Red Brass Conduit

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
If money is no object just use the red brass and be done with it. Technically unless you're under the 2020 NEC you cannot use red brass RMC for this application.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
Look is more important then cost with this client (within reason)

I think thwn and fiber may be easier to pull them uf and fiber. 3/4 conduit underground 50’, plus I would need to calculate fill as it will be piped up to the roof structure

UF is stiff and oval shaped which uses up lots of conduit cross section.

But you can use suitably rated tray cable underground and it wet locations. It has stranded conductors and would probably pull just fine. 12-3 + ground tray cable has an OD of 0.385" and would use up 22% of your conduit cross section, leaving room for the fiber.

-Jon
 

synchro

Senior Member
Location
Chicago, IL
Occupation
EE
Would the brass or copper be normally acessible by users and therefore subject to getting dented or otherwise deformed? Since it sounds like this is being done for aesthetic reasons that could be a concern. I'm sure red brass RMC would be fine but something thinner may not be.
By the way, have you checked out the pricing of red brass RMC?
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
If you are going to make a copper covering why not just cover some UF?

I am not overjoyed with having long runs of steel touching copper, even if the steel is zinc plated.

You should be able to get a metal fabricator to take sheet copper and turn it into any shape you might want.

I believe the OP feels that pulling the UF in the existing underground PVC conduit will be troublesome, and I can't say I disagree. The OP wants to use THWN conductors in conduit, rather than a sleeve.

I think there is discussion of a cosmetic copper covering for PVC conduit. I agree: no copper over steel.

-Jon
 

eds

Senior Member
One elbow will be hidden, will have to carve out a channel to recess pvc conduit and elbow on top of one of the carrying beams. Next 90 will kick up from carrying beam and run exposed under roof purlins. Hoping to bend a 90 in the 1 1/4 copper pipe with my bender then heat up the pvc and bring it thru the 90. We will see. So exposed copper from the ground to the carrying beam, then exposed again under the rafters
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I think that if you use the thinner type M tube, then the bells of 3/4 conduit will fit inside 1-1/4 copper. Might help with building up the conduit.

Jon
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I doubt cold pvc would bend.

What about using flexible pvc conduit? The copper sleeve would provide the required mechanical support.

Jon
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
I have a job that may require red brass conduit, mainly for looks. How does it age when exposed to the elements in the Midwest? Is it threaded like grc? Where can it be purchased from. Approx 40’?

It doesn’t patina quite like copper; it will turn a dark brown color over time. And yes it is threaded. What would you do for color matching boxes?

I have a client that is continuously building post and beam structures around his property, and I order factory painted black EMT pipe and factory painted compression connectors. I have to paint cast metal boxes though to match. It’s actually holding up quite well. I was at his place last week installing a new pond fountain and actually went to look at some older installs and see how the paint is holding up. I was honestly impressed it hasn’t flaked or faded yet. He is also a customer that chooses based on aesthetics over price. I’ve used it in his chicken coops, barns, garden sheds, etc. I’ve got more on order now waiting to do a goat house for him.

You could always paint cast metal boxes a dark bronze color and pair it with the red brass. In time they should match up.


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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Would the brass or copper be normally acessible by users and therefore subject to getting dented or otherwise deformed? Since it sounds like this is being done for aesthetic reasons that could be a concern. I'm sure red brass RMC would be fine but something thinner may not be.
By the way, have you checked out the pricing of red brass RMC?
Maybe even availability? If you need it in short time anyway.
 

eds

Senior Member
Red brass is out for now, both of my suppliers didn't realize it existed, then there conduit suppliers don't handle it. i still think three #12 thwn along with the fiber will pull thru the underground 3/4 easier then a 12/2uf and fiber
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Red brass is out for now, both of my suppliers didn't realize it existed, then there conduit suppliers don't handle it. i still think three #12 thwn along with the fiber will pull thru the underground 3/4 easier then a 12/2uf and fiber
What about using stainless steel? It won't age to match the copper, but it will stay shiny through the years, if that's an aesthetic they can live with.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
i still think three #12 thwn along with the fiber will pull thru the underground 3/4 easier then a 12/2uf and fiber

That is absolutely true. 12/2 UF is solid wire in a very stiff sleeve. 12 THWN can be had stranded, and even solid #12 THWN will be easier to pull than 12/2 UF.

The question is: is the ease of the underground run worth the additional difficulty of adding conduit to the above ground run.

-Jon
 

eds

Senior Member
Shiny is out.

Although the UF may be somewhat easier, both methods are still going to be a hassle. What does the copper become if UF is used? Lets say at point of exit from the copper pipe is set over the end of the 3/4. Copper pipe is continued to a mahogany enclosure containing a bell box and what ever equipment the low voltage guys are using for the fiber. Pipe is stopped short of the bell box and a UF gland style clamp is used for terminating the UF to the bell box. Technically the copper would be considered a sleeve? A bang on bushing used on the copper where the UF enters / exits? GFI breaker will be used instead of a receptacle, due to the height
 

MichaelGP3

Senior Member
Location
San Francisco bay area
Occupation
Fire Alarm Technician
There was a 7 story building where I work that was built in 1925. The fire sprinkler stytem was constructed entirely of red brass. I was unfamiliar with this use and asked a plumber on our staff about it. He told me that if by some miracle the building still stood 2,000 years from now, the sprinkler system would look exactly as it looks today. All yanked out and carted off during a remodel.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
Shiny is out.

Although the UF may be somewhat easier, both methods are still going to be a hassle. What does the copper become if UF is used? Lets say at point of exit from the copper pipe is set over the end of the 3/4. Copper pipe is continued to a mahogany enclosure containing a bell box and what ever equipment the low voltage guys are using for the fiber. Pipe is stopped short of the bell box and a UF gland style clamp is used for terminating the UF to the bell box. Technically the copper would be considered a sleeve? A bang on bushing used on the copper where the UF enters / exits? GFI breaker will be used instead of a receptacle, due to the height

IMHO if you used this approach the UF would be a mechanical sleeve. IMHO something to protect the cable from the sharp edge would make sense. If you have a larger copper pipe set over the end of the 3/4 non-metallic conduit, then I thing the end of the conduit acts as a bushing. On the other end where the pipe is near the bell box you would probably want something acting as a bushing to exit the pipe.

One might argue that it needs to be bonded to the EGC of the circuit, since the circuit could reasonably be expected to energize the pipe.

-Jon
 
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