Some of My Favorite Conduit

Like the song says, “Some of my favorite conduit” or something like that…

I’ve been doing a lot of conduit work. Big conduit. Small conduit. Short conduit. Long conduit. Boxes, Type-LB, LL, LR, LT, 90D, 45D and even some 22.5D and 11D that I make myself. The area around Abattoir of our on-farm butcher shop, looks like a disaster zone involving octopuses and squids. They’re climbing the walls and skittering between the forms.

When we formed and poured the hot kitchen, smokehouse, bathroom, laundry and inspector’s office I embedded all of the plumbing and conduit in the concrete walls and floors. Collectively that area is known as the Admin. It came out great! I love it.

So we’re doing the same thing for Abattoir, the slaughter section, the kill floor of our facility. By embedding all of the conduit and plumbing we’ll have smooth walls and ceilings that are easy to clean. It’s very complex work now but will pay off in better sanitation and less work down the road for decades to come.

Outdoors: 62°F/48°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/65°F

Idea for the Day: Years ago we used to have a lot of black flies, deer flies and mosquitoes. Then we got chickens. Lots of chickens. We have several hundred chickens as well as ducks and geese free ranging through the paddocks following the larger livestock. We’re basically insect pest free. It’s wonderful. The government should drop chickens all over to ward off the mosquitos to fight EEE and West Nile Virus instead of spraying pesticides as they are doing in some places. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” Nope, just chicken littles! I imagine the foxes would be delighted.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Some of My Favorite Conduit

  1. Sal says:

    Our ducks and geese have done the same for us- no flies, very few mosquitos (thank you as well barn swallows and bats) and the black flies this spring were much less annoying than in past years. Plus their winter paddock is my summer garden- I’ve never had corn and sunflowers grow so tall and lush! Add the side benefit of eggs and duckling/gosling cuteness and they more than pay their way!

    • Yes! Swallows, Killdeer, bats, dragonflies and friends are all great too. This year I have not seen as many bats although in the last month I think I’ve seen more than all the rest of the summer. The white nose may have hurt their numbers. I leave many big dead trees standing for them so they’ll have the hollows. The dragonflies have been quite intense over the construction site of the butcher shop, perhaps they like the reflected heat. They’re a lot of fun to watch.

  2. nance says:

    mosquitos are awful right now in southern Iowa/northern Mo. In fact more than awful; they are a plague. They swarm a couple times a day and when they do they are just thick in the air; unlike anything I have known in 60 years (excepting one August vacation in the low lands of Louisana. : ( We didn’t have any mosquitos here all summer long until the last two weeksafter we had a couple of rains. Guess the pests were in hibration mode, in survival mode. Walter, it is so often true that if we would just take the intial prep time to do a project right, it would make the rest of the work so much easier. Will look forward to seeing pictures of the smooth, finished walls.

  3. Sally Hurst says:

    It is brilliant, of course, and I am sure that USDA will be tickled pink by your ultra smooth walls. Did you use this same system for running electric wires through the walls of your tiny cottage? Do you worry about decreased either temperature storage (due to air filtration in the conduit) or wall strength? Assuming more than one run of conduit in a wall, how close is too close to each other? How much wiring do you expect to be able to fish through each?

    • How many wires varies with the conduit size and the wire size. For really light weight wires we can go down to 14 gauge such as powering a dedicated light and that we put in a 3/4″ conduit which leaves plenty of extra space. Mostly we run 12 gauge wire which fits three sets in a 3/4″ conduit. There are tables for all of this sort of thing but I find that in reality I don’t like fishing through as many wires as they recommend.

      For heavier things like the hog scalder dehairer which runs on three phase power we use much larger conduit and wire to carry the high amperage. The biggest conduits are 3″ which feed the mains and then 2.5″ to the sub panels. They have a dedicated wire set just for that function.

      Actually, I take it back on the 14 gauge. That’s the smallest we use for power but there are sensor wires which are much lighter gauge for monitoring temperatures and such. The sensor wires have dedicated conduits for the bundles.

  4. Adam Stevens says:

    Looks good! If you get any concrete filled pipe, i’v heard you can pour Coke in it and it will dissolve the concrete, and you can shop vac the goop out. (the shop vac is also a great way to pull strings into the pipes BTW.

  5. Lisa Enders says:

    You are really going to be very happy that you embedded all of that conduit in the concrete. I have worked maintenance shift at a small meat processor for 17 years and cleaning around all the surface conduit on the walls is a nitemare. It just can’t be gotten clean. The facility I work at is a mess and getting worse. By having all your conduit in the walls you have saved your selves hours every week of your life in cleaning and that saves money and makes everything safer.

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