We’re moving ahead on many aspects but lagging on others. The penetrations of the concrete floor and roof have long been on our critical path and one area that we have been lagging. We engaged Lorna Fear of Visual Cue Thermal Imaging to help us, again. Installing Schneider Electric’s Whole Home Automation Solution is moving forward rapidly.
Penetrations through the Concrete Floor
We need to core though our concrete floor for various plumbing, electrical, central vacuum and other services to go from the ground floor to the lower level. We anticipated these penetrations and then made some design changes. During the construction, we put PEX into the concrete for our hydronic heating and cooling. With the design changes, we must ensure that when coring through the concrete we do not damage the PEX.
Although Bryan took measurements of the PEX before we poured the concrete floors, the PEX could have moved slightly and the risk of damaging the PEX, while low, has a very high cost to repair. Consequently, we decided to take Wes Wenger’s advice and circulate hot water through the PEX and use thermal imaging to confirm the location of the PEX in the concrete. Thus, we could be very confident that while coring the concrete we will not damage the PEX.
Setting up the thermal imaging required a number of steps. First, Wes assembled a pump that could be connected to the PEX so we could pump hot water though the system. We used hot water from our rental house, and we had to connect a hose to the hot water heater and fill clean plastic 35 gallon garage pails with the hot water and then transport them to the job site. The hot water had to be circulated through the PEX and increase in temperature. Then, Lorna could take the thermal images that would identify where the PEX was located. Lorna had been to our project site on August 20, 2010 to take thermal images of our roof structure, and she identified where there were voids between the SIPs.
We got it done by 10:15 am.
Installing the Electric Distribution Panels and Lighting Control Panels
At the same time, Al was busy installing the electric distribution panels and lighting control panels in various locations in the house. We have a 400 amp combined service entry device, which holds our electric meter from PG&E. From there, electricity is distributed though four load centers inside the house.
The East Mechanical room has a 200 amp panel and a 100 amp panel. The West Mechanical room has two 100 amp panels. Our lighting control system has three locations – the Upper Laundry room (1 panel), Air Handler room (2 panels), and East Storage room (3 panels).
At this stage, Al is putting the panels in place so we can start to run the wires (conductors) between the panels.
It is coming together nicely.