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Welcome to the About ICFs blog by NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms. Here you will learn more about how ICFs began, What ICFs are, how to use custom forms to meet design requirements, information about installation and more. Be sure to check back regularly!


How to Install Plumbing and Electrical within ICF Forms

by NUDURA Blogger | Oct 17, 2016

For builders and contractors, figuring out how to accommodate plumbing within the wall can be a complex process, regardless of whether or not the building is constructed using ICFs. While common practice is to install waste lines with a drywall chase around them, NUDURA has accommodated many projects with waste lines right in the outside of the wall cavity.Hotknife Cut1

Typically, the lines are hot knife cut into the face of the foam in order to secure the plumbing within the system. In those instances, a builder can insert a 1.5-inch diameter waste line with coupling right inside cavity of the foam. However, when a deeper cavity is required, it must be accommodated by special attachments of foam inside the cavity before the concrete is poured.

Chainsaw Cut copy_01Similarly, electrical wiring is usually hot knife cut into the foam. An electrical chainsaw with a guide wheel can also coarse out the foam where the romax cable needs to be inserted, allowing it to be friction fit into the wall. Electrical boxes are inset and can be tapcon screwed into the back of the box to be held in position. The wires are simply run into the box the same way as standard electrical in a wood frame structure.


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  1. john fields | Oct 18, 2017
    I have heard of a bit that makes a groove for electrical wire in icf blocks. Instead of having lots of "snow" after using, it leaves what looks like spaghetti and can be cleaned up easily. Have you heard of it. I believe it is a dermal bit.

    I believe the tool you are referring to is a ‘Dremel’. These tools can be used, but much like using the chainsaw it will produce the ‘snow’ that you are talking about. One way to avoid this is by using a hot knife, which is a slightly slower cut, but will leave the foam that is being removed in one piece. Take a look at Section 13.0- Electrical & Plumbing Installation this installation video shows the use of the hot knife.

    - NUDURA Blogger | October 19, 2017

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