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#106410 02/16/05 12:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,682
Likes: 3
Admin Offline OP
Just a few photos from today at work. I am a EC in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, a very poor area, very far removed from the big city. This would be a typical day at the office. Notice the nice pvc work that the owner started thinking he could save some cash. The drop is bare #10 solid copper that used to have insulation that you can see hanging like streamers in the one pic. When it gets windy the one leg has been arcing against the metal roofing. The building is constructed of adobe (mud bricks left in the sun to dry) that is 3' think. Anchoring the new mast and service requred running all-thread through the wall to big washers of sorts. Adobe rewires are big fun, you have to groove the mud (nastiest dust around) and lay in UF per state code.

Is there a violation for all the PVC's entering the old service assuming everything else is kosher?

Don't worry it's all going in the garbage heap tommorrow.

- highground
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#106411 02/16/05 01:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
Wow, electricity in an all adobe building that appears to have been built in the last century. It's always interesting to see the wide regional variations in practices across the USA. Pics from the east coast are always very interesting, as this one is. Whenever I see that type of panel I always get this urge to run the opposite direction- or take an extended lunch break [Linked Image] What do you fill the grooves you have to cut with after you finish? I am looking at this adobe building from here in earthquake prone California with a grin and shaking my head thinking it has probably stood 100 years in NM, but likely wouldn't survive 10 out here. Interesting..

#106412 02/16/05 03:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 943
Likes: 2
That XO panel and the Multi breaker panels give a clue on how old it is.

#106413 02/16/05 12:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
Actually, if done right, adobe walls can be quite strong. My grandmother owns a house in downtown Cali, Colombia that has a brick facade with the rest of the building made out of adobe.

It was built in 1949, with 15-foot high ceilings and walls that are like about a foot thick.

The house has survived quite a few tremors in its lifetime; unscathed.

The way I've seen these walls patched is you just mud over the holes with some sort of weird mixture that sometimes includes cow-dung (because of the high fibrous content as a binder). Once it's properly done, it will not stink, though.

Adobe has fallen out of use down there though. New housing is built either using brick, block or poured concrete.

#106414 02/16/05 08:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 53
There is still quite of adobe used for new construction here, there is even a whole NM state code section. There are huge adobe yards that manufacture the bricks, which is essentially pouring the soil slurry into molds and leaving them out in the sun to cure. Most of the new bricks have a small asphalt content to stabilize them to mosture. Traditionally the adobe walls were covered with an earthen plaster containing straw that was smeared on by hand. You can still see hand marks in alot of the old buildings here. New construction usually gets a cement based stucco with a synthetic topcote. Working on the older buildings requires some creative thinking, like to keep the drop from pulling the whole service off of the mud wall.

By the way, in the small town where I live, there are still quite a few un-electrified buildings, where all the cooking is done on wood cookstoves.


#106415 02/17/05 07:23 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 8
Junior Member
i'm just curious.i've seen older houses with the triple meter base setups before,but never had to work on one.what was reason for it?

#106416 02/17/05 08:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 53
I think there used to be apatments that were metered seperately.

#106417 02/18/05 11:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
kd Offline
Adobe bricks are not just dried in the sun. they are fired in a furnace. Sun dried adobe would wash away in the rain...

#106418 02/19/05 05:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
We have brick here, but working on such an Adobe house should give you a feeling what it's like to be an electrician in Austria or Germany. Ridging the plaster to lay either flexible PVC conduit or NM style cable is everyday practice. Austrians prefer conduit, Germans seem to love cable. I grew up with conduit.

Typical Adobe is _not_ fired, only the top coat prevents it from being washed away. I know a guy here in Austria who tore down his adobe wall with the garden hose... his barn (leaking roof) looks like half-molten chocolate!

PS: Never knew the user names are case sensitive here [Linked Image]

#106419 02/19/05 08:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 53
That's correct the blocks are only sundried. The top coat(s) of plaster keep the building from washing away. In new construction, a concrete bond beam with rebar is poured on top on every story.

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