EMT Conduit Couplers

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EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by porteranthus » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:40 am

This year, after 15 years of trekking out to BRC with not much more than a tent, I finally invested in a tiny bit of comfort. With 29 pieces of 1" 10-foot EMT conduit, I now have a 20x30x10 frame to wrap in shadecloth and park my 9-foot tall truck (ambulance actually) under.

But there's a problem - I'm doubling my efforts in loading and unloading. For transport I have to load all the conduit first and stack my gear on top (and then unload all the gear to get at it again), and yet shade is the very first thing I want to unload and build (and the very last thing I want to tear down). I'm moving all my gear 2-3 times just so I can build my canopy!

So I would looove to cut those suckers in half and then use 2-way couplers to piece them back together during assembly. Has anyone had success (or failure) with such an endeavor?
I have 6-foot tall external storage boxes on the side of the ambulance though which could easily accommodate all the pipe if they were cut in half. This would allow me to keep conduit and gear completely separate so that I could unload/build/strike in the right order, and also free up a lot of floorspace in the process.

Whaddaya think? How much would this weaken the structure? With this year's high winds the canopy swayed and leaned with the gusts but held up just fine with its 10-foot segments. But with 5-footers and in-line tandem couplers...? I need some advice from experience.
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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by BBadger » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:22 am

I'd like to use something like that too, because I'd like to fit such conduits into an SUV. Still, there's just something about that coupler you've linked there that makes me wary that it'd buckle.

Maybe something like some 3/4" IMC tubing could fit inside the EMT to provide the connector you need? IMC is thicker walled than EMT, and the outer diameter of the 3/4" IMC would be about 1.029" whereas the EMT's inner diameter is 1.049" (these are from Home Depot's specs). So the IMC could slip inside the EMT and become a connector of sorts that you'd bolt together. There's a picture of a similar arrangement at http://fosterbees.blogspot.com/2013/05/

Someone else could chime in on this.
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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:29 am

I think 3/4" sleeves inside 1" fit nice and snug.

I would do 3/4" by 2' inside sleeves with a bolt through the 1" at the bottom so the 3/4" wont slide down due to vibration.
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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by Token » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:04 am

Wouldn’t it be easier to just put all that pipe on the roof of your already large vehicle and not mess with cuts and assembly?

I get it when folks with a Honda Civic want to cut pipe ...

It this is a square-cab retired ambulance, buddy, you got roof space.

Bunch of L-brackets, some channel iron from HomeDepot ...

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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by Grumpy Otter » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:23 am

You can get straight connectors that should work, but I suggest using some wood to build a low shallow chamber to slip the conduit into. That is what I did this year after dealing with the whole unload everything to get to the conduit the past two years. Two 2x4’s on edge with sections of a couple of Playa benches on top let me pull the conduit out first and load it back last (so we had the shade as we tore down and decamped.)

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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by Canoe » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:43 am

Grumpy Otter wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:23 am
... but I suggest using some wood to build a low shallow chamber to slip the conduit into. ...
Or large PVC tubes to stick them in for transport. Thinwall weeping/septic type, if it will take the load of what you'll put on top of them.

The wood example shows it covering the whole floor. Whatever works for you.
pipe transport.jpg
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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by Popeye » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:29 am

I've done the cut-and-couple several times with no problem. First time I saw it was on Black Rock Hardware structures where they make 10x12 ft structures by cutting the uprights to 8' and coupling the 2' cut offs to the roof.
When I traveled in on the bus I cut 3/4 EMT to 5' and used these couplings and 90d offset T's bent to 60d for shade and wind break (think a swing set). Never a problem.

Suggest you set up one of these couplings in the center of a piece of EMT, add weight to one end and see where it bends. EMT is designed to bend, the coupling designed to stay rigid. EMT will bend first.
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Re: EMT Conduit Couplers

Post by motskyroonmatick » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:16 pm

I use cyclone fence top rail to couple 1" EMT together. It works awesome with the EMT sliding in to it with ease but not much slop. I made both thumb screw and plain variety. The thumb screw ones are 24" and make it so I can extend the uprights of our bar from 7 to 10 feet with the addition of the coupler and the 3' drop from cutting the leg down. I've also extended sets of 10' horizontals that make up the top frame by 5 feet using 5' couplers and 5' 1" EMT extensions so that I have 10'x 15 foot cells in the middle of the bar to make it feel less congested. The horizontal couplers are held from shifting with a healthy wrap of duct tape on one end where the coupler sleeve and the 5' extension meet. It's a bit overbuilt but that means no failure.
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