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robt65

Jan 24, 2011, 1:43 PM

Post #1 of 31 (4185 views)

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Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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OK . . . . now of some brain picking!

I am building my security wall around our property. I want to have some old style Spanish / Mexican electric lamps on top of the gate (6) posts. I was thinking to save on concrete and thought about building a couple of forms made from 1" plywood in the shape of a box and about eight foot tall. I would put numerous strong hinges on the opposing edges of the form with a single made pin from metal with a hook on top. When the concrete had cured, I would pull the pins from the hinges allowing collapsing of the form which would allow extracting the form and leaving the center core of the stone posts hollow. That in turn would allow for ample room for installing electric wires not only for the lamp post lanterns - (lanterns would also have motion detector switches) , also for a door bell, electric (double leaf) remote gate opener as well as an electrical outlet on the inside (or garden side) of the gate posts. I also plan on electrifying the designer metal rail tops to the stone wall for security using a solar cattle electric fence charger.

If anyone has such suggestions or other ideas, it would be appreciated. I already checked and there does not appear to be any laws against electric fencing.

robt65




sparks


Jan 24, 2011, 6:24 PM

Post #2 of 31 (4165 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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I have no idea what you said ... but if you want a stone post with a hollow center ... just use a plastic tube up the middle of whatever size you want

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


robt65

Jan 24, 2011, 7:05 PM

Post #3 of 31 (4152 views)

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Re: [sparks] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Well Sparks that is where architects and electricians sometimes part ways! (smiling) I need something larger than a simple plastic tube. The post I am building is approximately four foot, by four foot, by four foot, by four foot by 8 foot tall. I don't want to use so much concrete, its a waste. I guess I could use a large "sona tube" for the interior form and drill into that, but simply building two interior forms, that when a single pin is pulled, the forms collapse (or fold) inward for removal, that way they can be used over and over again for my 14 posts, maintaining the same size and saving a lot of concrete.
"Volume of a cylinder formula that I used. This one dates from the early 1960's, so it may be out of date.
pi times the radius squared times the height
pi*r^2*h

3.14*4^2*96=4700 cubic inches (approximate)

4700 cubic inches / 1728 cubic inches per cubic foot = 2.72 cubic feet

If a sack of mix is .66 cubic feet then it would take (approximate) 4 -1/3 sacks or so per post.
4 - 1/3 sacks times 14 posts saves me about (approximate) 66 sacks of concrete not to mention the labor savings to whip it up and pour it.

Feel free to check my math as I am doing the math in my head and do not have a calculator at hand, but I think I am pretty close.

I guess what I was asking is, if anyone had a different way of constructing a hollow center stone post.

robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Jan 24, 2011, 7:07 PM)


morgaine7


Jan 24, 2011, 7:38 PM

Post #4 of 31 (4141 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Quote
simply building two interior forms, that when a single pin is pulled, the forms collapse (or fold) inward for removal, that way they can be used over and over again for my 14 posts

Plywood isn't necessarily that easy to separate from cured concrete. I've seen albañiles use a sledgehammer and spike even when the forms are on the outside.

Kate


robt65

Jan 24, 2011, 7:41 PM

Post #5 of 31 (4137 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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You're absolutely correct Morgaine7 , unless you use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and a liberal sprinkling of talc powder on your forms. This will not hurt the chemical composition of the concrete during curing as the talc acts as a air circulation agent against the sealing prospects of a petroleum base and insures an early release of the forms. I you don’t have talc at hand cornstarch also works well in place of talc.

robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Jan 24, 2011, 7:44 PM)


morgaine7


Jan 24, 2011, 8:01 PM

Post #6 of 31 (4131 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Well, I'm no math genius, but that seems like a helluvalot of Vaseline and talc powder. 4 (minus thickness of concrete) x 8 x 4 x 14?

Kate


bfwpdx

Jan 25, 2011, 3:43 AM

Post #7 of 31 (4119 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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It sounds to me that you intend to face this concrete structure 4'X4' with stone? Is this your intention? Why not construct the basic structure out of cement block (or brick) which comes in various dimensions, could be faced with stone and could be constructed to leave a large central core open?


robt65

Jan 25, 2011, 4:22 AM

Post #8 of 31 (4117 views)

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Re: [bfwpdx] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hi bfwbtx,

Your theory is good and I did consider that method until I started costing out and looking at finished walls built with cut stone. It has a very different appearance from what we are looking for. So we opted for a ruble stone finish.

You would have to have a cut (dimensioned) stone to have a flush face and appearance and not exceed the weight factor when one uses concrete blocks. The price of the wall and posts would be driven upward considerably using block as well as a cut or dimensioned stone. We are looking for a more natural finish without being sawed, cut or dimensioned. Cantera has a natural grain that when blasted shears in a rather straight but rough finished line . . . . . that is called quarry rubble or the residue from blasting. It comes in (as you can imagine) irregular shapes and varying thickness. It gives a very natural appearance when selected. When reducing such a Cantera stone one can use a chisel to cleave a rather similar thickness yet not reduce some of the cleavage (or roughness) of the stone surface. Cantera stone cleaves well and also has a good natural characteristic for a cut surface. Each finished method gives a different appearance, one more refined and one more natural and rough.

Using concrete blocks as well as stone increases the weight per cubic foot considerably and aside from having to increase the footer dimensions (using more concrete = more costs in labor and material) you have to hire two different trades.

robt65


sparks


Jan 25, 2011, 6:25 AM

Post #9 of 31 (4109 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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If it's 4x4 sounds like you could just build it foundation like leaving the center open

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


(This post was edited by sparks on Jan 25, 2011, 6:26 AM)
Attachments: foundation.jpg (51.1 KB)


Moisheh

Feb 22, 2011, 7:25 PM

Post #10 of 31 (3974 views)

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Re: [sparks] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Robert: Usually the posts are made of concrete. Plywood is used for the forms and they use motor oil! The plywood is tied with wire. Sounds crude but that is how it is done. The interior of the posts have those premade rebar and wire supports and are tied to rebar in the foundation. If your lights are on top of the posts then that orange plastic conduit runs down the middle of your form.

Moisheh


robt65

Feb 22, 2011, 9:56 PM

Post #11 of 31 (3964 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hi Again Moisheh,

Having a pretty strong background as an Architectural Consultant for a State University System for over 15 years or so, I feel I have a pretty strong background on the methods of footings and walls used in construction NOB. However . . . . . . . . as is so pointedly made by many Mexican property owners Who have paid many thousands of dollars per home for construction, remodel and additions only to find they should have paid better attention to the details, should have physically been in attendance during any such construction. Most usually these construction mishaps are only discovered after the final payment has been made and several months or years into living in the poorly constructed home.

Having been researching many different individual aspects of remodeling Mexican homes, I have read many horror stories over the past few years. I have also received some very valuable information from such MexConnect posters such as the number one Guru Rolly who has an excellent history of building his family's home in both photos and costs over an extended period of time as well as two others (names forgotten at this point) from Baja with similar volumes including photos and stories and varied costs. The two major threads through these stories of construction is in almost all photos you will see that during such success stories always the homeowner was a constant participant of the construction process. Much research was done on both property and methods involved, thereby cutting down the odds of Mexican methods of construction far different from the (normally) higher quality that most of us hope for and expect in such an investment.

Mexican "brews" as one PM 'er put it to me, are of such a nature that NOB we would most likely be arrested for in design and construction. Thinning out of materials, mixing toxic materials all come with such assurances that this is the way we do it and it has held up well. . . . . . . . . well . . . . . . at least until the final payment has been made and if you’re lucky a few months longer.

An investment of time in research in areas of construction in any foreign country is worth its weight in gold as far as I am concerned. Know your professionals the best you possibly can and ask for and visit previous construction projects similar to the one you are contemplating. While you are visiting those homes and yes climbing the ladder to inspect the roof (of course with the owner’s permission) when you come down to speak to the owner, hopefully in their home, look for photos on the wall of the family who may or may not include photos of your architect, engineer or other "professional" on the wall of the Sala!

I certainly do not intent to be smug or arrogant, I am far from the "Ugly American", but I was not born yesterday either. Certainly there are excellent trade professionals in Mexico in every state, I would venture to say. It is the home owners responsibility to learn, study and learn more about what he / she is about to invest in. Morgaine7 is very attentive to such issues and has a very good knowledge from my perspective as does Sparks, Peter, of course Rolly without question, David HF, Johninajijic, j. Brad Grieve in ajijic, chinagringo, John and Judy in Aguas and so many, many others who unbeknown to them have offered and contributed to my post NOB architectural consulting education in Mexico. I can never be so arrogant or proud when researching such a subject that will result in my family investing a lot of hard earned dollars in a project that all of us hope will last a lifetime with a little problems as possible.

Being humble and willing to learn in another country when it comes to investing normally a great amount of family hard earned money is an education. I hope at 68 years old, I will never be so proud or arrogant that I will stop being humble enough to learn new ways of doing something that I have done, and been a so called professional at for most of my life.

This is why I continue to ask what some may perceive to be “dumb questions”. I am sure as I start each phase of our remodel next month, including my quite strong rebar reinforced two .5 foot wide and 18 inch deep footer for my cantera ruble stone wall, that I will raise many Mexican eyebrows as well as voices. If that is the case, . . . . then so be it . . . . . Until these “masters“ start bringing bags of “dinero” every day to work, this is the way my project will be operated. I do not and will not use orange plastic conduit for electrical lines. I will use electrical grade PVC conduit and NOB plumbing and electrical codes. All to be photographed and kept on perpetual record for when if ever my family decides to sell the property and can look the buyer in the eye when asking the exorbitant price for the house and property. It (in most cases) will be tried and proven ways, (my way or the highway) on my homes projects. Inners and the Friday beers are on the house . . . . so to speak.
I fully expect our wall to stand for many, many years in good shape. Please permit me to continue to ask what may seem like superfluous questions to any and all with prior personal experience, that may be kind enough to contribute, ask or answer. Yes, I have even been stimulated to research from making dumb mistakes myself and from the questions and remarks from others.

This forum is without question a phenomenal resource. I thank you one and all.
Remember the only dumb question was the one that wasn’t asked. God I hate change orders! (smiling)

Robt65


Bennie García

Feb 23, 2011, 5:53 AM

Post #12 of 31 (3955 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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You are going to fall into the typical gringo trap of overbuilding due to "superior" knowledge.

There isn't one poster in those you mentioned above that could tell you how to properly tie a rebar cage. We have a classic case of the blind leading the blind here.


robt65

Feb 23, 2011, 7:00 AM

Post #13 of 31 (3948 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hi Bernie Garcia,

Would you be so kind as to provide to me your version of how "to properly tie a rebar cage" I am always open to learning.

thanks
robt65


robt65

Feb 23, 2011, 7:13 AM

Post #14 of 31 (3943 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hi All,

I received a very nice PM from Moisheh this morning. I replied in a PM to Moisheh this morning and I wanted to share those two posts to all on this forum. I hope you do not mind Moisheh. I have never reposted a PM before but I feel that it is not only important to do so now, but also since there is nothing in either PM that would embarrass either Moisheh (a fine poster, whom I respect a lot) or myself, I felt it might clear up why I ask such elementary questions regarding home construction with my background.

PM from Moisheh to me:

Hi Robert: I hope you did not think I was being condescending when I offered advice. I am not a contractor nor an engineer. I had no idea of your background! When we first moved to Sonora I almost died when I saw the construction methods. Had my people built the Pyramids in the Mexican manner they would not be standing today!! I have had many heated discussions with Mexican Albanils. It usually ends with them saying: That is not how we do this in Mexico. There is a book called God and Mr. Gomez. From the 60's and probably out of print. This book should be required reading for anyone wanting to build in Mexico. One fellow here in Kino had a heart attack and died after 6 months of dealing with a contractor. My shop has metal and PVC conduit. The builder wanted to break the blocks and install that orange crap. I wont give you anymore construction advice as obviously you could teach me! However I will offer some advice on dealing with contractors in Mexico. Do not assume anything! Do not trust them. The word Chueco comes to mind. If you are not looking they will add water to the cement and paint. The wire sizes will be smaller than what you specified. I could go on. I see you are 68. We are 67. Before your project is finished you will feel like 78. Good Luck.

Moisheh

My Response to Moisheh:

Hi Moisheh,

No, I absolutely did not think that you were being condescending when you offered your advice. on the contrary. I appreciate (as I stated) ALL advice from every corner. I need all the help and suggestions I can get. I learn from virtually every person that I have had contact from on this site. Even one gentleman whom corrected me and after some research I found that I have had an incorrect perspective regarding butane / propane vent-less wall heaters. I think you know him well. (smiling) Remember, my years as an architectural consultant has been primarily for large and very large educational venues. This is a totally different animal from a residential single family dwelling; worlds away from one another. There is much merit in what you quoted about . . . . "Had my people built the Pyramids in the Mexican manner they would not be standing today!!". This is a prime example of the issue I am speaking about. I thank you for the name of that book and it's author's name. I will for sure try to get this book before I return to Galindo. There . . . . you see . . . . . . another thing I have learned from you. Your last statement has brought a much needed out loud laugh from me this morning. Thank you for that also! (smiling)

robt65.


Bennie García

Feb 23, 2011, 9:00 AM

Post #15 of 31 (3922 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Again, so much nonsense and arrogance from "superior " foreigners. Moiseh forgets that Mexicans built pyramids that are still standing.

If one will look at things objectively instead of using ethnocentric subjectivity they would more than likely come up with a different and more informed opinion. The man making such ridiculous and uninformed statements such as "orange crap" hasn't got a clue.

So throw away your money in the wall using more expensive and unnecessary pvc conduit and fittings. Just because the "orange crap" was designed by electrical engineers solely for that purpose is meaningless to ignorant and inexperienced layman. I once met a gringo that also expressed the same foolishness. He decided to skip the "orange crap" and bury romex in the home he built on the Jalisco coast. He had to tear it all out at considerable expense and replace it soon after occupying his "gringo" built home.


morgaine7


Feb 23, 2011, 9:26 AM

Post #16 of 31 (3919 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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So, could someone please explain the issue with the orange plastic conduit? It's all through my house (remodeled four years ago), and I've had no problems with it.

Kate


Bennie García

Feb 23, 2011, 9:34 AM

Post #17 of 31 (3917 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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The only issue is in the mind of a poster who wrote that post.


robt65

Feb 23, 2011, 5:39 PM

Post #18 of 31 (3894 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hello Morgaine7,

Let me qualify the following by saying the words "you" and "yours" is not meant to directly refer to you personally, but rather to the masses.

In some ways there are some positives " in the mind of this poster who wrote the post". . . . one is that it is surly better than no insulating of electrical line at all and second it is flexible and can be dumped (as it usually is) in concrete joints of either concrete blocks, stone or for that matter (and worse yet) poured concrete. Concrete shrinks upon drying. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure the possibilities from there. Coupled with that is that concrete weighs a lot. As your orange insulation runs in a lower section of of a single, yet a two or three level home the weight at the bottom of the "run" would most likely collapse the mildly corrugated thin wall flexible tubing of the orange insulation.

Additionally, try to think back to when you had this (wonderful orange wire insulation), installed in your home. Do you remember where it is located? do you know, (have you physically seen every foot of it being installed in your home? Probably not, you might ask . . .. so what? Good question. It could be that in the future you may wish to add a line, or replace some less capacity line with new line. Have you ever tried to run a "fish tape" through such a mess of orange conduit tubing going in and out and around and around with probable kinks in the corrugation? Let me be the first to tell you, it is not a pleasant job, and in some cases not achievable at all. Using a planned, even if boring through concrete or stone to run PVC Rigid conduit is necessary, route for either metal or PVC Rigid Conduit with radius fittings and boxes that can be glued to be strong, make for a easy change or addition of wire or cable in the future. It has a smooth interior wall, and is relatively easy to fish a wire.

The only relatively safe orange corrugated thin walled flexible conduit 9designed by electrical engineers has a smooth interior wall that is the waterproofing needed for any good quality thin walled corrugated conduit. The ""orange crap" I have seen (and I have seen many feet of it in many different Mexican built homes, including the home I currently rent in a very (supposedly) well built by Mexican standards community, is unlined and not waterproof. Is yours? . . . . do you know?

the smooth lined corrugated thin wall conduit doesn’t sweat as does the orange corrugated conduit. Even if the exterior corrugated thin wall plastic does separate over time the interior smooth lining is still there. Concrete when curing creates an enormous amount of heat. Where does the water go? Water of any amount and electricity does not mix very well. Have you ever actually seen the connecting of the orange corrugated plastic thin walled conduit connected to connection boxes, outlet and switch boxes in the average Mexican built home or better yet in your home? It would scare you or should scare one pretty bad. Or should or simple safety sake. Ever try to use the orange conduit on a submersible pump. The thin wall corrugation is so weak, I highly doubt the orange conduit would stand a test of time of any vibration.

I feel far safer using a pretty economic PVC Rigid Conduit with correct fittings and planned routes with connecting lugs to make an electrical system in our families home. If that happens to equal a “superior” feeling or mentality to some folks on this forum, then so be it. I will still be able to go to bed at night knowing that I have done the best and safest job installing an electrical system in our family home at a very minor and economical upgrade.

Using orange flexible corrugated thin walled conduit is like any other choice. In Mexico it is a personal choice that many make. That is certainly their choice, . . . . . . it is also my choice both personally and professionally, to use what I perceive to be a superior and far safer product in my home.

Gringos nor Mexicans have no corner in being lax or stupid in construction. Virtually every home in three phases of 25 year to 5 year gate communities in our municipality have simple "lamp grade" # 18 cords directly buried in the concrete throughout all the the homes for virtually every switch and outlet. The ceiling mounted light weight bamboo lamp dropped right next to my wife and baby three months ago while the baby was being changed on the bed. At least the dumb gringo used romex, but it is agreeably still a very dumb and unsafe practice, as the grade of wire has nothing at all to do with the connections or the stupidity of it all. Certainly I think we can all agree that it is not a safe practice but one I would venture to guess is more prevelent that any one would think . . . . . . . . until the ceiling lamp drops next to you on the bed. A simple check of opening a wall switch box or a wall mounted receptacle plug box and pulling the wire a little will show you much, much more about your own home. It will certainly ease your conscience.

By the way . . . . . I am still waiting with baited breath, to learn more regarding the "proper way of tying re bar cage".

That’s my two pesos worth.

robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Feb 23, 2011, 6:06 PM)


robt65

Feb 23, 2011, 8:56 PM

Post #19 of 31 (3868 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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If you were to have in fact read Moisheh's comments to me, he quoted that very remark, that you say he forgot about the pyramids for that very reason. It is a shame that you cannot appear to read correctly. Please do not take that as a “superior attitude” remark as it was not given in that way. You should practice a little patience and read thoroughly something, before misquoting someone! By the way you will find no persons with less superior feelings, arrogance or bigoted view points than Moisheh or myself.

Not one time was as you said, "using ethnocentric subjectivity" in my remarks were ever said in that light. Again, it is too bad that you are not aware of building codes both in Mexico and NOB, and why they were in fact enacted, for safety reasons. Ethnicity has absolutely nothing to do with building construction and design with safety in mind.

I hope someday that you relax your apparent distorted view and learn that you are prejudging people for the incorrect reasons. If you do not agree with a building practice standard, that is one thing and it is certainly within your right to voice such an opinion. When you make it personal to ethnicity, it diminishes your argument and your stature as a man.

robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Feb 23, 2011, 9:01 PM)


morgaine7


Feb 23, 2011, 9:36 PM

Post #20 of 31 (3866 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Many thanks for the detailed explanation. It's all good to know. Practices and standards vary by location, and I did what I could to verify that the job was well done according to local standards for my area. I watched quite a bit of the wiring as it was done, it looked like a good clean job, and so far everything seems fine. My previous 25 years were spent in a place with ungrounded 220v, so not much scares me unless I see sparks and smoke pouring out. ;-)

Kate


robt65

Feb 23, 2011, 10:49 PM

Post #21 of 31 (3861 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hi Morgaine7,

It could be given, numerable circumstances, such as humidity, expansion and contraction of the structure itself, or in ground movement over time that your particular home would do OK with that level of conduit. many homes do, at first blush. If it is one of the lined types of conduit, Again, depending heavily upon the climate and geological area of your home, you may probably not have any problems.

I hope you understand, it certainly was not my intent to demean your particular home nor to cause you concern. The product does have drawbacks as do any number of products that also have different drawbacks. Each geographic and geological area of Mexico has its own particular nuances that reflect heavily on product viability in construction, both commercial and residential. This is the very reason that for many, many years there were so many different building codes, NOB. Snow loads of the northwest and northeast have absolutely no use to the people designing and constructing structures in Florida and the Gulf Coast states with its hurricane (high wind and surge) problems. All man made products have weaknesses . . . .. some greater than others. The trick is to be as tuned in as much as possible for each area where the structure will be built, especially geological and thermal boundaries. I think (even knowing your ability for your own on site knowledge and attention to detail you apparently have of how your personal home construction was done, I would still take one each, wall switch and a wall socket in a completely different part of the home, remove the wall plate, check how wires were attached and not be surprised if you do find some #18 lamp wire. Until very recently, it appears to have been a favorite with Mexican electricians in construction.

When I described the electrical breaker box panel with 42 separate breaker spaces, I was planning on using for our 200 amp electrical upgrade throughout our home, and the electrical wire and conduit I was planning to use to our local CFE office (to get their permission to proceed) they were ecstatic and very pleased. All they wanted to see, was a sample of the wire I wanted to use, between the curbside meter to the electrical box located inside the home, 110 feet away. When I brought them a 6 inch sample of that wire, they lit up their face with smiles and started showing each other the differences in size and insulation of what they used and what I was going to be using. Then I showed them the conduit I was going to put that wire inside of and they asked me to come and see the finished work. Of course I was more than happy for them to come out anytime they wanted . . . . . before, during and after the project was finished. I am not by any stretch, in anyone's mind an electrician of any kind. It simply baffles me, this science onto itself. . . . I do however respect it immensely, and I found myself giving an impromptu session on electrical safety in construction. What a hoot.

Points here being, we each learned a lot. We earned each others respect and the local CFE is my friend. Today, even though I have not started that part of our remodel yet, these guys come by for coffee. It's really great to have that relationship and respect for each other. Two of them have even offered to come by on there day off, when I am ready, and hook up my work from the meter to the electrical panel in our home. Like I said, I really do not enjoy working with live electricity. I can hardly wait to see their faces when I show them the three, in-line, 8 foot ground rods I am going to be using for the grounding of the system! (smiling)

By the way, at today's costs, the differences in using PVC Conduit for our project comes to about $142.00. To me that is not such a great difference for the peace of mind of my family.

robt65


Bennie García

Feb 24, 2011, 5:59 AM

Post #22 of 31 (3848 views)

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In Reply To
Hi Morgaine7,

It could be given, numerable circumstances, such as humidity, expansion and contraction of the structure itself, or in ground movement over time that your particular home would do OK with that level of conduit. many homes do, at first blush. If it is one of the lined types of conduit, Again, depending heavily upon the climate and geological area of your home, you may probably not have any problems.


Absolute rubbish. The more this guy rambles on, the more he gives himself away. Why is he is on this board asking advice? He is apparently building his first structure in this country yet offers his expert opinion on how "many homes do at first blush". Something fishy here.

I happen to have built several dwellings in seismic areas (the coast of Jalisco) over the past 25 years. All were built using smooth wall "orange crap" not corrugated conduit (which he ignorantly assumes to the standard material used), which is designed to protect the wiring from movement within the walls and slabs of a structure. I was personally inside a home I was building in 1995 when an 8.1 earthquake hit. It lasted for 1 minute and 36 seconds. The house, and its wiring, made it through that huge earthquake with flying colors. It was precisely this quake that severed the gringo's romex he had installed directly in the walls.

Nor have I ever had any of the other problems he mentions. I don't know exactly where he is getting this information. He has never built here prior to this so he obviously doesn't speak from experience.. We recently did a complete renovation of a condo and had absolutely no problems yanking out the old wire and replacing it with larger gauge. This particular complex, btw, has poured concrete walls instead of typical brick.

And the comments in another thread about knowing the precise location of embedded conduit made me laugh. That overhead fixture? It is fed from the wall switch. Pretty complicated. We pull additional wires between these boxes all of the time to in order to install ceiling fans in existing structures. The outlet boxes on the walls? The wiring takes a straight path between them just like NOB. Never had problems with condensation but why one conduit would be all that different from another in this respect maybe Robt can explain.






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I can hardly wait to see their faces when I show them the three, in-line, 8 foot ground rods I am going to be using for the grounding of the system! (smiling)


Ground rods can be found at most any building supply house throughout the country. They don't stock them to lay on the shelf.

I have a large cabinet and millwork shop. It has its own 45kv transformer. I have 3 phase power running to large industrial machines with magnetic switches. Machines are grounded and have their own circuits and are connected to the breaker boxes with wires pulled through the "orange crap" imbedded in the concrete slab. Never had any problems. But now that I've read of all the problems I should be having maybe I'll tear it all out and replace it according to Robt's specs.


sparks


Feb 24, 2011, 6:05 AM

Post #23 of 31 (3848 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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The only issues are they can be a highway for termites and other critters .... and if you want the bricks in your wall showing cutting channels doesn't look nice

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


turnabout

Feb 24, 2011, 7:23 AM

Post #24 of 31 (3833 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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At first I thought you were wanting to put some lights on an outside wall, but after the remark about installing 3 - 8 foot ground rods to your home, I came to realize we are building rockets. Overdoing it in so many different ways.


Rolly


Feb 24, 2011, 7:46 AM

Post #25 of 31 (3823 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Perhaps I missed it in all the verbiage, but what do you plan to do with three ground rods?

Rolly Pirate


robt65

Feb 24, 2011, 8:31 AM

Post #26 of 31 (1254 views)

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Re: [turnabout] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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The NEC Code requires you to space rods at least 6 feet apart [250.53(B)]. This spacing is a minimum — and far from ideal. When using the typical 8-foot or 10-foot ground rod, you get the best results by spacing the rods at least 16 or 20 feet apart, respectively. This is much greater than the Code minimum 6-foot spacing. If the rods are longer they should be further apart. "If you are very concerned about soil resistively you could always install 3 or 4 rods".
Ground rods spaced less than two rod-lengths apart will interfere with each other because their effective resistance areas will overlap. For reference, see IEEE-142 and Soares Book on Grounding. The overlap increases the net resistance of each rod, making the grounding electrode system less effective than if the rods were spaced farther apart.
Grounding rods must be at least 8ft long, 5/8" in diameter, a resistance that does not exceed 25 ohms (NEC 250.56), typically located 2ft away from the house, and driven vertically into the ground. But, if you can't manage to get it vertically down into the ground, while it is permitted to lay a grounding rod horizontally in a trench in the ground at least 2 1/2 ft deep or to drive it in at a 45 degree angle, just as long as there is at least 8ft of length in contact with the soil, I do have what appears to be a different soil depth (but very dry) and a water table could be reached at a depth of 14 to 17 feet, making a good conductivity.

Note that if the resistance is over 25 ohms or there is very dry soil (damp soil will help to lower ground resistance and dissipate the energy better), you may want to put a second grounding rod in. Place it a minimum of 6ft away from the first. It can also be laid horizontally and must be connected with a jumper cable. No less than 6'. There are rods made that have the ends threaded to add length.

I plan on using my grounding system also for a lightning protection system, which I may want to consider for peace of mind, since we do get a lot of electrical storms.

There are also 3/4" x 10' ground rods that are available at some electrical supply companies, but my depth of water table is greater than 10 foot. I do have a shelf that I believe one ten foot rod (21 feet apart) from two 8 foot rods threaded together would reach. I know this will be over the heads of some, but my information comes from the NEC which I certainly trust over some posters idiotic remarks on this forum.
robt65

A distance of 16' or more from each other is optimal for 8' rods. If the rods are longer they should be further apart. Since I am concerned about soil resistively, I will be installing 3 or possibly 4 rods, (threaded two together) given the depth of the local ground water.

Ignorance is bliss isn’t it turnaround or is it turnabout? But maybe you just can’t understand what the cost of replacing an entire household of major electrical appliances (stove, microwave, side by side refrigerator, 3 flat screen televisions, air conditioners or mini splits, telephone system and several computer systems) would cost, not to mention the loss of spoiled foods. Better skip and whistle back to your tent in SMA and reflect on your ignorance.


(This post was edited by robt65 on Feb 24, 2011, 9:01 AM)


robt65

Feb 24, 2011, 8:37 AM

Post #27 of 31 (1250 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Hi Rolly,

I believe my reply to turnabout (above) will explain my ground situation. The property lays on very dry soil (with little conductivity) over rock shelves. There are a few areas (within reasonable distance from the structure as stated by NEC) that could support driving a double (threaded rod) that would reach our water able; hence the use of three ground rods, one 10 foot 5/8ths rod and to 8 foot threaded together. I am also using my grounding for a lightning protection system as well as general grounding for the household 200 amp electric system. Hope that explains it for you. Any suggestions, Rolly?

robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Feb 24, 2011, 9:02 AM)


Bennie García

Feb 24, 2011, 11:50 AM

Post #28 of 31 (1231 views)

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Re: [robt65] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Us idiots increase soil conductivity by filling the hole around the ground rod with rock salt. Most Mexican electricians know and use this method.


turnabout

Feb 24, 2011, 1:44 PM

Post #29 of 31 (1220 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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Bennie, I have to agree. All signs point to little or no practical building experience here or elsewhere. Overkill is a sure sign of a novice in any trade. It is part of learning. And who ever said to coat forms with vasoline, that sounds like it came from " Family Handyman". And that´s not good.


Moisheh

Feb 24, 2011, 2:22 PM

Post #30 of 31 (1213 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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I do not know who Benni Garcia is but I can tell he is disagreeable. My remark to Robt. stated ( in the Mexican manner). The pyramids in Mexico were not built by Mexicans . They did not exist as a people when the pyramids were built. Nothing superior about my posts or Robterts. There is nothing wrong with building something to a standard. This is rarely done in Mexico. How would you suggest fastening that "orange crap" to an electrical box or panel? Any installation I have seen has them just shoved into the box. I have never seen any recognized standard label on the tubes nor on the reel. There are a lot of building materials in Mexico that do not met the proper Mexican standard and certainly not UL or CSA. To build a structure and then spend days with a 4.5 inch grinder burying that "crap" into the walls is a horrible idea. The electrical boxes are also "crap" As thin as aluminum foil. Much of the PVC water pipe is second class. If you buy Mexican Sch. 40 it is decent. Look around any large structure in Mexico ( Costco, Soriana, etc. ) They use real conduit and have real tradespeople working on those jobs. The housing industry employ albanils that lay 10 blocks an hour, electricians that think the max # of wires in a conduit is limited only by the # you can squeeze into the conduit. They also do not believe in Marettes ( Wire nuts). Prefer to twist and tape. I could go on for hours. Nothing to do with being superior. Everything to do with doing it right. There are world standards for all of these methods and that is what is followed in both Canada and the USA. How many Mexican tradespeople are actually certified by a governing body? How many trades schools for plumbers or bricklayers exist in Mexico? How many trained building inspectors exist in Mexico? Robert wants to do it right as that is his field of expertise. I say : Go for it!

Moisheh


Rolly


Feb 24, 2011, 2:40 PM

Post #31 of 31 (1207 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Building Natural Stone Posts for Electric Lamps and Metal Gates

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It seems this thread has run its course and everyone has had a say, so let's move on.

Rolly Pirate
 
 
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