There are a lot of decisions to make during a deep energy retrofit. It seems that all of them affect the energy performance one way or another and it is not always easy to strike the right balance.
In the last post I described the option of a service cavity or core, which would result in a better insulation integrity. Yet, we decided against it, trying to strike the right balance among competing interests.
With no service cavity, the electrical conduit installation in the perimeter walls becomes more elaborate. We have to drill through the studs for the conduit runs and fit them into the rockwool insulation. It gets really tedious where we have to get the conduits around wall corners.
As my conduit bending and installation skills grew thanks to Percy’s instructions, I became more confident and really wanted to take on this challenge. Plus, I thought my time is better spent on this then Percy’s, who already has taken quite some time teaching me.
So what would be the simpler version? Some building codes allow for the installation of a Romex type wire without the need for conduits.
Initially, I shared the opinion that Chicago’s EMT requirement was tedious. But I had plenty of time to think about it, while weaving conduit through wall corners.
The use of EMT conduit gives us flexibility. We can change, repair, upgrade or downgrade a wire without opening up a walls. All we need to do is to pull the old wire from the conduit and with ease add the new wire. That alone sold me on the conduit.
The EMT also acts as the grounding mechanism. I learned from Percy that it is called mechanical grounding. Because everything in the system is metallic, the conduit, the gang boxes, the couplings, the connectors, etc., it can carry a grounding load. That eliminates the need for a grounding wire.
Well, there is one exception. One panel in the basement has a dedicated grounding wire that is connected to the copper water main. This one short grounding wire closes the circle.
So, tedious? The conduits, not so much. Weaving them around the corners? Maybe. But I still had fun.