Electric Rough-In

The month is almost over and we’re close to having the wall ready to be infilled with light clay straw.
Over the past week I’ve been installing outlet, switch and light boxes and running PVC conduit to them. Eventually, I’ll pull electric wiring through the conduit but in the meantime we can infill the walls.

The conduit serves several purposes. First, if I end up pulling wire through the conduit before infilling the wall, the conduit will protect the wire during the wall packing process. In my research I’ve seen the electrical done both with and without conduit. I haven’t heard of any situations where wiring is damaged during the infilling process but it feels like it could be an issue. Considering the cabin is small with relatively few outlets, fixtures and switches the price difference of running conduit was negligible for the peace of mind. Now, if this were a 3000 square foot house I would consider the issue closer.

Second, in the the future if I ever need to replace the wire pulling out the old wire out of the conduit and feeding in new wire should be relatively easy versus leaving the old wire in the wall and chiseling out a new channel for the new wire and then replastering the wall.

Running electrical conduit was pretty similar to installing the drain/vent plumbing. I just had to think about the logistics of pulling wire through the conduit using following the design considerations:

  • Use appropriate sized conduit for the number and size of wires in the conduit. I used 3/4″ conduit for the entire house. Most runs will only have one 12 gauge wire and a handful will have two.
  • Avoid tight turns and multiple turns in a conduit run. Most of the conduit runs go straight down. Where there conduit had to turn I used long sweep elbows. 
  • Provide access pull points: Sometimes to avoid pulling wire through multiple turns I installed junction boxes with removable access plates called conduit bodies.  

Here’s a time lapse of the progress thus far:

And here are some stills with more details:

The loft half bath. All the conduit here is 3/4″.

Running conduit for the half bath switch. I only put a single gang box for the switch when I should have put a double gang switch to accommodate a switch for the light and the exhaust fan. Guess I’ll fix that later.

The loft bedroom. There will be an outlet on either side of the bed

The circuit for loft half bath and the circuit for bedroom will join into the same conduit and run down the exterior of the cabin

Drilling hole for conduit to run to the under the house. Most of the conduit runs ran straight down. I’ll attach a long skinny shelf to the grade beam under the house where the wiring will run

Attaching the outlet box to the 2X4 furring strip. The studs are a little less than 8″ wide. The furring strip is a little less inches wide to with finished plaster the wall here will be approximately 10″ thick. This furring strip in the living/dining area will have provide a good anchoring point for the banquette that eventually be here.

Installing the switch and light boxes for the foyer and the porch.

Working around living/dining room wall towards the kitchen. Drilling more holes for conduit runs

Installing box for pantry light

This poor guy has to put up with a bossy, slave driving son.

If that last picture wasn’t a prime candidate for an elder abuse awareness poster campaign this one definitely is.

Working on the office/guest bedroom

My method of attaching outlet boxes evolved as I moved through the rooms. In this situation, the 2×4 furring strip is set high to accommodate for wall cavity for Jean’s fold up desk. So, instead of adding another strip 8″ below that one I just attached the switch box to small piece of scrap wood and fastened scrap to a stud.  

The ratcheting PVC cutting tool is a champ for quickly, quietly, cleanly and correctly cutting PVC. One of my best $8 purchases ever. Thanks Harbor Freight!

Adding the downstairs bathroom outlet

Late September and we’re still getting 100° days.

Installing a double gang switch box for the bathroom.

We’re going to have some exposed conduit on the ceiling for the runs to the ceiling fans and an overhead light. I got metal conduit for these portions. Jean is spray painting them espresso brown so they’ll blend better.

Paul is adding 2X2 furring strips around the windows

Dad is finishing up the the fixtures in the bathroom.