Smurf Tubing Vs. Split Flex tubing for cable run conduits? Which way is better? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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My Situation:
I am a little confused and unsure of which way to go. I am trying to do the right and proactive thing here by running all of my cables through a conduit.

There will be a dedicated conduit for each cable run which will include all the cables going to a certain wall plate from the receiver (HDMI, speaker wire, component, VGA..etc) and I will proactively run both a CAT-6 network cable and a string for future wire-running purposes through drywall.

Most people on this forum already know this, but if you did not know why I am doing this, its for the purpose of future proofing your "behind-wall-wire-runs" so if a new badass cable comes out (like Display port) I can easily tie the new cable to the strings and pull it through the conduit inside the drywalled framing from the receiver side to the designated wall plate. I am also running CAT-6 with most of my speaker and video runs for future-proofing any low voltage or RS-232 type of wiring.

My Questions:
Should I go with the traditional 3/4" Smurf Tubing or the more flexible SplitFlex tubing (the one with the slit running across). Split tubing is more common with AV cable runs, while smurf tubing is less flexible and is air tight since its meant to go with electrical runs.

The problem with Smurf tubing is that I wont be able to fit anything beyond HDMI, CAT6, or single RCA cables in there due to its limited diameter of 3/4". Do they even manfacture wider smurftubing? Perhaps 1"-2" diameter? If so, where can I find it. And if not, then what other conduit cable run methods would you recommend, if the traditional Split Flex tubing is not good enough.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 04:07 PM
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I don't think split tube is allowed in walls? You need to find out! Also split loom tube will probably allow the cable to exit the side as you pull it through.
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunragit View Post

I don't think split tube is allowed in walls? You need to find out! Also split loom tube will probably allow the cable to exit the side as you pull it through.

makes total sense, but what other options are out there? are there any bigger smurf tubings? or any other type of conduit tubing that would be wider in diameter?
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 05:00 PM
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If your walls are open, no need to run your cables in conduit. Conduit is useful after the walls are closed up. So next to your bundle of cables, just run empty conduit with a pull string. If a 3/4" smurf tubing is too small, run two.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 05:00 PM
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I used smurf for the speakers, and rg6.... solid grey PVC conduit (2") for the projector run.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamis View Post

I used smurf for the speakers, and rg6.... solid grey PVC conduit (2") for the projector run.

Yup, I think the gray carlon is the way to go-up to two inches?
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-10-2008, 06:54 PM
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If by Smurf Tubing you mean flexible conduit, yes you can get much larger sizes http://www.hometech.com/techwire/resigard.html

You can also get Schedule 40 electrical conduit in even larger sizes.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 07:11 AM
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I definitely understand why conduit runs to/from the projector, display, equipment rack are a good idea. I'm less clear on why most folks runs conduit to the speakers? I'm not certain why one would ever need anything other than a speaker wire to those locations. Can someone enlighten me??
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbain View Post

I definitely understand why conduit runs to/from the projector, display, equipment rack are a good idea. I'm less clear on why most folks runs conduit to the speakers? I'm not certain why one would ever need anything other than a speaker wire to those locations. Can someone enlighten me??

for ease of replacement
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbain View Post

I definitely understand why conduit runs to/from the projector, display, equipment rack are a good idea. I'm less clear on why most folks runs conduit to the speakers? I'm not certain why one would ever need anything other than a speaker wire to those locations. Can someone enlighten me??

I can think of a few reasons:

1) replace a damaged wire (picture hanger nail shorts one, etc.)
2) upgrade the wire. (probably easier to put thick speaker wire in to begin with)
3) bi-wire (for biamping)

For #2 and #3, it seems easier just to install the better/more wire to begin with if you think it is possible. #1 doesn't seem that likely.

Paul Meyer
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 09:45 AM
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#1 has happened to me. The wire had a a break in it from the manufacturing process. I only discovered the issue after running it through the walls. It sucked having to replace so that's by I now use conduit.

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post #12 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 10:58 AM
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Split tubing in a wall sounds like a problem.
Put the initial cables in the wall, not the conduit.
I also question the use of conduit to speakers, seems like overkill, but if it is not too expensive / a nightmare to do, then why not?
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 11:26 AM
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Just to further add to the discussion, I would also suggest testing all the cables (video, speaker wire, cat 5, pretty much everything) before you close-in. That way, if you did have a bad cable, you could replace it while the walls are still open.
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbain View Post

Just to further add to the discussion, I would also suggest testing all the cables (video, speaker wire, cat 5, pretty much everything) before you close-in. That way, if you did have a bad cable, you could replace it while the walls are still open.

This statement is why I think everyone should use conduit for there runs as a wire or cable could go bad on down the road. Replacement would not be a big deal

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post #15 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 06:48 PM
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ENT (smurf tube) size 1/2 to 2

PVC sched 40 size 1/2 to 6

Just in case you guys wanted to know. Loom is not a listed raceway.
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post #16 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMike View Post

ENT (smurf tube) size 1/2 to 2

PVC sched 40 size 1/2 to 6

Just in case you guys wanted to know. Loom is not a listed raceway.

My smurf tube is 2.5".

edit: I mispoke. I forgot that it's two inch. I've been using 2 1/2 hole bit to fit both the tube and the wires.

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post #17 of 21 Old 07-11-2008, 07:31 PM
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is it listed?
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMike View Post

ENT (smurf tube) size 1/2 to 2

PVC sched 40 size 1/2 to 6

Just in case you guys wanted to know. Loom is not a listed raceway.

Thanks for everyone that chimed in.

Mike, I will be happy with a 2" ENT smurf tube conduit, where can I get it? Home Depot only stocks 1/2" and 3/4" ENT. But where else can I buy the 2" ENT in bulk (300-500 feet)?

The electrician is coming out Wednesday (tomorrow) to wire up everything (subpanel, sconces, recepticles, can lights, grafikeye..etc), and I wanted to run all my cables at the same time since I am taking the day off tomorrow.
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeyer View Post

I can think of a few reasons:

1) replace a damaged wire (picture hanger nail shorts one, etc.)
2) upgrade the wire. (probably easier to put thick speaker wire in to begin with)
3) bi-wire (for biamping)

I would add moving to active speakers, but that's a whole 'nother can 'o worms (i.e., power at each speaker, pulling terminated balanced cable through a conduit is a PITA).

Alex doesn't live here anymore
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post #20 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 07:50 AM
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I added pipe so I can later measure the exact length I need and buy without waste

With pipe, you will not have to worry at all while you finish the room. When you are done, you put whatever you want in and call it good with peace of mind you can always replace it.

I am such a NOOB at A/V..
The "Not Hers" Build
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post #21 of 21 Old 07-15-2008, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI...I found 50' rolls of the 1.5" orange resi-gard flex tubing for $53. I think this is definitely a happy medium for me. I will use the cheaper HomeDepot 3/4" blue smurf ENT for the speaker/lowvoltage wiring (at $30 per 100ft) and will use the more expensive 1.5" resi-gard orange w/tape for the video runs. I think that in-wall HDMI and even DVI or HD-15 VGA cable runs should each fit nicely in the 1.5" as long as I keep it empty for future runs. I can't imagine any cables thicker or cables with bigger/thicket ends than the existing DVD/HDMI/HD-15 that will not fit in a 1.5" tube.


Here is the link for the 1.5" resi-gard for $53 per 50ft:

http://www.monstermarketplace.com/El...5700a4611.html
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