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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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how do I run wire in a cinder block house,is the cost more

Customer Question

how do I run wire in a cinder block house,is the cost more than a stick house
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 4 years ago. name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!


1) Are you looking to run wire inside the exterior cinder block walls?


2) What is your application, ie, what are you looking to wire?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

need to run wire inside the block for outlets and light switches inside of house

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 years ago.

1) Are the cinder block walls existing or is this new construction?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the house was built in 1935

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 years ago.

1) Running electrical cabling thru the existing voids of a cinder block wall will be hit or miss or almost next to impossible, especially on a longer run. The reason being, you don't know if they filled the voids with concrete or re-bar or any other materials. Many times when the cinder block is laid, the blocks are off-set and not all of the mortar joints will line up, thus the vertical voids may not necessarily line up.


2) I would recommend the use of metal Wiremold raceway instead of trying to fish cabling thru a cinder block wall. The Wiremold will easily attach to the cinder block via anchors or toggle bolts. You can purchase Wiremold ceiling and wall boxes that are easily attached to the Wiremold. The Wiremold can also be painted if you wish. Wiremold is readily available at any of the big box home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes or electrical supply stores. Using Wiremold will be less aggravation than attempting to fish a cinder block wall.

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.


Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 years ago.

1) There is no need for a negative rating. If you didn't like my recommendation, all you have to do is continue to ask questions. I am giving you the best, XXXXX XXXXX most cost effective option by using Wiremold for your application.


1A) Refer to my response shown below for the typical issues in attempting to install wire within existing cinder block voids.


2) As I mentioned in my previous post, fishing a cinder block wall is very difficult since all of the vertical voids need to be free and clear and line up. It becomes a matter of luck if the voids are not obstructed since you have no idea as to what is on the inside. The only way to determine if the vertical voids are clear is knock a small hole in either the left or right hand side of the cinder block and use a fish tape to go up or down. Even if you are successful to fish a few blocks, you could wind up with obstructions in the next vertical block. The middle portion of cinder block cannot be fished since this is all concrete. If attempting to do this, you could wind up with numerous holes that will need to be re-patched with mortar and re-painted.


Also, installing wall boxes within the cinder block becomes an issue. In order to make a clean cutout for the wall boxes, you would need a carbide tip saw or a Dremel tool with plenty of spare grinding wheels. If using a chisel to make an opening for a wall box, there's always a good chance that you will chisel away more concrete that is needed which in turn now presents a problem to secure the wall boxes.


If attempting to install cabling in a horizontal run within a cinder block wall, it simply can't be done and is impossible since the voids only run vertically and not horizontally.


3) Wiremold is widely used and specifically manufactured for applications such as yours. Next time you are inside an older building constructed of cinder block walls, take a look around and you will find Wiremolding widely used in retrofit applications that are identical to yours.


4) The following link provides comments from other electricians if running electrical wiring in an existing cinder block wall:


Expert:  Kevin replied 4 years ago.

1) In regards XXXXX XXXXX cost question. If a house is under new construction where cinder block is used and the wiring will be concealed within the vertical voids, yes the construction cost is always more expensive versus a stick built home. All brickwork is more labor intensive than a stick built house, thus more costly.


2) If a new construction stick built home, an electrician is not dependent upon other trades as long as the walls, rough-in plumbing and rough-in HVAC have been completed. In a cinder block construction where the wiring will be concealed in the voids, the electricians are dependent upon the brick layers to make the necessary wall box cutouts. The electrician must wait for the walls to be built in order to install the conduit or electrical cabling, thus time is money and the labor costs will be reflective of such. Carpenters can build walls much faster than a brick layer can, thus minimal waiting time for the electricians to start their work.

Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 3 years ago.
Welcome. My name is Tommy and would be glad to assist.

Are you still needing assistance with this situation?

Just reply and add any details if possible with any other information that may be needed on the subject.


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