SIP Panels » Integrating Electrical and Plumbing
How Does Plumbing and Electrical Integrate with SIP Panels?While there are some specific techniques that your sub-contractors will need to become familiar with, building with SIPs will not create a significant roadblock in your construction. Traditionally, very little plumbing is included in exterior walls regardless of the building style used, and with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) most plumbing is located to interior walls.
Vantage SIP Panels provide standard 1 1/2" diameter electrical chases at 16" and 45" from the floor. Vertical chases are located 4' on center. Special chases can also be installed into SIP Panels (i.e. for home theatres, special appliance and/or tool needs). Wiring is simply pulled through the chases during the construction process.
SIP Panel Preparations and Wire PullingIn commercial construction, wiring is pulled through conduit. "Chases" or channels are built into the foam cores of a SIP panel that work like conduit. Electricians use a fish tape and feed the wires through panel chases without compressing insulation or drilling through studs.
Prior to installing wall panels, it is best to know the location of the "home run". This is the wire that goes from the service panel to an area that is served by one circuit. At this location, a 1 1/2" hole is drilled at the center of the sole plate through the subfloor or panel floor. This is done for all home run circuits.
When ready to wire, cut out all receptacles and switches first. At the "home run" location measure 16" and 45" from the floor. Cut a 2" deep by 8" by 8" hole centered on the vertical and horizontal chase. Insert a flat bar 1" to 2" in the saw kerf and pry the hole out. Save this piece.
Bring your "home run" wire up through the sole plate and out the access hole. Pull enough wire out to go past the first receptacles or switch outlet. Bend a 4" to 6" loop at the end of the wire and push the wire horizontally down the chase to the last outlet. Leave 12" sticking out and pull 12" to 14" loop out of each outlet. From below, pull down on the wire at the "home run" location until the wire is tight. Make as many runs as needed, not to exceed 3 for #12 or 4 for #14 per electrical chase. When done spray low expanding foam in the access hole and put the cut out piece back. See also the FAQ on electrical wiring.
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