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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a large fabric tension building we use as a riding arena. My ex husband installed (18) T8 6-bulb fluorescent fixtures with 10/3 MC mounted with alternating galv. j hook style pipe strap to the the large galv. pipe trusses and rafters.

Our cover has come off TWICE (long story). After the first incident, I had to replace a few bulbs and tombstones and a small section of shorted out wire.

This time, all the fixtures were toast so I’m replacing them with LED UFO style moisture rated lights. When taking down the old fixtures I was inspecting the cable and noticed small burnt sections under several of the pipe straps.

I was thinking about using direct bury wire instead, and only running it through EMT from the box up the truss to the height of the rafters and bare from there since it has to follow along an arched truss to cross over to another row of lights.

However, I’m not sure what the best way to anchor the wire to the round pipe. The fixtures are spaced 20’ apart and approx 25’ off the ground. (No I’m not drilling holes through my trusses and pulling wire through them lol).










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You are not allowed to use that type of wire in EMT. Only THHN or THHW in emt. I would have used emt or liquidtight to begin with. Pipe clamps. Every Electrical supply house has them. You connect two of them back to back
 

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You are not allowed to use that type of wire in conduit. Only THHN or THHW. I would have used something like Liquidtite to begin with. Or EMT. But being outdoors I would have gone with liquidTite up to the fixture, or fixture to fixture.
The best way to hand conduit is with a conduit clamp. Every electrical supply store carries a wide variety. For this, two of them back to back. Ask for Conduit clamp, you will find some that suit your need. Or you could have hired someone that knows what they are doing. Electrical work is not for everyone simply because most have no idea what to use in what situation.
 

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There is no NEC objection to running UF cable in conduit. It's a good idea, and recommended, where it's exposed to abuse, otherwise it's good for the wide open spaces.

As for clamping it to a round pipe, you can consider the clamps below:

Clamps
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are not allowed to use that type of wire in conduit. Only THHN or THHW.

Why can’t UF wire be run in EMT? Especially a short distance? That doesn’t make sense to me. The only purpose for wanting to run it up EMT is to protect the wire from possibly being damaged by farm equipment or animals. Once out of reach, I wasn’t going to use conduit and wondered what’s the most efficient way to keep it in place it.




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Perhaps I misunderstood, the clamps I suggested were for attaching the UF cable directly to the truss chords, which are made of round tubing.
 

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You could use zip ties to secure the cables.
 

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The MC cable pictured, looks like there was current on the sheath, and was grounded out by the structure.

If that's the case, you're lucky no one got shocked.


I know this is a DIY forum, but it looks like you should get an electrician to help you out.
 

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The link that JBFan added shows the conduit clamp that I was describing. That company refers to the item as a "Conduit Hanger with bolt". Use two of them bolted back to back. One will be secured to the structure, the other to the conduit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The MC cable pictured, looks like there was current on the sheath, and was grounded out by the structure.

If that's the case, you're lucky no one got shocked.


I know this is a DIY forum, but it looks like you should get an electrician to help you out.


It took several months (with many storms in between) to get the roof put back on so I figured with all that and the fixtures getting knocked around caused a short before we turned the breakers off. We might have briefly turned it on a few times in between since a couple of the fixtures still worked but for the most part, they’ve remained off.

Since I’m replacing the fixtures and the wiring I’m not too terribly concerned... and I check everything religiously with my multimeter. I have a few electrician friends that I run my plans by as well but I try not to take advantage too much.




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I would be extremely concerned about that metal truss system becoming electrified if something is not done correctly. It seems to be within reach where someone standing on the ground could touch the metal truss. Or on a horse and holding on to one of the trusses to dismount.


Also, if there is a lot of hay etc or dust components in that arena the entire area may be considered a "barn" where special materials must be used with explosion proof connections, fixtures, along with codes, etc.


I think it would be best to get a licensed electrician in there that has experience with a structure used for that reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would be extremely concerned about that metal truss system becoming electrified if something is not done correctly. It seems to be within reach where someone standing on the ground could touch the metal truss. Or on a horse and holding on to one of the trusses to dismount.


Also, if there is a lot of hay etc or dust components in that arena the entire area may be considered a "barn" where special materials must be used with explosion proof connections, fixtures, along with codes, etc.


I think it would be best to get a licensed electrician in there that has experience with a structure used for that reason.

I sincerely appreciate your concern and taking the time to respond to my post. I’m not solely directing this question at you but I’ve seen several threads with other people asking dumber questions than I have, but didn’t see very many people being told to hire a professional electrician and they just answered the question. So now I’m curious... what makes l my post different?

Is it the size of the project? The added risks of having to use a lift? Is it because I’m a woman and it’s not something you see a lot of women do? Either way, I’m not terribly offended (I’m used to being underestimated lol) but again, I’m just curious.

Can you explain why you think I’m at risk of electrifying my metal frame? Isn’t that’s what junction boxes were for?

For what it’s worth, I’m not a total newb. I’ve installed fixtures/fans, fixed electrical issues on my skidsteer, bypassed seatbelt and weight sensors (since I’m not heavy enough to keep the sensors from interrupting work ) converted fluorescent fixtures to LEDs, 15 years trouble shooting electric fences etc..lol











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I sincerely appreciate your concern and taking the time to respond to my post. I’m not solely directing this question at you but I’ve seen several threads with other people asking dumber questions than I have, but didn’t see very many people being told to hire a professional electrician and they just answered the question. So now I’m curious... what makes l my post different?

Is it the size of the project? The added risks of having to use a lift? Is it because I’m a woman and it’s not something you see a lot of women do? Either way, I’m not terribly offended (I’m used to being underestimated lol) but again, I’m just curious.

Can you explain why you think I’m at risk of electrifying my metal frame? Isn’t that’s what junction boxes were for?

For what it’s worth, I’m not a total newb. I’ve installed fixtures/fans, fixed electrical issues on my skidsteer, bypassed seatbelt and weight sensors (since I’m not heavy enough to keep the sensors from interrupting work ) converted fluorescent fixtures to LEDs, 15 years trouble shooting electric fences etc..lol

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I'll try to touch on some of what they mentioned.

Where I am, this would probably fall under the Barn category. This would mean that all the wiring would have to be animal proof. There are some special codes where I am that touch on livestock buildings, and I really dont feel like looking up more code references tonight. (I spent all day doing that...).

Where I am, this wiring could all be accomplished using a cable that the USA does not have called Teck Cable. It's a waterproof version of BX/AC90 cable.

The height is not really an issue. Pretty much anyone can rent a lift or get a ladder tall enough.

As for your metal frame, again, I would have to check my code, but I believe it would have to be bonded with a #6 ground wire where i am.

As for your history of experience, that's pretty great actually, but the reason for that individual (and I) recommending an electrician is because this is a scope of work that could not only injure you, but also the animals.

If this building was to fall under an explosive classification due to dust (I do not see that happening, because as far as I know, you only have dirt inside this building, which is not exactly the most explosive thing. Hay or similar could cause real issues though from its dust), all the wiring would have to be explosion proof. Again, comparing that to where I am, depending on the classification, could become a real PITA real quickly.

I'm not saying it cannot be done by you, yourself, but I personally am going to also recommend hiring an electrician.

This is all I can contribute to this, as I am a Canadian, and I do not know the codes for where you are.

Although if you do decide to tackle this yourself, I hope you learn everything you need to from the others here :)

Sent from my new phone. Autocorrect may have changed stuff.
 

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PiaffePonyTx:


My response to you had nothing to do with the fact that you are a woman (which I did not even know when responding; and would not matter in my response anyway) and I did not feel at all that you may refer to your question/s as "dumb" which no questions are that are asked on this forum in my opinion.


Yes junction boxes do provide some safety but my overall concern with the scope of this project was and still is the safety factors for persons and animals and for the possibility of a flash fire due to hay dust etc.


I have to look at this metal truss as a built in swimming pool sort of saying. Not just any electrician can safely bond a built in swimming pool. There must be a complete bonding system in place to provide the personal safety needed to protect all persons/animals etc that may come in contact with a simple thing just as metal stairs coming out of the water or walking on the concrete apron of the pool which has puddles of water on it. Bonding a built in swimming pool takes a certain talent and experience that not all licensed electricians have - me for one. But this is not at all saying that those that do not have this special talent are not very good licensed electricians just like I am not saying that you maybe not knowing all the ins and outs of this project for safety does not mean you are not good at performing other electrical tasks.


I was simply giving you a heads up of my concerns from my experience and I had no intentions of insinuating that you were not up to the task but what I was saying was that this could pose a potentially dangerous situation in several respects and that maybe you should get the feed-back from a seasoned electrician that has had experience in the type and scope of this project.


Please do not take what I said personally - I was just showing concern. Simple as that. My other concern was that if there was ever an issue with personal injury and a claim was filed with your insurance company you need to be very mindful that if they find fault with the electrical installation and feel that it was that which caused the injury/s and found out the work was not done by a licensed electrician and then inspected they may deny your claim and then you are on the hook personally for the claim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
PiaffePonyTx:


My response to you had nothing to do with the fact that you are a woman (which I did not even know when responding; and would not matter in my response anyway) and I did not feel at all that you may refer to your question/s as "dumb" which no questions are that are asked on this forum in my opinion.


Yes junction boxes do provide some safety but my overall concern with the scope of this project was and still is the safety factors for persons and animals and for the possibility of a flash fire due to hay dust etc.


I have to look at this metal truss as a built in swimming pool sort of saying. Not just any electrician can safely bond a built in swimming pool. There must be a complete bonding system in place to provide the personal safety needed to protect all persons/animals etc that may come in contact with a simple thing just as metal stairs coming out of the water or walking on the concrete apron of the pool which has puddles of water on it. Bonding a built in swimming pool takes a certain talent and experience that not all licensed electricians have - me for one. But this is not at all saying that those that do not have this special talent are not very good licensed electricians just like I am not saying that you maybe not knowing all the ins and outs of this project for safety does not mean you are not good at performing other electrical tasks.


I was simply giving you a heads up of my concerns from my experience and I had no intentions of insinuating that you were not up to the task but what I was saying was that this could pose a potentially dangerous situation in several respects and that maybe you should get the feed-back from a seasoned electrician that has had experience in the type and scope of this project.


Please do not take what I said personally - I was just showing concern. Simple as that. My other concern was that if there was ever an issue with personal injury and a claim was filed with your insurance company you need to be very mindful that if they find fault with the electrical installation and feel that it was that which caused the injury/s and found out the work was not done by a licensed electrician and then inspected they may deny your claim and then you are on the hook personally for the claim.


Thank you for explaining your motive and reasoning. I really do appreciate it and all the help I get here and some of my favorite “man” forums. I’m not easily offended at all and I never thought I would ever hear myself ask such a “sexist” question lol....but I felt compelled to ask for the sake of gauging the quality of advise I receive. There are dangerous consequences in electrical work so I want to make sure I’m not receiving dumbed down information nor waste a fortune hiring someone to do work I could easily do myself. I also don’t have a lot of trust when it comes to contractors due to past dealings.

Either way, I do plan on having an electrician out to check over my work.


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The situation is a bit unusual since this metal structure is described by the manufacturer as capable of being moved to different locations after assembly, it would be imperitive that a safe grounding method be connected before connecting power to any devices.

That would ordinarily mean a building ground electrode system that conforms to NEC minimum standards for a Ground Electrode Conductor. The minimum size copper for that purpose is #8 but you would need to check with the local inspector for what they will accept for the electrodes you need in the ground.

The equipment grounding conductor of the incoming power cable isn't sufficient to comply with code for grounding the structure. Standing on wet earth from horse piss and touching a live metal truss could possibly send someone to wherever they're going.
 
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