Cable or EMT

mstrlucky74

Senior Member
Location
NJ
scenario.... you have a panel 150' from work space and have to run (3) 120v 20a ckts to the area and don't want to use multipole breaker or handle ties. would you run EMT with those 3 ckts all the way from the panel to the space or just right out of the panel about 10' to a box then run 3 separate 10/2 Mc cables the rest of the way? I think cables would be quicker and easier.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I would consider running a feeder to a small panel and feed the circuits out of that panel.

I would check the cost difference. If the piping is fairly straight and easy that may be cheaper than 3 runs of mc.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Unless there was a compelling reason to run EMT I would run three 10/2 MC cables.

As far as installing a panel I guess that is just personal choice based on what you are used to but in my part of this trade I run 150'-300' circuits all the time so it does not trigger a need in me to install a panel and in most cases there would be no place to locate one anyway. :)
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Unless there was a compelling reason to run EMT I would run three 10/2 MC cables.

As far as installing a panel I guess that is just personal choice based on what you are used to but in my part of this trade I run 150'-300' circuits all the time so it does not trigger a need in me to install a panel and in most cases there would be no place to locate one anyway. :)
Unless the path is very congested, I have found that three separate runs of even #12 in MC is more expensive than installing conduit, so unless there are mitigating factors, it will be less costly to runs conduit than three MC's.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Unless the path is very congested, I have found that three separate runs of even #12 in MC is more expensive than installing conduit, so unless there are mitigating factors, it will be less costly to runs conduit than three MC's.
Strange as almost all our jobs are specified to be EMT and yet are value engineered to reduce costs by running MC.

I guess it really depends on the cost of your labor but for us cable almost always wins out over pipe.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Strange as almost all our jobs are specified to be EMT and yet are value engineered to reduce costs by running MC.

I guess it really depends on the cost of your labor but for us cable almost always wins out over pipe.
I agree, and I am in a very low labor area, however, especially when you are running individual neutrals, home runs are often cheaper than MC, even when it is EMT. Definitely the cheapest is PVC under slab for home runs with branching out in MC. When we VE to MC, we are generally coming up with some satisfactory deducts with quick math. When I am wearing my estimator hat, I will usually substitute 2-#12, 2-#10 and 3-#12 with MC, but leave the rest in conduit for deduct purposes.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
scenario.... you have a panel 150' from work space and have to run (3) 120v 20a ckts to the area and don't want to use multipole breaker or handle ties. would you run EMT with those 3 ckts all the way from the panel to the space or just right out of the panel about 10' to a box then run 3 separate 10/2 Mc cables the rest of the way? I think cables would be quicker and easier.
If it's exposed the emt would look nicer and be more maintenance friendly. I wouldn't want someone coming to our place running a 150' run of mc along an exposed wall surface.

If nobody can see it, mc wins.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
scenario.... you have a panel 150' from work space and have to run (3) 120v 20a ckts to the area and don't want to use multipole breaker or handle ties. would you run EMT with those 3 ckts all the way from the panel to the space or just right out of the panel about 10' to a box then run 3 separate 10/2 Mc cables the rest of the way? I think cables would be quicker and easier.
To me it is 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. The cost is probably not much different one way or the other.

I am a fan of installing panels in such cases as another poster suggested. That way if you need more circuits down the road you have a place to hook them up, and it always seems like down the road the need for another circuit always pops up.

I think you would be able to run them all in a single EMT and that would likely be cheaper than 3 runs of MC, hardware wise anyway. If it is a maze where you are going, the MC might be simpler.
 

JoeyD74

Senior Member
Location
MA
Cables will be quicker for sure but if there's a good chance you need more power down there in the future the panel or at least an over sized conduit would be better.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Unless you pull three EGC's in your raceway or use MC-AP or comparable product - you have more copper in regular MC.

If run is reasonably straight raceway can go up pretty fast and needs supported at less intervals.

Some instances you may be able to do the cable for less other instances you may be able to do the raceway for less. Sometimes maybe a raceway for main portion of the run and cable at/near the final outlet(s) may give you best of both methods.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
I am a fan of installing panels in such cases as another poster suggested. That way if you need more circuits down the road you have a place to hook them up, and it always seems like down the road the need for another circuit always pops up.
It may be a good idea to install a sub panel but if you are trying to get the price down for this one job then it would be hard to just throw in a free sub panel. If you can sell them on the idea of a sub panel for future expansion then it would be OK but it's going to cost more.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Throwing in a sub panel here and there isn't always the answer. Sometimes that leaves you with a facility with so many panels in so many locations it becomes difficult to know where to turn something off or where to go to reset a breaker. Centralizing such locations even if it it still centralized within a sub section of a floor, wing, or other segment of the facility keeps things a little simpler at times when you look at the big picture.
 
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