360 Degree Bend Rule – Conduit Bending

Today we break into the 360-degree bend rule for conduit-bending. We cover 358.26 of the National Electrical Code where it talks about bends in EMT (electrical metallic tubing).

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When bending conduit we need to be careful not to over-bend our runs between pull-points. I’ve seen too often, and made the mistake myself early on, where people will do outstanding pipe work but forget to put pull-points in between their bends. There is a certain point we can get to where you will NOT be able to pull conductors through the conduit.

In 358.26 it tells us:

358.26 Bends — Number in One Run. “There shall not be more than the equivalent of four quarter bends (360 degrees total) between pull points, for example, conduit bodies and boxes.”

The reason for this is that you can damage the insulation around the conductors if you pull too many in, or try to pull them back out. There are other factors such as bundling and heat dissipation to consider, but most importantly, physical damage to conductors is a large concern. It IS fun though…..watching that apprentice hanging from the ceiling yanking on a fish tape (theirs…not yours), trying to pull wire through a pipe run they just screwed up. That’s when you can teach without saying anything at all.

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