moving an island

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Mr. Fixit, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Noo not an earthquake, just a kitchen remodel :D

    Re-doing our kitchen that is original to our 1980 slab-on-grade Florida home. Part of the project is to turn a built-in table into a counter-height island with seating. To that end, the whole island is moving closer to the kitchen work area. Electrical conduit is running from a near wall to the current island under an inch or two of slab. Some of the tile is coming up anyway so I will be able to dig the conduit up, but it must be redirected. It's currently bent away from the kitchen and I need it in the opposite direction.

    SO, my questions are:

    Is what is in my slab likely the same "EMT" that I can get from a box store today? I have done electrical boxes with conduit in my garage, this stuff is much thinner.

    What is the correct way to change the direction of the conduit? Cut and attach an elbow? How are fittings attached for in-slab work?

    Wrong section I know but while I'm at it, any harm in tiling under the new island? I have read a lot on this and it seems personal preference? Seems like less work for me w/no island in the way.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    Don't know on the electrical, but it's easier (but more materials, and therefore could be more expensive especially if the tile are pricey) to tile under the island, then install. This gives you the advantage of not having to try to cut all those extra tiles, caulking and grouting under the toekick, and, if you decide to take it out, it will probably make installation of a new island cabinet easier as the size then isn't critical. It does make it harder to anchor the island, but in concrete, probably not by much. You'll probably need a diamond core bit to drill a hole in the tile, although some softer tile can be drilled with carbide.
  3. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks Jadnashua, we're only talking about 75 sq ft of tile so I think I'll save myself some trouble and tile before setting the cabinet. I plan to tapcon in some 2x4's and screw the cabinet to that, so will be same with/without tile.

    As for the electrical, still want to hear from the experts but I'm thinking I just need a 90 degree bend and some compression fittings. I will be doing this under owner/builder permit so want to make sure it's correct though.
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    No EMT as it will not last very long. It needs to be PVC and you will need to cut out the concrete to access the new location. Use a factory 90 but do not use an elbow as you will not have access to it after pouring the concrete you will need to cut out in order to access the original conduit
  5. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Colorado
    . ..........
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  6. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yes cut back and add some more conduit if needed, then add an elbow.
    The conduit and fittings in the slab should be PVC and are glued together with PVC cement.
  7. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Colorado
    Why does he need access to the ninety?
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    he will not need to access a 90 but if he uses an elbow then access would be required.

    Read his first post.
  9. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    I'd rather not replace the whole thing with PVC, that would require pulling up tiles I didn't intend to and digging into a wall I plan to leave alone. Maybe it's not EMT? I'll try to get a picture tonight. As I said this house was built in 1980 (31 years old) so the conduit has lasted at least that long. Would it be illegal/immoral/fattening to join the existing conduit to PVC?
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    If this conduit has been installed for 30+ years when you open the concrete to expose the conduit you can see for yourself what will happen to EMT when used as you suggest if EMT was used.
    I would bet that there is not enough wall left to install a fitting to so if it is EMT you might not have a choice but to replace the entire run.
  11. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok maybe it's not EMT. What would have been normally installed in a slab-on-grade home 30 years ago?
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Good question and one that you will have to answer. You should be able to see what type of installation that was made where it enters the bottom of the cabinet now.

    If I had been the one making the installation it would have been PVC with THHN/THWN copper #12 conductors consisting of one black one white and one green or it would have been UF cable with a short sleeve of PVC where it went through the concrete and buried in the dirt below the concrete.
  13. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,793
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    rigid conduit (pipe with threaded ends or special compression fittings used for it)? possible
  14. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    EMT. galvanized, in a dry slab should outlast the cement. Lets seee.... how about all that raw rebar in a road, or galvanized or epoxy coated rebar in a bridge? Leave it alone.

    Would be good to change the wires though.
  15. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The key to your statement is dry

    Under a slab in contact with earth is far from dry.

    I have removed many EMT pipes from a poured slab and found nothing but wires and rust.
  16. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Seems like a nice hole in a cement slab with some rust about would qualify as a usuable chase.
  17. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok gents made some progress over the weekend. I removed the island and dug out the conduit, it was a little rusted but only in the section I cut off so no reason to replace all of it. I installed a new section with compression fittings in another trench I dug. How did I do?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also learned how NOT to bend EMT.

    [​IMG]
  18. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you needed the dust storm and the excercise, it was a great validation of my point that emt in dry cement lasts as long as the cement.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  19. Mr. Fixit

    Mr. Fixit New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    It was both of those but also necessary as the island that this circuit services is moving. Was just looking for some final verification that it looks done correctly before I seal it up.
  20. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    Told you before that while previously they allowed emt, if you want validation for today's codes, you won't get it. Work done today is supposed to meet today's codes. Yes, it will probably last a long time, but if you had a bit more moisture under/in the slab, you'd have a pile of rust. The codes are written for those what-if situations so things will work anywhere/anytime and last. You are not allowed to decide on your own what good enough is when you wish to get it inspected.
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