More Conduit

Last night Noel stayed up late installing conduit. Apparently he finished up around midnight, long after I'd gone to sleep. Want a little tour?

Bending conduit

Bending the conduit is kind of funny. This is 1-1/4" EMT (electrical metal tubing), and it takes all Noel's weight to make it bend, so he ends up kind of waving around in the air on the conduit bender. (Not pictured: effusive cursing when he could not get the bender to do what he wanted it to.)

Running down through the closet ceiling

So in our last post about conduit, he'd installed the piece from the upstairs subpanel down to the floor. That floor is over the closet in the back parlour (there is a closet in the back parlour because the Victorians actually slept in their parlours, and they needed somewhere to store clothes, and our house actually has fairly generous closets for a Victorian).

This photo shoes how the hall upstairs is kind of offset from the hall downstairs (which you can see through the open top of the wall there). Noel bent the conduit to jog over about 16 inches, in shallow bends to make threading the wire through it easier. You can also see that he notched the diagonal blocking in the walls to make room for the tubing.

Running down the closet wall

Then he ran the conduit down the wall to the floor. You can kinda-sorta see he cut a small slot in the bottom of the stud bay to accommodate the start of a 45-degree turn below the floor. That's there to avoid the blocking and such from the foundation wall below.

Conduit running to the basement subpanel and upstairs

The new conduit is the one on the right side here -- the other one goes to the existing basement subpanel. You can see how the conduit is bent to avoid the framing there.

Two tubes of conduit to two subpanels

Then he ran the conduit under the joists, attaching it at least every 10 feet (to meet code), alongside the existing conduit. Believe it or not, the two conduits are actually parallel, but the camera lens makes them look all crazy.

Conduit running over to the junction box

I guess at some point common sense kicked in and he decided he should actually get some sleep, because this is where he got the conduit to, which is about 8 feet from the junction box he was heading to.

The junction box in the basement

And here is the goal: a junction box right on the other side of the main electrical panel. This box is going to be replaced because not only is it too small to fit another set of wires inside, it's also too small for a second piece of conduit to meet it. So much for those first electricians who were supposed to be designing us an expandable, flexible system.

The two ugly black things coming off the side closest to the camera here are the two separate conductors going to the old fuse box upstairs, the one we will be replacing with the new subpanel. A big yay for getting closer to removing that.

posted by ayse on 03/31/14


Hi Ayse. We would like to get some chickens. I've lost the day trying to research inexpensive options for a coop/run for 8 chickens. I called my friend at Pollinate Farm & Garden--she suggested looking for free wood crates etc on craigslist. I think those would take so much modification, we might at well start from scratch. Do you have any suggestions, either for buying a coop (with or without the run) or getting good easy plans if we want to try making it all ourselves? I know there is a ton of info out there. I just thought you might be able to quickly point me in a good direction. Thanks! Lesley

I think you're right that you might as well start from scratch for the wood. Plus, wood for pallets may have been treated with pesticides that could poison the chickens. I don't think the price of free is worth it.

There are a lot of plans and things out there, yes, but they're all very similar. I have a book called Chicken Coops by Judy Pangman that has a bunch of designs in it, but many many many designs are available for free. Mostly it's aesthetics, but also what you feel capable of building. A simpler design is going to be easier to build.

Things I would look for are: raccoon-proof doors and openings (they should specifically talk about this), cleanability, and access to the nest boxes without walking through the chickens's sleeping space (which will be full of poo). I like a solid floor protected from digging rodents who will nibble on the chicken feet; some people prefer a raised floor (so the coop stands on legs) so the chickens have access to the space under the coop. The chickens prefer a darker space for their nest box. With eight chickens you will need multiple boxes, opinions on how many vary but at least 3, or 2 very wide ones (they will double or triple up and sometimes prefer that).

If you have a good, secure coop, your run can be less secure. Just make sure it is at least netted because we have hawks who hunt chickens.

Also, if you want it I have some cementitious siding left over from our coop which I am happy to give you, since I have been off and on trying to give it away with no takers. It's a pain to cut it but it is super strong and will not rot. And I can help with the cutting part, too.

Thank you for all this info. Forwarding it to my husband who has taken over the chicken coop project. He may be in touch for that siding!

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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