter and has a sharp blade that burrows into the metal to cut the conduit.
- A tubing cutter can be used if some room surrounds your conduit. After removing the black insulation layer, a back and forth half rotation may be sufficient to cut the EMT if you cannot spin it completely.
- You can use a hacksaw blade if the tube cutter option doesn’t work there.
- Either of these will provide an adequate level of control and lessen the possibility of wire damage.
- After cutting EMT conduit, visually check the wires for any damage.
- A fire risk could exist if the cables are damaged, and one reason you should never decide to use an angle grinder as your chosen tubing cutter to carry out this task.
- Here are more reasons not to use an angle grinder to cut the conduit pipe without risking any damage to your wires; cutting the tubing with the wrong cutter can leave you with sharp edges, and high heat (grinder), or both.
Here, a tube cutter seems to be the best option. The principal argument against cutting the tube through is that doing so will cause the inner wall to collapse inward during the final few rotations.
On the interior, this creates a sharp ridge or burr. Because there are wires within, deburring equipment is required to remove this, which you cannot do.
The secret is to cut the EMT about 7/8 of the way through before snapping it to shatter it at the cutline.
To solve this issue, you can find deburring tools for plumbers. It has a tiny, inch-long, swiveling blade with a hook-like form. You circle your pipe’s edges with your body.
If you have a PVC conduit, you can leave the tubing cutter out altogether and use some nylon string or large thread. Loop this around your pipe and briskly pull back and forth. (Read Socket Sizes In Order Guide)
It can take a while to cut through, yet this trick avoids sharp edges leaving burrs or damaging your wires.