A raceway acts as a pathway for an electrical conduit. It is basically an enclosed arena that carries all the wires and cables. Apart from directing them in the proper direction, a raceway also helps to protect the wires from moisture or humidity, and keep them safe from human touch or exposure. Raceways are an alternative when in-wall wiring is not possible.
If you are working on a DIY project of installing a new light or home theatre set-up, then it’s highly unlikely that you’d like to install the writings within the walls. A raceway can easily conceal and carry the wires on the surface of the wall. These raceways can be either of the metal or cable type. One can easily install a new circuit and a raceway in their home. Here is a rundown of the steps you need to follow.
Get The Parts
Assemble all the materials that will be required. This includes the actual raceway line, a bend if it is needed, cover plates and the main starter box. You will need clips to attach it to the wall in place and prevent the line from moving or getting damaged due to external forces. Other things that you will need will include basic tools like screwdrivers, mini saws, pliers, wires in different colors, screws, and electrician’s tape.
The first step is to install the starter raceway box. This will be installed within the power box. So make sure the current is switched off before you get to this. You can screw back the front portion once you’re done.
Place the Channel
The next step is to figure out the exact amount of raceway channel needed. You can align the pieces on the wall and mark out the various dimensional requirements. Draw parallel lines on the wall on either ends of the channel to trace its exact path across the wall.
Using these lines, you can attach the raceway clips along the wall and drill them into place. The channel is going to be held in place by these clips. At its end, the channel should protrude slightly into the starter box to prevent any exposed wire surfaces at the edge. The channel clips have a U-shaped cross-section and the raceway channel can be gently hammered into it until it fits into the niche. If there are any bends along the way, then an elbow joint will have to be installed. There should be channel clips on either side of this.
After attaching a fixture box at the desired location, you now need to run the wires through the channel all the way up to the starter box. You can add the cover of the elbow afterward to make the task of bending wires through it easier. After this is done, connect one end of the wires with its source at the starter box. The other end should be connected to the receptacle or luminaire thought the fixture box. It is best if the fixture box is covered by a luminaire or some sort of base that will conceal it.
It is usually difficult to conceal metal raceways without installing the wires within the wall. However, if you have a siding or wooden plate finish running, then you can try to flush it with the top line of the siding. Alternatively, there are channels with various types of cross-sections like semi-circles, which can be considered as a decorative element.
It is always best to get a licensed electrician to do these jobs since there are several hidden dangers in our homes. It is of utmost importance that the electrical connection is switched off before the first step of opening the starter box is done. To know the exact dimensions, you can consult a raceway calculator which will give you a good idea of what to look for. If you’re unsure, it is advisable to call in an expert who will take care of the entire process.