Where/how to drill through block/stucco wall?

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Old 11-06-06, 07:18 AM
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Where/how to drill through block/stucco wall?

As a future project, I will need to drill a hole to run wire somewhere but don't know where to try it or how to do it. Any ideas?

The previous owner wired my shed by running a wire out of my basement through the edge of a window. That was the easiest thing to do but I can't imagine that being allowed by code plus it leaves a short section of wire exposed to damage before it gets underground around the edge of a window well. I need to protect that better and I need a "real" hole in my basement wall to run a little conduit for it.

I live near Boston and my house in concrete block construction with stucco. On the outside, the stucco comes down to 6-8" above ground, and I have never worked with stucco before.

I can try:
- leave the wire run as-is but try to fit some conduit or wiremold (do they make that for exterior use?) around it on the surface.
- try to drill through the concrete block below ground level. That sounds like a bad idea: is it?
- try to drill through the block just a couple inches above ground level and use a stub of conduit. That doesn't sound much better.
- try to drill through block and stucco 12-18" above ground level, attache a length of vertical conduit to the wall, and hope that I do not have to figure out how to patch stucco. Is this reasonable? How do I avoid damaging the stucco and do I have a good chance of doing so? Do I just need to expect to have to make a repair? I could figure out how to drill through a poured wall if I had one: do I need to do anything differently with block and stucco?

Thanks for any advice. For now I think I'm looking for information to decide whether to put this project on my long term list or a much longer term list to add as a side project whenever I need to hire someone for anything remotely similar.
 
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Old 11-06-06, 08:08 AM
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Where/how to drill through block/stucco wall?

Use a masonry bit and drill through the block several inches above ground. Drill a number of holes in a circular pattern and knock out the center portion. It is usually easier to make a slightly oversize hole, insert a piece of conduit and patch/seal around the conduit. As an alternate you can get a circular hole saw for masonry, but that is a bit pricey.

You will have to drill through both face shells (usually about 1 1/2" thick each) of the block, so drill from both the inside and outside. Use the mortar joints as reference points. Drill half way up in the block and about 4" from one of the vertical mortar joints as a starting point. If that hole works, go and drill from the corresponding location on the other side of the wall.

Try to not drill through the course or layer of block that is supporting a floor system. This could be solid or have a different block configuration.

Dick
 
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Old 11-06-06, 09:27 AM
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how far from edge

Is there a minimum distance I should stay from the edge of the stucco to keep that from breaking off?

What exactly do you mean "the course or layer of block that is supporting a floor system"? Would that just be the blocks that the joists are resting on? How about drilling out through a rim joist, which would be the layer of blocks above the one supporting the joists?

Thanks, you make it sound easy enough to do myself although I'm still nervious about having to make a stucco repair if it crumbles. I only need a 3/4" hole to fit the smallest sized conduit for one circuit, so maybe one drill bit would work. Of course I have a related question about a dryer vent currently running through a piece of plywood in a window that you also answered, so thanks again
 
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Old 11-06-06, 09:49 AM
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Where/how to drill through block/stucco wall?

I gave you instructions based on it being a concrete block home with stucco on it. Since you now have a rim joist, it probably a wood frame home with a stucco exterior sitting on a concrete block foundation. You can follow those instructions if you decide to go through the block.

With this type of construction, it may be easier to to go through the rim joist if you can get a clean cut through the stucco.

To go through the stucco, I would survey the outside of the home for obstructions and/or conflicts and then drill a hole from the inside. You probably have wire mesh/lath in the stucco, so you can expect to do some repairing or sealing since the stucco will never cut smoothly through the wire without a special bit.

If you have a special bit, you can drill from the outside once you have a satisfactory location.

Dick
 
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Old 11-06-06, 10:42 AM
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block

Maybe my terminology is wrong with what I'm calling a rim joist (or maybe I'm misremembering what it looks like while I'm not home), but the wall is block all the way up. I see mortar joints in the basement walls, indicating block, and from the attic I can look down into the cavities of the blocks supporting the rafters.
 
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