Jan 26, 2009

There's electricity in the air



Our utilities, electric, water and gas, have been an integral part of the build; integral in the design of course, but also integral in the walls and ceilings with the lines running through or inside the concrete block walls. In my drawings, I tried to anticipate where every light switch and plug should be, and where every water outlet and drain worked best.
This is one of those situations where a lifetime of assumptions that things simply work because they do, has to meet the reality of it being designed and built it to work that way. Flick a switch and a light goes on. Hit the button on your computer on and it springs into service (usually). Step into an elevator and the doors close and open somewhere else.
Not that we are building a skyscraper here, but each light has to find its way back to a switch in another location.
Fortunately, we can run many of the wire legs in stiff plastic conduits along the outside walls and on the concrete roof of the bodega/baƱo. Then they go down to the appointed outlets inside the block walls through flexible plastic conduits.
Mexican wire is all single strand and so I am running multiple wires throughout. We only have 30 amps to work with and so I am dividing up the three main items, the water pump, the air conditioner, and the washing machine in different 15 amp circuits. Some of the conduits get very crowded.
It sounds simple when I think of it, and even as I write about it, but the final result is a sort of maze.
Fortunately, I have my building buddies Bob and Dale to help. We all visit each others’ sites and talk things through. Those guys have more experience than I and have been very helpful. My cousin Gerald was down here visiting and spent a couple of afternoons on the job as well.
I was pleased that I had gotten most services where I wanted them but still missed a couple.
I had to bang new openings for the bathroom fan and a couple more plugs, and was feeling quite done when I realized that I hadn’t created the passage for the dryer vent. Another 4” hole in the wall, along with the dust and detritus.

1 comment:

Croft Randle said...

Nice Blog Glen. It was great meeting you today! You are now among my favorites in Google Reader.