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I am running a couple of new circuits to the bathroom which will involve running THHN wires through the emt conduit. The problem is that my panel is on the exterior wall and the conduit will need to enter the attic space.

It was suggested that I bend the conduit in the center (90 degrees) and push it up through a hole in the soffit to enter the attic. But that plan looks naive because I ran into some wood about 3 inches up from the hole in the soffit.

Should I drill a hole in the wood to access attic space? If so, the hole would have to be pretty big to allow bent conduit to wiggle through it.

Update 1: On a whim I drilled through the wood and then I was inside the attic. Pushed a stick through and was able to see 8 inches of it from within the attic. Now off to conduit bending, installing and cable pulling.

Picture of soffit: Picture of soffit

View from inside the attic: View from inside the attic

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Just plan to put a coupler on the EMT right past the bend.

Then you can either put it through the hole from the top, or the bottom, whichever works best.

  • Accessibility is the main issue inside the attic. The coupler would have to be on the external wall. Still, what I am trying to mainly figure out is whether I am already in the attic space or do I need to get past the wood? I need to understand how the roof eves are laid out. – cryptic0 Jul 3 at 12:48
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OK, I am assuming you are running 15A or 20A circuits for the bathroom and it can be run in 1/2" conduit.

First you are right to abandon the idea to bend EMT through the soffit and into the attic. Unless you get really lucky the geometry just doesn't work out. Instead you need to either transition from EMT to LFMC, Liquid Flexible Metallic Conduit (Sealtight) and run the it through the opening between the soffit and attic. You could also run the entire circuit in LFMC, but it requires a lot of strapping to make it look neat. I also suggested LFMC because if you use LFNC (Carflex) or Liquid Flexible Nonmetallic Conduit with no metal you may find it exteremly hard to bull wire through it due to the friction of the insulation and interior of the conduit.

You need to have at least a 7/8" (let's just say a 1" or larger) opening to get the conduit through to the attic. How you do it is a good question you can try and push it through. You might be able to fish a wire or fish tape up through the opening. I have found my best success with "fish sticks", found in almost any hardware store.

Now here is what most people don't want to here. When all else fails you may have to take down some of the soffit panels to install your conduit or cut an opening in it using a small plumping access panel. Either way if done properly neatly it's really not as horrible as it sounds initially.

Be sure and seal up any exterior holes into the attic since all kinds of inserts and varmints can use them for access.

Good luck.

  • LFMC is a good idea for transition assuming I can find a way into the attic. I may just have to remove some soffit to get a better look at the eave structure. – cryptic0 Jul 3 at 15:23

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