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What Is Intermediate Metal (IMC) Conduit?
- Jan 16, 2018 -

Intermediate metal conduit, or IMC, is a rigid steel electrical conduit designed for outdoor exposure and strong connections. It was designed specifically to protect insulated electrical conductors and cables. It does the work of a similar metal conduit, rigid metal conduit (RMC), but weighs about a third less. By utilizing IMC in any areas allowed, you can all but eliminate the need for a heavier-wall conduit.

IMC Conduit Basics

IMC conduit is coated with a hot galvanized coating on the exterior and a special corrosive-resistant coating on the inside to extend the conduit’s lifespan. Common conduit sizes range from ½ inch to 4 inches in diameter. It is sold in 10-foot lengths, with or without threaded ends. IMC was originally introduced by Allied Tube & Conduit Corporation. It is manufactured in accordance with UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) safety standard 1242 and ANSI C80.6. The National Electrical Code (NEC) includes a specific article about IMC, Article 342.

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IMC conduit is joined with threaded couplings for safe and secure connections. These often require large pliers or pipe wrenches for installation. IMC can be cut with pipe cutters or band saws, but you must file the interior side of the pipe to remove any burr that could damage the outer coating of the wire as it is being pulled through the conduit.

Once cut, the conduit can be threaded on the cut end, allowing the user to make whatever lengths are needed.