Specify Circuit Path for Actual Length in Revit 2018

Electrical designers can now get actual circuit lengths in Revit 2018.  In previous releases, Revit would calculate the “X” plus “Y” distances plus the vertical distance in the circuit resulting in incorrect lengths.  Revit now allows you to specify a path for the circuit, which can calculate for the circuit running along walls, ceilings, etc and other jogs to account for where the circuit conduit would actually run.  Going through the process of specifying an actual path for receptacle or lighting circuits is probably overkill and won’t be performed by most electrical designers.  However, specifying the actual path for an actual circuit length can make a big difference when calculating voltage drop for large electrical equipment.

The circuit path is a new feature; therefore new commands exist to work with the circuit path feature.

The following image shows the circuit path lines in a 3D view.

Before anything can be done with a circuit path, an electrical circuit must be created and connected to electrical equipment, such as a panel or transformer.  This process is no different from previous releases of Revit.

Steps to modify the Circuit Path:

  1. After the electrical circuit is created, place the cursor over an item in the circuit (while in a plan view) and press the TAB key.  When the electrical circuit lines are highlighted, pick on the item to highlight the electrical circuit.
  2. When the circuit is selected, the following System Tools context ribbon appears.  Pick the new Edit Path command from the System Tools panel on the Modify | Electrical Circuits tab.
  3. Solid lines representing the circuit path appear between the electrical equipment (generally a panel) and the components on the circuit.  The new Edit Path context ribbon also appears.
  4. The lines can be highlighted and adjusted.  Methods of adjusting a circuit path line after highlighting it include:
    1. Dragging it to a new location with the cursor.
    2. Changing the elevation.
      1. This can be done by changing the dimension shown in the Path Offset option in the Edit Path panel to be the desired elevation.
      2. This can also be done by picking on the dimension shown directly above the highlighted circuit path line and entering the desired elevation.
  5. Note:  As soon as any adjustment is made to the default circuit path, the Path Mode option in the Edit Path panel changes to say “Custom“.
  6. Additional line segments can be added to the circuit path by highlighting a segment, right-clicking, and selecting Insert Control Point from the pop up menu.  This will add a control point (vertex) in the highlighted segment at the location of the cursor allowing you to change directions of the circuit path, whether horizontal or vertical.
    1. The control point (vertex) for the joint can be dragged to new locations to represent a change in direction.
    2. To remove a control point, hover over the control point, right-click, and select Delete Control Point from the pop-up menu.
  7. When you are finished making adjustments to the circuit path lines, select the Finish Editing Path command from the Edit Path panel.  The circuit path lines will disappear from the screen.
  8. The Length parameter will show the updated length of the circuit in the Electrical – Loads section of the Properties palette for the circuit.

Default Circuit Path Elevation:

There is a new electrical setting that controls the default elevation for the segment going from the electrical equipment (generally a panel) to the first component in the circuit.  This setting is accessed from the Manage tab -> Settings panel -> MEP Settings dropdown -> Electrical Settings option.  In the Electrical Settings dialog box, go to the General section and change the elevation in the “Circuit Path Offset” option.

Notes:

  1. The circuit path is not visible in the model when not in the Edit Path mode for the circuit.
  2. There is no Revit category for the circuit path to modify its appearance or visibility.  These lines are NOT the same as the Wires category.
  3. The path is NOT associated with conduit even if the Conduit command is used to place conduit meant to represent the circuit.  If you want the circuit path to follow the conduit, you must edit the path of the circuit to match the conduit.
  4. A circuit path cannot be made to automatically match another circuit path.  Each circuit path is individually and manually modified.
  5. When adjusting the location of the circuit path line segment, there are no temporary dimensions to utilize like are common throughout Revit.
  6. At this time, the circuit path segments can NOT be made curved as they will always be straight.
  7. Once you are in the Edit Path mode showing the path lines, the lines can be edited in a 3D view.
  8. The default elevation of devices such as receptacles will be the default elevation of the circuit path line segments between the devices.
  9. Files that are upgraded from previous Revit versions will have the Circuit Path capability enabled and usable.
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3 thoughts on “Specify Circuit Path for Actual Length in Revit 2018

  1. Great article. What about if you have multiple receptacles on a circuit. Can you also modify the circuit path from device 3 to device 2 and device 2 to device 1, assuming device 1 is the home run?

    • I believe the answer is yes. In the article I didn’t address all of the aspects of this new feature as there are some additional settings for circuits with multiple components on it.

      • Thanks Doug, if that is true, this is a feature I have been wanting for several years

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