How high does exposed EMT have to be from ground running down side of home?

  • I'd say, anywhere above it and not in contact with. Your local code will tell you if EMT is suitable for burial, not that it is IMO. Just make sure you use compression fittings.
    – Mazura
    Apr 13, 2016 at 1:16
  • Not all compression fittings are listed for outside locations but it can be used with listed fittings
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 13, 2016 at 1:24

2 Answers 2


I would not use EMT at all. It is not weatherproof. Those compression couplers (you know, the not-setscrew ones) are not for weatherproofing, they are for better grounds. I would either go with thickwall with threaded connectors which I would teflon or dope for watertightness, or preferably PVC, which is cheap and easy to work with.

  • I've heard PVC isn't suitable if it's sunlight? What if you're wanting to run power on a deck? Apr 16, 2020 at 21:28
  • 1
    @joseph.hainline Honestly, I go PVC... and then I paint it. Apr 16, 2020 at 21:32

To directly answer your question: There is no height requirement for EMT. It can be used at any height on the outside of a house.

EMT is identified for use in locations where exposed to physical damage but not 'severe' physical damage. The difference is a matter for interpretation.

EMT can be used in wet locations as long as the conduit is galvanized and you use all fittings that are identified for wet locations and protected from corrosion.

EMT can be used in concrete as long as the fittings are identified for use.

358.10 Uses Permitted.

(A) Exposed and Concealed. The use of EMT shall be permitted for both exposed and concealed work.

(B) Corrosion Protection. Ferrous or nonferrous EMT, elbows, couplings, and fittings shall be permitted to be in-stalled in concrete, in direct contact with the earth, or in areas subject to severe corrosive influences where protected by cor-rosion protection and approved as suitable for the condition.

(C) Wet Locations. All supports, bolts, straps, screws, and so forth shall be of corrosion-resistant materials or protected against corrosion by corrosion-resistant materials.

Informational Note: See 300.6 for protection against corrosion.

358.12 Uses Not Permitted. EMT shall not be used under the following conditions:

(1) Where, during installation or afterward, it will be subject to severe physical damage.

(2) Where protected from corrosion solely by enamel.

(3) In cinder concrete or cinder fill where subject to permanent moisture unless protected on all sides by a layer of noncinder concrete at least 50 mm (2 in.) thick or unless the tubing is at least 450 mm (18 in.) under the fill.

(4) In any hazardous (classified) location except as permitted by other articles in this Code.

(5) For the support of luminaires or other equipment except conduit bodies no larger than the largest trade size of the tubing.

(6) Where practicable, dissimilar metals in contact anywhere in the system shall be avoided to eliminate the possibility of galvanic action.

Exception: Aluminum fittings and enclosures shall be permitted to be used with steel EMT where not subject to severe corrosive influences.

358.42 Couplings and Connectors. Couplings and connectors used with EMT shall be made up tight. Where buried in masonry or concrete, they shall be concretetight type. Where installed in wet locations, they shall comply with 314.15.

314.15 Damp or Wet Locations. In damp or wet loca-tions, boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings shall be placed or equipped so as to prevent moisture from entering or accu-mulating within the box, conduit body, or fitting. Boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings installed in wet locations shall be listed for use in wet locations.

EMT can be made raintight with the right fittings. Here is a link to some info on raintight fittings.

I would agree PVC is a good alternative to EMT in wet locations but it is not identified for use where it is exposed to physical damage. We use PVC in dairy barns and food production wash down areas.

So many choices, so little time.

Good luck!

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