Tray cables are one of the most versatile cables used throughout the United States. This type of cable is also known for their longevity. The benefits of tray cable are many. But users often do not know how to use them.
Today, we are going to discuss and find out whether one can put tray cable in conduit or not.
What is a tray cable?
A tray cable can be defined through its characteristics, functions and build quality. The tray cable is built with the help of multiple insulated conductors. The installation process of a tray cable will require you to put it in a raceway or a cable tray.
It can additionally be used in conduits, troughs, channels, and ducts.
One of the key features of a tray cable is its versatility. It is believed by experts that a tray cable can be used in all sorts of conditions. You can use a tray cable in both dry and wet conditions. The installation location of a tray cable can be both indoor and outdoor.
The tray cable is known for dealing well with direct sunlight as it has the quality of sun resistance. A tray cable will function even if it is left exposed. You can use the tray cable in your home or office to meet the wiring demands.
Can you put tray cable in conduit?
The tray cable can definitely be put through a conduit. The electrical conduit will provide an extra layer of protection for the tray cable. But the tray cable does well even without a conduit. But using a conduit can increase the lifespan of the tray cable.
The most amazing thing about the tray cable is that you can use it with or without a conduit. The tray cable will hold up well even without an electrical conduit. However, putting tray cable in a conduit increases the longevity of the tray cable due to the conduit’s functions.
You can easily put tray cable in a conduit with the help of a conduit mouse. But the size of the conduit fill has to be calculated before you begin the process. The diameter of the tray cable needs to complement the diameter of the conduit.
It is wise to install the tray cable in a conduit. Because the conduit will keep the tray cable away from any accident and calamity. Adding a conduit onto a tray cable also keeps you safe.
Does the conduit need to be bonded to the cable tray?
Whether the conduit needs to be bonded to the cable tray depends on a lot of things. If the cable tray is acting as the extraneous conductor, then it has to be bonded with the help of the conduit. Otherwise, there is no need for bonding the conduit to the cable tray.
Sometimes the cable tray itself can act as the Equipment Grounding Conductors. This will not require a conduit. But if you are going to use a conduit, then it must be bonded to the cable tray. There is no alternative to bonding the conduit to the cable tray.
4 reasons why you can put tray cable in conduit
There are a lot of reasons why one can put the tray cable in a conduit. Let’s discuss them in detail.
The purpose of conduit:
The main purpose of the electrical conduit is to provide the extra layer protection that the wiring system in our house and office requires. There are different kinds and sizes of electrical conduits available in the market that can be used to protect the wires.
This function of the electrical conduit makes it possible to put tray cable in a conduit.
The versatility of tray cable:
The versatility of the tray cable is hailed by experts throughout the world. A tray cable can be used with or without protection. But using a conduit for protection increases the longevity of the tray cable.
If you do not want to keep replacing the wiring of your home or office, then it is better to put the tray cable through the conduit.
The tray cable and the electrical conduit complement each other well. It is very easy to put a tray cable in a conduit. However, it is better to seek the help of a professional electrician rather than doing it yourself.
It will not cost you much to provide an extra layer of protection for your tray cable. Electrical conduits are very much affordable and will also enhance the operational time of your tray cable in exchange.
How to install tray cable in conduit?
Installing the tray cable in a conduit might seem like a daunting task if you have no prior experience regarding the matter. However, there are some steps and methods you can follow to accomplish the task. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Select the technique:
First of all, you will need to decide which technique you want to use to install the tray cable in the conduit. The technique known as the conduit mouse is most famous for installing the tray cable in a conduit.
Gather the equipment and tools:
Next, you will need to gather the equipment and tools required for the installation process. The list of tools includes a conduit mouse, a shop vacuum, a hose, an electrical tape, and lubricant. The tray cable installation process can begin if you have all these at hand.
Use the mouse:
You will need to attach the conduit mouse or the conduit piston to the tray cable. You will have to put the conduit mouse attached tray cable into one end of the conduit tube.
Use the shop vacuum:
In the next step, you will be required to use a shop vacuum to pull the tray cable through the conduit tube. The hose of the vacuum should be placed at another end of the conduit tube.
The vacuum hose would be able to do the job of pulling the tray cable perfectly upon application.
Pull the cable:
You should detach the conduit mouse or the conduit piston after it has reached the other end successfully. The entire tray cable will have to be pulled by hand at this point. Lubrication can be used on the tray cable in this step.
How to calculate tray cable conduit fill?
Calculating tray cable conduit fill might seem like a difficult job if you do not have any experience regarding the matter. However, there are some steps and methods you can follow that will help you to do it successfully. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Finding the cable gauge:
First of all, you will need to find the gauge of your tray cable to calculate conduit fill. The book of National Electric Code (NEC) can be helpful in this matter. You will also have to find out the number of tray cable wires you can fit inside the conduit.
The comparison has to be made between the number of wires and the diameter of the conduit.
Finding the cross sectional area of the tray cable wire:
In the next step, you will need to find the cross sectional area of your tray cable wire with the information you already have. The number of wires, the insulation type and the wire gauge can be used to find out the tray cable wire’s total cross sectional area.
Calculating the minimum space:
The cross sectional area of the wire can be used to calculate the minimum space of the conduit. It is a very crucial step in the calculation of a tray cable conduit fill and should not be taken lightly.
Calculating the number of bends:
You will also have to calculate the number of bends inside the conduit. The bendy parts of the conduit can often mess up the installation process and require special attention.
Calculating the conduit fill:
One wire is known for maximum filling fifty three percent of a conduit. On the other hand, maximum fill for two wires is thirty one percent. Last but not the least, the maximum fill for three wires and above is forty percent of a conduit’s space.
You will have to calculate the conduit fill according to the number of wires your tray cable has. It is wise to contact an electrician if calculating tray cable conduit fill feels overwhelming to you. It does not hurt to have an expert’s opinion.
The electrical conduit comes in handy while installing the tray cable. One can put the tray cable inside the conduit with the help of a conduit mouse. The diameter of the tray cable wire, the number of wires, and the diameter of the conduit should be measured before putting the tray cable in.