If for some reason it is not possible to make hidden wiring or wires need to be inspected regularly, then mounting brackets, clamps, boxes, clamps and other similar devices are used as fasteners. But their common drawback is that the wires remain open, and this is not always permissible. To hide the wiring used electrical cable channels, the types and sizes of which we consider in this article.
Most often plastic types of cable channels are used to lay information cables in offices and, if necessary, make an open or temporary wiring - in this case power cables and wires for lighting lines are also laid in them.
Initially, these were white or gray profiles, rectangular in the shape of the letter “P” (single section) or “W” ( into two or more sections). Then they began to produce cable channels of various shapes and colors, designed for laying cables for various purposes. There were triangular cable channels or in the form of a hemisphere - it became more convenient to use them for wires of various purposes depending on the purpose of the room, materials used in its decoration and the need for free access to the cables hidden inside.
U-shaped cable channel.
Triangular cable channel.
W-shaped cable channel.
The cable channel is in the form of a hemisphere.
Non-combustible PVC or polyethylene is used for the production of cable channels. The length of one section is usually 2 meters, but manufacturers can use other standards, so if necessary, you can find cable channels longer. The width and height in the section is from 10 to 60 mm, but there may be exceptions.
The most popular are U-shaped cable channels. U-shaped cable channels can be made with solid or perforated walls. As their advantages can be noted lower weight and lower price.
U-type cable channels dimensions and their useful section:
|Profile|| Size |
(width * height), mm
| Useful |
section, mm 2
| Thickness |
* The useful cross-section of cable channels of some manufacturers can be calculated from the table.
Depending on the material of the surface on which the cable channel should be fixed, collapsible and non-separable fasteners are used. The first are the dowel-nails (6Ч40), metal brackets or screws - for them in some cable channels from the factory holes are cut. Non-detachable fasteners are used on plasters and similar materials - cable channels are simply glued to them (although here we must take into account the weight of the box with the wires).
In order not to have to manually cut the boxes for turns or ramifications of the trunk, manufacturers produce additional elements - turning corners, tees, plugs, etc. for each type of cable channels. They allow you to create a layout of any complexity without damage to the interior and loss of time for installation.
Separate mounts for sockets and switches are also provided - these elements of the electrical circuit are mounted into special elements that are fixed directly into the cable channel.
A separate category includes floor and plinth cable channels.
Floor cable channels.
All floor and plinth cable channels also have their own additional elements that simplify the installation of highways.
Plinth cable channels are hollow inside and can accommodate a lot of wires.This is a great option for laying antenna or computer cables.
+ Pros cable channels
- Cons of cable
Since metal trays and ducts are designed for heavy loads, the need to use them in domestic conditions is quite rare. The types and sizes of metal cable channels are mainly suitable for external and internal cable laying in industrial premises where there are highways consisting of a large number of wires. So that the material of the boxes is not rusted, galvanized steel is used in their production. As with plastic, the cross-section of metal cable channels is U-shaped - with or without a cover.
Depending on the conditions of use, perforated, smooth and ladder trays are made. The first ones are easier to install and fix cables inside, and the second ones are heavier and installed on special supports.
Cable trays dimensions:
|Dimensions (width * height * length), mm||Metal thickness, mm||Useful section area, cm 2|
|50 * 50 * 2500||0.55||24.22|
|100 * 50 * 2500||0.55||48.44|
|200 * 50 * 2500||0.7||98.44|
|300 * 50 * 2500||0.7||147.44|
|400 * 50 * 2500||1.0||198.44|
Because of the heavy weight, metal boxes are not glued - they are attached to the surface with anchors, dowels or “planted” onto the bolted joint. For the installation of smooth trays are used pre-fixed on the surface of the shelf or brackets.
Most often, metal boxes are used to form electric highways in raised floors or suspended ceilings. For their installation, additional blocks are used - swiveling, lifting (for transferring wires between planes), splitter, etc.
+ Pluses of metallic cable channels
- Minuses of the metal cable
If cable channels, plastic or metal, are more suitable for flat surfaces, in the case of frequent transitions between planes or turns, their installation will be extremely difficult due to the need to use a large number of additional components. In such conditions, more suitable material will be flexible pipes, which bend at any angle, and fasten along the entire length with standard clips.
Externally corrugated plastic pipe looks like an elastic channel of circular cross section. It is used for laying any cables and wires, providing them with additional protection against moisture and mechanical damage. It is mainly used for the installation of electrical circuits with a complex trajectory of laying wires - raised floors, suspended ceilings, electrical wiring behind plasterboard walls.
PVC is used for the production of corrugated plastic pipes. The most commonly used products with an internal diameter of 16 to 32 mm, but when choosing, you need to pay extra attention to the purpose of the corrugations - it can be light or heavy.
The first ones are standard products that are used for the installation of electrical circuit lines inside buildings. Heavy corrugations provide more solid protection and can be used outdoors, and in some cases, under water.
Since it is not always possible to push a wire through a pipe without auxiliary parts in long lines, the corrugations can be equipped with probes made of metal single-core "steel", however, installers usually have their own.
Corrugated pipe dimensions for cable:
|Header||Outdoor diameter, mm||Internal diameter, mm|
|PVC corrugated pipe without probe||16||10.7|
| Corrugated PVC pipe with probe ||16||10.7|
+ Pros of plastic corrugated pipes
- Disadvantages of plastic corrugated pipes
A distinctive feature of metal hoses from plastic pipes is in the manufacturing method. If the latter are completely solid and hermetic, then the metal is twisted from steel galvanized tape, which determines the advantages and disadvantages of use.
Sizes of metal hose sleeves:
|Outer diameter, mm||Internal diameter mm|
|58 , 7||46.5|
All other parameters are similar to PVC pipes.
+ Pros of corrugated metal pipes
- Cons of corrugated metal pipes
Smooth rigid pipes are used for maximum protection of the laid electrical wiring and ease of maintenance. If the walls are bricked up with wires in a rigid pipe, then we get all the advantages of hidden wiring, but if necessary, repairs do not have to make walls — the cables are simply pulled out for repair or replacement.
Size of rigid pipes for cable:
|Outer diameter, mm||Inner diameter, mm|
+ Advantages of smooth rigid pipes for electrical wiring
- Disadvantages of smooth hard pipes for wiring
These are all the most common types and types of cable channels for electrical wiring in domestic and industrial conditions. Which of them should be solved in each specific case separately - depending on the specific conditions.