FieldNotes, Training, Video

How to Install Electrical Wiring Into ICF Walls

Join BuildBlock CTO Micah Garrett as he shows you a few quick and easy strategies for installing electrical wiring into ICF walls.

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Micah Garrett with BuildBlock Building Systems and today we’re going to show you how to mount electrical boxes. We’re going to go over some of the tools and show you some of the tips and tricks to make this a fast and easy install.

First, you’re going to need some electrical boxes. You might want to use plastic boxes, one of the best styles to use is one with a flange on the side. Or, you might use metal boxes. These are a style that you can mount directly to the concrete. Both are fine and effective it’s just a matter of how you install them.

Some of the tools to use to make this job go quickly and effectively are a hot knife, this allows you to cut the foam out really quickly easily and effectively. You may also just want to use a basic handsaw. This can do everything that a hot knife can do, it just takes a little bit more grunt work. You might also consider picking up an electric chainsaw. You can find these at your big-box store, your Do It Best, your LBM. This is about a $50 purchase that will make your job go a lot faster.

So, right here we’re going to be mounting a plastic box. I’m going to want to put this right next to where an actual web is. And so here I’ve just kind of drawn out where this box is going to go. I’ve measured this up so that the base of this box is sitting at about between 12 and 13 inches and then we’ll cut up through. This section right here we drew this a little bit too high so that’s just a mistake. This is where we’re gonna be cutting out the box.

This is a fairly inexpensive tool allows us to make simple cuts on this wall itself. What I’m going to make sure I do right here is I’m going to cut right up next to this web so that the flange here will be able to mount right on that web. It just takes a second to heat up and you see it’s starting to get warm here. This makes it really simple to just insert this knife in and cut down right where I’ve already marked and this is very fast and simple to cut these boxes out. I just want to make sure I get around all the corners here.

So now we’ve got this cut out I can now take a simple lever here and pop this out. You’ll also notice that occasionally here at the interconnect there’s a little bit of concrete that sticks out. I can take a simple tool like this and be able to chip this out with a hammer and that’ll allow me to mount the box a little bit more flush here in the back if I need to.

So this box is now ready to be mounted. So, in this case, we’re going to mount a metal box and I’m going to cut this out using a hot knife. See that just goes right in there very easy to cut this out. Now if you don’t have a hot knife you can also use a basic handsaw this you can cut out just like you would anything else make sure you get all the way to the back of the wall there you can see it doesn’t take too much time to cut one of these off. I’m going to grab a lever here, loosen this up, pull right on out.

And we’re a touch tight so we’re just going to take out a little bit of this foam here on top. So now that I have my box here I’m gonna be cutting a chase to this box on either side so I want to knock out a couple of these little pieces to make sure I can run my wire straight into it. That’ll make it a little easier for the electrician later.

I set my box in place and then what I’m going to do, using a drill and a masonry bit, I’m going to be drilling a hole into the back. I want to make sure that I’m nice and level here. I’ve got the box right where I want it and now my box is nice and secure.

So here I’m going to be taking an electric chainsaw to cut my electrical chases from box to box. I’m going to be cutting right here at the interconnect because this is a place where there are no webs. The chainsaw makes it quick and easy allowing me to cut this and go all the way across from box to box.

So now we have our chase that is cut from electrical box to electrical box. This is the place where I can now insert my electrical wire and this conforms to the depth requirement required by most building codes. So I can take my wire and insert it directly back here. Put it back behind here and then to secure it in place I can put a little drop of foam every now and then to make sure that that wire isn’t going to come out of place and you can see this connects all the way across from box to box and ties into the wall here where the wire can now come down.