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#39094 - 06/09/04 08:27 AM Aluminum flex/Steel flex
aldav53 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 547
Loc: Chandler, AZ USA
Are there requirements where steel flexible conduit has to be used over Aluminum? Is steel considered ridgid?
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#39095 - 06/09/04 01:59 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
None that I can think of other than maybe environmental.

Both are FMC or Greenfield so no, steel is not rigid.

-Hal
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#39096 - 06/09/04 02:06 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
earlydean Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
Aluminum is lighter and cheaper than steel. Steel is stronger, more abuse resistant. What are the conditions of use at your installation? Unless the engineer specifies steel, 99% of the time, aluminum will be chosen because of the lighter weight (easier installation) and lower cost.

Steel flex is still flexible and not rigid. Rigid is schedule 80 PVC, schedule 40 PVC, heavy wall metal conduit or intermediate metal conduit. Even though Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) seems to be rigid, nowhere is it refered to as a rigid conduit.

Earl
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#39097 - 06/09/04 02:24 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
Radar Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Pay attention to job specifications, if there are any. In many specs, especially public works, steel flex is specified, and therefore aluminum flex would not comply. Remember, engineers do not have to install the stuff.

One other issue, there are cities in and around the Los Angeles area where approved types of aluminum flex conduit can be utilized as the grounding path, even when the length exceeds 6'. I believe it's 100' for 1/2" Al-Flex, less for 3/4", and less again for 1".

There are problems with the interpretation of this ruling, and it does not apply in all cities. Without saying this is a good or bad idea, many local contractors take advantage of the savings by not providing ground wires when installing Al-Flex.

Radar
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#39098 - 06/09/04 02:35 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
BPHgravity Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 141
Loc: Port Charlotte, Florida
Another consideration is that AL is not magnetic and you will not have issues such as Hyteresis.
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#39099 - 06/09/04 04:47 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
But the Aluminum stuff will turn your hands black and everything you touch. For that reason I prefer the steel.

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#39100 - 06/09/04 04:56 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
Ralpha494 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 71
Loc: Pewaukee,WI,USA
You also can't use some of the set screw connectors, probably cuz they punch a hole in it

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#39101 - 06/09/04 04:58 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Also, with aluminum,you have to use an "MC" type connector,where the binding screw won't pierce the jacket,..with steel, you can use the standard "Bx" connector..
Russ
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#39102 - 06/09/04 05:00 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Ralph, you beat me to the punch line!!,.. I type way too slow..
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#39103 - 06/10/04 06:19 AM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
Radar,
Is the Aluminum flex still OK as a grounding path in LA??
Somewhere I've got a "square cutter", a tool that was used to hold flex so it could be cut with a hacksaw. It seems like that was a requirement for using the flex as a ground.
I haven't used it in about 20 years.

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