Crossing wires in ICF wall


Old 12-12-05, 07:23 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 43
Crossing wires in ICF wall

My house is being built with concrete walls with styrofoam on each side. To put the wiring in, you make a channel in the foam and then insert the wires in the slot. I've got a few situations where I need to run one wire horizontally and then one vertically over the horizontal wire. I was wondering today while I was making the channels if this would be allowed.

This may be a really lame question, but as I was doing this today, I had to stop a think about it.
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Old 12-12-05, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
I can't see why not.
Old 12-13-05, 05:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
Here's a suggestion on cutting your channels:

Try to find a DEEP 1/2" or 5/8" router bit. 2" deep would be ideal. Attach a straight edge to the blocks where you want your channel by running drywall screws into the furring strips. Use the straight edge to guide the router.

This is MUCH faster than using a hot knife, and you get a neat, clean channel that the cables will lay down into.

Next cut some 1/2" sheets of polystyrene into 1 3/4" wide strips and push the strips into the channel after you have your cables in place. Use short strips.

My father just moved into his house built with ECO blocks. What brand are you using?

BTW: One other method I've heard of is to use an electric chain saw to cut the channels. We never tried it. I think it would make a mess, but the guy who sold us the blocks said that's how he did it.
Old 12-13-05, 05:24 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 43
I didn't think it would be a problem to cross the wire perpendicularly, but after reading electrical books on wiring for a few months and then when I'm actually out there doing it, I had to stop and think. There wasn't a good reason why it couldn't be done, but for some reason I thought it shouldn't be done.

We are using a router with a 1/2 wide bit and a 2 1/2" depth. Our channels are going in about 2" for the wires. We are not using furrowing strips to keep the channels perfectly straight. They are mostly straight, but it's a little freehand. I'm planning a using the special spray foam to go back and fill in the channels.

I'm not sure what brand we are using. It isn't Eco. My builder told me, but I don't remember. The router is working very well. One day I cut out all the boxes for receptacles and switches and measured for all the stud boxes. Yesterday we cut all the channels. Today, I'll cut the channels between the floor behind the floor trusses and attach the boxes. Wednesday, I hope to pull a bulk of the wire.

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