Electrical conduit - finding 3 way elbows, load strengh

10 years ago


I'd like to use electrical conduit to build structures that support tall plants and for vines to grow up. My plan is to use these with raised beds, usually four feet wide and constructed of wood.

I have several questions that are related to each other.

First, how much of a load can horizontally placed steel electrical conduit support? (I realize this depends on the diameter, length, etc. I did a Google search on this but everyone wants to talk about electrical load in amps, not how much weight it can support. Does anyone know where of some tables online where I can look this up?)

Second, does anyone know where to get a 3 way elbow junction for steel electrical conduit? (To explain what I mean, this is what you'd want to have at each corner if you decided to build a box out of the conduit.)

Related to this, how much load-bearing strength will electrical conduit lose if I put a 90 degree bend in it instead of cutting it in two and putting a 90 degree elbow where I want to have the corner? (Any tips on maintaining as much strength as possible? Don't make the radius of the turn too sharp I would guess...)

Finally, does anyone know where I can get a strap or something of that nature that will let me attach the end of a piece of electrical conduit to the middle of another piece of electrical conduit, with the end piece being attached coming off of the other piece at a 90 degree angle? (Other angles such as 45 degrees might also be of interest.) To clarify, my purpose here is to be able to have a horizontal piece of electrical conduit attach to a vertical piece of electrical conduit in order to brace it and help prevent it from falling over when the vertical piece is subject to a substantial sideways load (e.g. the wind blows really hard against the plants growing up the vertical piece).

Oh, one more comment - although electrical conduit is pretty cheap, some of the fittings (e.g. 90 degree elbows) cost more and can add up pretty quickly if you're going to be using a number of them. If anyone has some good ideas for keeping down the costs for the kinds of things I'm talking about, I'd be very interested in hearing about them.


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