I am planning a structured wiring project. As AV wiring is always changing, I think it would be pertinent to run the low voltage wire in conduit. While discussing the idea with a friend (and hardware store salesmen), he told me that in his personal project he installed all the low voltage in standard EMT.

To me, this seems like a bit of overkill. Working with EMT in a crawlspace doesn't seem fun, and for pulling AV cable, it seems like the sharp bends might actually be harder to work with. Then again, "smurf tube" has ribbing inside that could also cause snags.

So, is there any advantage to using EMT instead of flexible conduit (Carlon, smurf tube, etc) for running low voltage structured wiring runs?

  • 1
    It's mostly a matter of opinion - @Tester101 has laid out pros and cons well, but the main one is what you prefer. EMT is smoother (easier to pull in, IME) and rodent-proof. Having got over the hump of measuring and bending the stuff, I prefer it. I suppose one additional advantage is that it provides a degree of electrical shielding which plastic tubing does not - but in most cases if that's needed, it's in the cables you are using.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 9, 2014 at 0:53
  • EMF shielding would be the deciding factor, save for code. If the house is run with Romex, then EMT is the way to go for the LV. One of them should be in EMT, preferably both.
    – Mazura
    Oct 4, 2014 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


Electrical Metallic Tubing (Type EMT)


  • Protection from physical damage
  • Larger internal area (1/2" EMT = 0.622 in. ID)
  • Available in sizes over 2"
  • Easy to push through closed walls and bored holes.
  • Can be used as equipment grounding conductor


  • Requires fittings
  • Costs slightly more ($0.256/ft.)
  • More difficult to cut
  • More difficult to bend

Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (Type ENT)


  • Easy to cut
  • Easy to bend
  • Long runs without fittings
  • Slightly cheaper ($0.24/ft.)


  • More difficult to pull through closed walls and bored holes
  • Only available in sizes 1/2" to 2"
  • Smaller internal area (1/2" ENT = 0.560 in. ID)
  • Releases toxic fumes when burned

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