An electrical raceway is a defined term in the Canadian Electrical Code. The CEC defines a raceway as: “any channel designed for holding wires, cables, or busbars, and, unless otherwise qualified in the Rules of this Code, the term includes conduit (rigid and flexible, metal and non-metallic), electrical metallic and non-metallic tubing, underfloor raceways, cellular floors, surface raceways, wireways, cable trays, busways, and auxiliary gutters.”
Main Types of Electrical Raceways/Conduits used in Canada:
1.EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing)
EMT conduit is the go to conduit for most electrical designers. It provides a reasonable degree of protection for the conductor, and has a very economical price point. Since EMT is very thin and light, it is easy to bend making installation much quicker than other thick walled conduits. EMT conduits are usually to thin to be threaded and are thus installed with set-screw fittings or compression fittings.
2. Rigid Conduit / Rigid Galvanized Steel (RGS)
RGS conduit is a thick walled steel conduit that is used normally in industrial applications. The thick wall stands up better to mechanical abuse, making it useful in locations where a vehicle may strike it (e.g. down a column in a parking garage). Rigid conduit may be threaded and the threads are usually sealed with Glyptal paint. RGS conduit is difficult to bend without power tools, thus making installation more time consuming.
3. PVC Conduit
PVC conduits are made out of plastic and are best suited for use in outdoor applications, and when buried in the ground. PVC conduits are able to withstand UV penetration from the sun, thus you will normally find PVC Rigid conduits specified for roof top applications (HVAC wiring). PVC conduits are not very good at withstanding mechanical forces, thus care must be taken when back filling when used in underground applications.
4. Flexible Conduit
Flexible conduit is usually used in applications where connecting wiring to an equipment that vibrates such as a motor, or where movement of the conduit is required like in a compartment with a hinged door. There are many types and grades of flexible conduit, some with metal core, with or without pvc jacketing, and even liquid tight flexible conduit to provide a water tight seal.