Electrical conduit provides protective pathways for the electrical and communications wiring in your home. As one type of enclosed “raceway system,” conduit not only protects wiring from external damage but it also protects you from potential electrical shock and your property from potential damage, such as fire. The price of conduit depends on the different types, sizes and applications that are available. Different suppliers may charge different prices for the same type of conduit, so shopping around may get you the best price.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Conduit covers a wide range of prices, depending on the type of conduit and the material from which it's made. Rigid conduit includes prices from $2.09 for 1/2-inch PVC in 10-foot sections and $976.35 for 4-inch stainless steel in 10-foot sections. Flexible conduit includes prices from $30.75 for 3/8-inch aluminum alloy in 25-foot sections and $402.24 for 50-foot rolls of LFNC.
Types of Electrical Conduit
Electrical conduit comes in a lot of sizes and materials. Generally, the shape is tubular and it’s made of metal or plastic, in options that are rigid or flexible, depending on its application. Other than its protective nature, another characteristic of conduit includes its facility to allow a wiring installer to pull wiring through areas that are inaccessible, such as between walls. Two primary categories of conduit include metallic conduits and nonmetallic conduits, with each category having rigid and flexible choices.
Metal Conduit – Rigid
Rigid metal conduit (RMC) is made of threaded tubing with thick walls, and sections of RMC are joined together with screw-on connectors. Construction materials are typically stainless steel, coated steel or aluminum. RMC provides the highest level of protection for wiring, and it’s often required by code guidelines in commercial and industrial settings. Because of its thick walls, RMC also protects sensitive equipment from electromagnetic interference. A rigid conduit installation cost per foot will vary depending on the contractor you choose, so it's best to shop around for the best labor prices. However, the material cost for conduit is more predictable, and can be estimated in the following ranges.
- 10-foot sections of 304 stainless steel conduit range from $96.71 (1/2-inch diameter) to $976.35 (4-inch diameter);
- 10-foot sections of galvanized steel range from $43.54 (1/2-inch diameter) to $195.33 (4-inch diameter);
- 10-foot sections of aluminum conduit range from $21.47 (1/2-inch diameter) to $135.16 (4-inch diameter).
To calculate the conduit price per foot, divide the 10-foot section price of your desired conduit by 10.
Metal Conduit – Flexible
Flexible metal conduit (FMC) is made of self-interlocked metallic strips that are coiled together to form a hollow tube, through which wires are guided. Its flexibility makes FMC the choice for threading wires through hard-to-reach and curved spaces. Prices for FMC are found in the following ranges:
- 25-foot sections of high-quality, hot-dipped, zinc-galvanized, low-carbon steel conduit range from $35.45 (3/8-inch diameter) to $253.87 (2-inch diameter);
- 25-foot sections of premium aluminum alloy conduit range from $30.75 (3/8-inch diameter) to $238.88 (2-inch diameter).
Nonmetal Conduit – Rigid
Rigid nonmetal conduit (RNC) is not only the least expensive conduit, but it’s also the most lightweight. PVC sections are joined together by welding fittings instead of screwing them, which also forms watertight joints. RNC is not as durable as metal conduit and it cannot be used for grounding. RNC is available in different sizes, but Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 are the most common. RNC material estimated costs include:
- 10-foot sections of PVC Schedule 40 conduit range from $2.09 (1/2-inch diameter) to $8.31 (2-inch diameter);
- 10-foot sections of PVC Schedule 80 conduit range from $5 (3/4-inch diameter) to $19.87 (2 1/2-inch diameter).
Nonmetal Conduit – Flexible
Electrical nonmetallic tubing (ENT) is a type of conduit that is made of thin-walled flexible corrugated tubing. Sections are snapped together with special ENT connectors, which do not form a watertight seal. In applications where you need a watertight seal, liquid-tight flexible nonmetallic conduit (LFNC) is used. Costs for ENT and LFNC run around the following price points:
- 25-foot rolls of ENT range from $10.87 (1/2-inch diameter) to $29.22 (1-inch diameter);
- 50-foot rolls of general-purpose LFNC range from $59.72 (3/8-inch diameter) to $402.24 (2-inch diameter).
Victoria Lee Blackstone was formerly with Freddie Mac’s mortgage acquisition department, where she funded multi-million-dollar loan pools for primary lending institutions, worked on a mortgage fraud task force and wrote the convertible ARM section of the company’s policies and procedures manual. Currently, Blackstone is a professional writer with expertise in the fields of mortgage, finance, budgeting and tax. She is the author of more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.