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#39094 - 06/09/04 11:27 AM Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
aldav53  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 545
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 04:59 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
hbiss  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
Hawthorne, NY USA
None that I can think of other than maybe environmental.

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


#39096 - 06/09/04 05:06 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
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.



#39097 - 06/09/04 05:24 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
Radar  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 349
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.


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#39098 - 06/09/04 05:35 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
BPHgravity  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
Port Charlotte, Florida
Another consideration is that AL is not magnetic and you will not have issues such as Hyteresis.

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Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter

#39099 - 06/09/04 07:47 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
But the Aluminum stuff will turn your hands black and everything you touch. For that reason I prefer the steel.

#39100 - 06/09/04 07:56 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
Ralpha494  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 73
You also can't use some of the set screw connectors, probably cuz they punch a hole in it

#39101 - 06/09/04 07:58 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
Attic Rat  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
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..

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"

#39102 - 06/09/04 08:00 PM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
Attic Rat  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Ralph, you beat me to the punch line!!,.. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] I type way too slow..

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"

#39103 - 06/10/04 09:19 AM Re: Aluminum flex/Steel flex  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,260
Fullerton, CA USA
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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