Steel Electrical Conduit Is Not Tested or Listed for Non-Electrical Applications
Because steel electrical conduit is readily available at local home improvement stores, it is tempting to use it for non-electrical projects, such as mechanical or structural applications. However, it is important to note that steel electrical conduit products are not evaluated or factory-tested for non-electrical applications. Furthermore, if structural steel is required for your project, a building inspector may not approve the project if you have used electrical conduit.
Steel electrical conduit products are manufactured and listed to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards, to be used for routing and physical protection of electrical conductors and cables, and for equipment grounding. It should be noted that these standards do not specify minimum tensile strengths. Electrical conduit is intended to have properties that allow it to be bent into elbows or bends for installation. Steel electrical conduit therefore may not contain the mechanical strength required for use in a mechanical or structural application.
Structural steel is produced with a particular cross section or shape, as well as some specified values of strength and chemical composition. Structural steels are normally manufactured to specific ASTM standards to meet the requirements for mechanical and structural applications.