Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

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Angelo
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Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Angelo » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:49 pm

Hello Shannon,
How do I install electrical wire in a Block house?
I am building this house in Florida, so I just wanna install the house in the block. I don't wanna use house to frame inside.
Thanks,
Angelo

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Shannon
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Shannon » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:21 pm

Man, I'm not sure on this, but my guess would be using conduit. Not sure that is a great look for the interior of your home unless you are going for an industrial look? Maybe one of the other guys watching this section will have a better idea.
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Aaron
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:36 pm

I assume he means concrete cinder blocks?

Electrical boxes can be recessed and flush in concrete block, it's actually quite common in commercial construction. You need to just cut out a rectangular hole for a masonry-style steel box. Cuts for the hole--which end up being more of a slot, really--are usually made at the top of a block so the box itself can just side down and the top of the steel box is then level with top of the block. So you have to connect a length of conduit to the box and as you build the concrete wall, you slide each block above that electrical box through the conduit. The conduit is then embedded in the block.

It's much easier to hang conduit on the walls, and ceilings, though.

Easiest yet is framing inside with furring strips, using boxes with NM cable, and covering it all with drywall. :-)

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emtnut
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by emtnut » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:53 pm

Hi Angelo,

When I first saw 'bricks' I was thinking ICF !

Not sure of what you are constructing .... Is the foundation already there, or are you building from scratch ?


Shannon wrote:using conduit. Not sure that is a great look for the interior of your home unless you are going for an industrial look
.... Maybe I'll post in misc. someday where I got the nick 'emtnut' :)
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Aaron
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:35 pm

I was actually wondering if "emtnut" meant that you are nuts about EMT (electrical metallic tubing).

I love the stuff too, but I suck at doing anything but the most BASIC bends, and I even screw those up because I do it by trial-and-error. I know the 5" deduct on a 90 degree and that's it.

I know it takes a ton of practice to get good at it, but I don't have the time, money, or patience to deal with it. Plus even if you are good at the technique of bends, you have to know some basic trigonometry to get all the offsets correct if you're running series of them in parallel.

I love all the fasteners and hardware associated with EMT. Those strut channels are awesome. :-)

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Shannon
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Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Shannon » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:17 pm

[/quote] .... Maybe I'll post in misc. someday where I got the nick 'emtnut' :)[/quote]

I always looked at your nickname as "empty nut" thought maybe you had a screw loose because of an electrical incident ? Lol. ( I hope that is not the truth because now I feel bad for making a joke...?)
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emtnut
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by emtnut » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:41 am

Your both right ....

In my last house, when I finished my shop area, did it all in emt. On the outside walls 'kinda' makes sense to me to leave the insulation and vapor barrier intact. Did it on the inside walls of the shop too though cause there's just something about a work table with emt and metal cover plates that's damn sexy :)
Certainly have had my share of zaps too, which probably explains at least some of my offbeat humor, brain farts, and just downright unexplainable behaviour :)

Parallel offsets can be tricky, but I never use the trig ... just the cheater sheet with the multipliers.
It's like anything else, practice ( ie. miles of screwed up emt)

Attached awesome work pic ! (not mine btw)
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Aaron
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Aaron » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:45 pm

I used to be a telecom technician at the phone company, and I saw some nice EMT work in our equipment rooms. I think they were all IBEW workers.

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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by emtnut » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:02 pm

I worked for a scada company for about 4 years. We automated water and sewage plants, all our control panels were mounted on unistrut, ridgid for power, and emt for all the control wiring. Some nice installs.

I only do it for friends now ... cause friends don't let friends use BX :)
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Aaron
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Aaron » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:18 am

Rigid is great. I've seen that on some older frames in the phone company central offices, but today they just use EMT for all modern installations. I'm guessing that rigid probably predates EMT. But I still see new rigid getting installed. I last noticed it used for bus and light rail train shelters here in the Twin Cities.

I'm okay with BX/MC for short lengths, but only for very tight areas where the radii of bends of EMT make it impossible for raceway to the target location.

One thing with EMT that I like are the liquid-tight box connectors and couplers. They use a compression fitting instead of a set screw. I also like to use steel connectors and couplers, not the inferior die-cast zinc ones.

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Shannon
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Shannon » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:50 am

I like the EMT better for exterior because of the liquid-tight fittings and it also looks nice and neat. The cost material and labour is usually cheaper also.
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Angelo
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Angelo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:54 pm

Thanks for your help.
Thanks.
Aaron wrote:I assume he means concrete cinder blocks?

Electrical boxes can be recessed and flush in concrete block, it's actually quite common in commercial construction. You need to just cut out a rectangular hole for a masonry-style steel box. Cuts for the hole--which end up being more of a slot, really--are usually made at the top of a block so the box itself can just side down and the top of the steel box is then level with top of the block. So you have to connect a length of conduit to the box and as you build the concrete wall, you slide each block above that electrical box through the conduit. The conduit is then embedded in the block.

It's much easier to hang conduit on the walls, and ceilings, though.

Easiest yet is framing inside with furring strips, using boxes with NM cable, and covering it all with drywall. :-)

Angelo
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Angelo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:57 pm

Thanks to everyone who tried to help.
Thanks,
Respectfully,
Angelo

Angelo
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Angelo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:01 pm

Hello,
I have not started the work yet. I wanna build the whole house in concrete blocks, the ones with holes in them...
I know about framing the inside with 2x4 to easily install the electrical wire but I wanna learn to install the electrical wires in the wall.
From those of you who don't seem to understand what I need is for the wires to be inside the wall, just the switch and plugs showing outside.
Thanks,
Angelo

emtnut wrote:Hi Angelo,

When I first saw 'bricks' I was thinking ICF !

Not sure of what you are constructing .... Is the foundation already there, or are you building from scratch ?


Shannon wrote:using conduit. Not sure that is a great look for the interior of your home unless you are going for an industrial look
.... Maybe I'll post in misc. someday where I got the nick 'emtnut' :)

Angelo
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:45 pm

Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Angelo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:04 pm

Thanks for your help.
I know often the electrical wires in a block building is for commercials, but I wanna do it in a house. I don't wanna frame the inside with 2x4 bcx the house will be in Florida and it can be completely in blocks.
Thanks,
Angelo
emtnut wrote:Hi Angelo,

When I first saw 'bricks' I was thinking ICF !

Not sure of what you are constructing .... Is the foundation already there, or are you building from scratch ?


Shannon wrote:using conduit. Not sure that is a great look for the interior of your home unless you are going for an industrial look
.... Maybe I'll post in misc. someday where I got the nick 'emtnut' :)

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Aaron
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by Aaron » Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:46 pm

Hi Angelo, we're just making sure we understand what you're asking for, because what you want to do is commercial-grade electrical construction. Your electrician will need to work with a concrete mason to flush-fit the steel electrical boxes so they are recessed in the concrete blocks, and use concrete-tight conduit and connectors throughout. This is neither an easy nor low-cost job.

It would be far less expensive and faster to have surface-mounted EMT conduit on the interior walls, if you don't plan to have finishing materials on the walls (drywall). Your electrician would not need to coordinate with the mason in this case--he could do the work when the mason has completed the block construction.

Either way, this is probably the most help we can offer you--this site is geared more for traditional residential timber construction.

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emtnut
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Re: Installing electrical wire in a BLOCK house

Post by emtnut » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:52 am

Hi Angelo ,

Generally speaking, you need to install your wire in conduit in the slab with a stub up. As you are builing up your blocks, you would install 3 - 4 foot sections of EMT. Then you lift each cinder block to feed the conduit through it. You could go with higher sections of pipe, but it makes lifting the cider block over the conduit a bit tougher.
I think the bricklayers generally do 3 to 4 rows of block per day, so judge the conduit accordingly.

For horizontal runs, you would use bond beams for your conduit.

As Aaron mentioned, best to use masonry style boxes, and finished with a mud ring.

As you build your wall, make sure to tape up your conduit and any boxes and screw holes ... if you get cement in them, it's a real pita !

I can try to answer any other questions for you. I haven't done this type of work before, but I've been around it on a few jobs.

Wayne

*** Also, if you are filling the CMUs with cement, I believe you have to run PVC, not emt.
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