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Thread: Running Electrical in Concrete Block Wall

  1. #1

    Default Running Electrical in Concrete Block Wall

    I am building a concrete block wall out of 8x8x16 block. All of the cells of the wall will be concrete grouted and also contain rebar. I have not yet poured the foundation, but will be poring very soon. I would like to run electricity to one place in the wall for an exterior light fixture. I have a good understanding of electricity and wiring so I don't need specifics regarding wire size, etc. My questions are geared more towards the installation materials. Here are my questions:

    1. Is 1/2" schedule 40 conduit appropriate to run through the cells of the block prior to filling them with concrete? I would like to 12 gauge wire through them for the light fixture.
    2. How deep underground should the conduit pop out of the poured foundation? The underground conduit will run to the house, about 40 feet away.
    3. What type of electrical box for the light fixture is appropriate for this type of installation? After I make a cut-out in the concrete for the box, how does the box attach to the inside of the block?
    4. Are there any other precautions I must take with this type of installation.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    I have a good understanding of electricity and wiring so I don't need specifics regarding wire size, etc
    I hear a lot of this in the field (from non-electricians), and it kills my interest to a high degree.
    Learning brings success. While you are waiting, I'm getting better!

  3. #3


    Apparently I have offended at least one expert on this forum with my first post, and for that I appologize. I thought it might be helpful to whomever answered to know that I am familiar with electrical terms, gauges of wires, and basic electricity, but am by no means an expert.

    If someone else wouldn't mind helping me, I would very much appreciate it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Kent, WA


    PVC conduit generally must be buried to a depth of 18".

    You can use a box rated for embedment in concrete (typically the watertight outside boxes), but you'll need a deep one to get the thread far enough in to get it past the outer edge of the block. Make up the conduit and box and then pour in your concrete. It may be easier to use a sweep 90 on the conduit and come into the back of an embedded box (instead of below), or use the same sweep coming out of the block enough that you can surface mount the box later. I'd dry fit the threaded end onto the conduit before you fill the block wall with concrete so you don't have to chip it away later.
    Kent, WA

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