There are several common ways that Sign Fab mounts channel letters. Remote mounted (also known as flush mounted) and raceway mounted are the most common. But what if your sign requires something else? A wireway might be exactly what you need. We are going to take a look at the difference between a raceway and a wireway and then compare the differences between the two.
First, let’s take a look at the specifications of each:
A raceway is a rectangular structure that serves as enclosure for electrical components and wiring made of aluminum.
We manufacture two types of raceways to fit every channel letter need: Fabricated and Extruded.
Constructed of .050 aluminum exterior with 1” aluminum square tube frame. Mounting brackets for fabricated raceways are cut from .25” x 1.5” aluminum flat bar. Brackets are placed every 5’ or as needed to support the sign structure.
Constructed of .125” aluminum and at this time are only available in 7” h x 4.5” w x Length required. Mounting brackets for extruded raceways are adjustable and extrude from .25” x 2” aluminum. Adjustable brackets allow mounting on the bottom of the raceways for square tube railing.
A wireway is also made of aluminum but is a much slimmer enclosure and mounting structure usually containing wires but no power supplies.
Raceways and wireways sometimes have a better advantage over remote mounted signs because they require fewer mounting holes. Another similarity between the two is that channel letters are mounted the same way to both type of structures so there’s no extra work involved.
Let’s take a look at some of the differences:
Building owners might require raceway channel letter mounting. The raceway contains all the electrical components such as wiring and power supplies and is ideal for applications where local codes, building owners, or the façade of the building prohibit remote mounting. Raceways allow for easier installation, service and can be painted to match the wall.
Also, raceways allow for easier access as only the raceway top needs to be removed for component replacement – simple, quick and timely.
Wireways are also needed or required by building owners. Sometimes a channel letter set is only permitted to protrude a certain distance from the wall and this is where wireways would be useful. Wireways are slimmer and narrower and therefore are sometimes used instead of raceways or remote mounting. Unlike raceways, wireways may serve more purposes such as a wiring enclosure, letter mounting surface and a backboard for your letters.
Our wireways are 2 inches deep compared to our raceways which are 4.5 inches deep or 7.25 inches deep (for custom raceways). Wireways do require more mounting holes but significantly less than remote mounted letters.
Unlike raceways, wireways are much more complicated when replacing an electrical component as they only contain wires and no power supplies. The power supplies are placed inside the wall, requiring the entire sign structure to be removed when necessary. This could get costly and time-consuming.
Both raceways and wireways can be painted to match the wall and serve as channel letter mounting structures. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages but still have similar functions when it comes to mounting channel letters.
Checking your local codes and what your landlord requires will save you time in deciding what type of mounting you need. If you have any questions or are unsure or what type of mounting your sign requires give us a call at 800-544-6381 and talk with our support representative.