Electrical raceways or raceway systems are an enclosed conduit that works as a passageway for electrical wiring. They mainly provide protection for wires and cables from various types of external damages and injuries caused by heat, weather, and water.
Raceways also add to the aesthetics of a room by concealing those ugly wires mounting on a wall or behind your desk. It’s a versatile cable management tool used by both professionals and amateur home users.
Some of the various uses of a raceway system are:
- Concealing wires and cables
- Adding to the aesthetic of a space
- Useful for installing new switches, telephone lines, and more
- Acts as an essential part of the design of blade servers and sophisticated data centers
- Used in indoors for data wires or electrical and telephone wires
Electrical Raceway Types
A raceway system can be defined just as a track for hiding cables. However, it’s features and functions are much more complex. There is a wide variety of raceways, each suited for a unique application.
Let’s take a look at the type that is most commonly used:
Surface Mounted Raceways
Sometimes, you need to install wiring in finished areas such classrooms, offices, a room in your home, or other similar places. In that case, you need a pathway that can aesthetically cover the wall-mounted cables without requiring you to drill holes in the wall and hide them inside. Surface mounted raceway (also known as wire raceway or cable raceway) comes in handy in such applications.
Secured to the surface, these raceways have an open face with a removable cover. They are effective when it’s not practical to drill through a concrete block or difficult to remold the existing wires placed inside a wall.
Depending on commercial, industrial, and outdoor applications, you’ll also find a couple more varieties of specialty raceways.
- Allows adding new wiring to a finished area without requiring drilling through or cutting the surface
- Makes removal or upgrade of circuits easier
- Improves the aesthetics of any place by hiding ugly wires
Installation of Electrical Raceways
You have to maintain some rules and regulations for the installation of electrical raceways. Besides, it has to meet the requirements of NEC and NECA “Standard of Installation”.
Raceways have to be installed at the proper elevations, and coordination with other work including metal and concrete deck work is required. However, remember that you have to complete the installation before putting cables or wires within the raceways.
Raceways are suitable for moist or humid atmosphere. So, you can install them in exterior locations, particularly when the wiring is supposed to come in contact with water spray, grease, or dripping oil.
In all the cases, you have to provide secure fastening and support of conduit systems from the building’s structural system. Raceway installation requires professional skills. So, hire a professional electrician or a company for any such project.