How to Make Parallel Offset Conduit Bends
Conduit bending is both an art and a science. When you look, if you are a construction nerd like me, at a well designed, properly installed, well planned and implemented conduit run, you cant help but admire and respect the craftsmanship that went into it.
While most conduit bending techniques are well known by many electricians there are a few, that I have found, a lot of people still struggle with or do not fully understand how to do properly. The conduit bending technique I find most neglected is the art of bending parallel conduit offsets. A parallel conduit offset is when you have multiple conduits of any size running parallel to each other and having side by side offset bends. When this is done correctly the gap between the conduits will remain equal throughout the offset. The gaps will remain equal with each subsequent parallel conduit. But when this is not done correctly, the gaps through the offsets will be less than on the straight portions of the conduit. This makes for an unsightly conduit run in what could have been a work of art.
The good news is that the problem is easily avoidable. The technique is easy to remember and implement. All that is really needed to be known is the desired gap between the conduits from center to center, and the angle that the offsets will be made with. For the purposes of this article, I am assuming you already know how to bend a conduit offset bend. If not, don’t worry, the video tutorial posted here with this article shows you exactly how to do what we are talking about. So if we know the center to center gap needed and the angle we are using to create the offset (ie 30°, or 45°), then all we need to do is use the following formula with the values we already know. The formula we need is the Tangent of 1/2 the angle of the offset, times the center to center distance between the conduits. That is, if our offsets are bent at 30°, then half of a 30° angle is 15°. So the tangent of 15° times the center to center distance between the conduits will give us the distance our offsets will need to be adjusted with each conduit bend.