Filed under: Electrical, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
Ever had to paint or hang a picture up in an old house, just to have your simple plans complicated by that old-fashioned surface conduit that they used to use? I used to find the stuff really annoying, until I learned how it came to be. It turns out that surface conduit, at least in the United States, was largely brought about by Wiremold in the early 20th century.
By around 1920, Americans were catching the electrical gadget craze, and were buying and accumulating more electrical devices than they had outlets to plug them into. Back in those days, walls more or less all fell into the plaster and lathe category, which, if you’ve ever worked on an old house, are no picnic to cut into and repair. Even for people who were lucky enough to have homes with in-wall wiring, the existing number of receptacles just wasn’t enough, but ripping into plaster walls to add additional outlets was pretty much out of the question.
And so, Wiremold came to the rescue with metal-based surface conduit for electrical wiring. It allowed people to add extra electrical circuits and outlet boxes anywhere they wanted, without demolishing their fragile plaster walls in the process. And while these days we’re spoiled with retrofit-friendly sheetrock walls, Wiremold metal conduit is still coming in handy, albeit in a slightly different form.
Meet Wiremold’s Aluminum Surface Raceways - the hipper, sleeker next generation of surface conduit. Instead of being used in homes, aluminum surface raceways have now carved out a niche in offices, where they’re used to run power and data cables around the perimeter of a room, with stops for built-in outlet wherever they’re needed. And what’s really cool is that they actually have cutouts into which wires from existing wall boxes can be fed, to be spliced onto new wire runs. Doesn’t get much easier than that.