Raceways are one of the most common electrical components in electrical installations as they provide a safe route for the cables and wires.
You can find raceways in your home inside walls, in the office where you work and many other places. So let’s start by defining what raceways are.
Let your fellow electrical engineer Yasser tell you more about raceways in internal installations…
What is Raceway?
According to NEC (National Electric Code) raceway is a metallic or nonmetallic enclosure (pipe or channel) which is designed to hold cables, keep them safe from any mechanical stress and provide safe route for them. It includes metal and non-metal conduits, surface and underfloor raceways and busways.
There are many types of raceways and we will discuss the most common types and the differences in application and properties.
Conduits are tubes or pipes made of metal, plastic (PVC) and can be flexible or rigid as follows:
- Galvanized steel rigid/ flexible conduit: used in industrial and commercial applications to protect the wires which is expressed to mechanical stress and it’s very reliable in highly corrosive environment with chemicals.
- Rigid/ Flexible non-metallic conduit (PVC): this type of conduits are commonly used in residential (in walls) and also buried underground, it’s non-conductive, light, cheap, and flexible and the tight joints make it water resistant.
- Flexible metal conduit (FMC): in case that the cables route is facing many curves and the area itself has vibrations and movements then the flexible conduit is the best as it will keep the cables safe from mechanical disturbance but it’s not recommended to be placed in corrosive environment.
- In metallic conduits you mustn’t place a single phase cable in a conduit as the resulting magnetic field will induce currents in the conduit which will raise its temperature causing the cable to be burnt.
- Fire barriers must be placed between normal conduits and emergency ones.
- Communication cables shouldn’t be placed in the same conduit with power cables, to reduce interference.
Conduits are not good in places with many modifications in branch circuits, as in this case you need to do some civil works to do any modification. Thus surface and underground raceways are a better solution if your facility are changeable and would need to change receptacles position or number of circuits and so on.
Raceway is an enclosure in shape of channel to hold, protect and provide routing for cables.
- Surface Raceways:
Channels made of metal or plastic (PVC) which mounted on walls and have wires running inside it, you can add more wires to it and modify the whole wiring of your facility. It’s commonly used in offices where it may need to change a plug position as the nature of work changes.
- Underground Raceways:
It’s the same as surface raceways but it is installed under the floor and is commonly used in buildings which contains huge servers and contains many cables.
Raceways are good for the ability of modification and troubleshooting is very easy as the cables are accessible so maintenance also is easier.
Busway is an electrical distribution system consists of bus-bars in a protective enclosure, which is used in many applications instead of cables. It’s mainly used for high building risers and when there are many loads on the building’s roof so in this case cables are not economical. It’s also called as bus duct.
- Not so affected by temperature like cables.
- Very high current carrying capacity.
- Higher short circuits withstand.
- Easy in maintenance and troubleshooting.
The disadvantage of busways is the cost; busways are really expensive so it doesn’t replace cables always except as mentioned above.
So choosing the type of raceways to be installed in your facility is not hard to do, but it’s very important thus you should take into your consideration the nature of the facility, number of cables, whether the environment is chemically polluted or not and many other factors that may guide you to choose a specific type of raceways over another one.
TOP 5 Best Sellers Raceway on amazon
- Small cover for a single cable: Perfect when you only have one cable to conceal. Designed to enclose a power cord or 2 cat5 cables, speaker wire, or lamp cord
- Family safety comes first: Loose cables are not only unsightly, but they could also pose a possible danger to your baby, children and pets. Install our easy-to-use wire concealer to prevent unforeseen...
- Strong double-sided adhesive tape: Comes with clear PE mounting tape that has strong adhesive and is flexible. Simply secure the channel with the cable where needed
- Home and office organizer: Use our cable concealing system to organize and manage the power and electrical cords on wall, work areas or entertainment system
- 8 cable channels for maximum coverage: Each cable channel is 0.59" x 0.39" x 15.7". Provides ample length to accommodate any home or office project! Customer satisfaction guaranteed
- COMPLETE CABLE MANAGEMENT KIT: The Cable Concealer by SimpleCord is the perfect cord management kit. It contains everything you need to organize and clean up those messy cables. Each package contains...
- EXTRA STRENGTH SELF ADHESIVE TAPE: We have upgraded to a premium and stronger self adhesive tape. With our easy to follow instructions you can choose whether you want to use the peel and stick tape or...
- IMPROVED FUNCTIONALITY: Our cord cover kit blends with any decor. We made simple changes so that the covers SLIDE EASILY off the raceways. It has a slim and sleek design. And you can paint the wire...
- TWELVE CONNECTOR PIECES: 5 Straight Connectors, 4 Elbow Connectors, 1 Inside Elbow Connector, 1 Outside Elbow Connector, and 1 T Connector. This cord hider kit contains enough connectors to get any...
- PREVENT DANGLING CORDS: Protect your children from cables and cords hanging near the floor. This is a quick and easily solution to your wire management problems. Simple Installation will allow you to...
- D-Line Raceway - Paintable White - With a unique half round profile, D-Line cable wall covers subtly blend with baseboards meaning you can neatly hide cords, wires and cables in your home.
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- D-Line cable organizers can discreetly hide wall mounted TVs cables. The innovative half round profile of D-Line wire covers leaves a discreet appearance, preferred by all
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- Dress Up Your Home and Office: Delamu Cable cover conceal and organizer unsightly cords in home and office. It is a easiest way to organize your messy cords and provide more place for activities.
- 10 Cable Management Channels: Including 10 channels, each channel L15.7in x W0.95in X H0.55in, 19pcs different connectors, 20pcs screws and 20pcs anchors, 1 self-adhesive. Total Length 157 inches.
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- Prevent Your Child and Pets from Danger: Hiding the cables or cords near the floor, protect your children and pets keep away to play the cables.
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- No one should have to go through this. The wall, that is. This 100% American-made, on-wall TV cord cover is a great-looking, easy alternative to in-wall cable management.
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- Our ECHOGEAR Pros are here to help 7 days a week. Go to our website or check your product manual for all the different ways to get in touch with our real-life product know-it-alls.
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