wallmate electrical outlet

andrelaplume2January 23, 2009

Since I am using a similar product (slotted pink XPS from HD)...does this sound right: WallMate instructions reccomend using a 1 X 3 fur strip OR a 2 X 3 Fur Strip to allow space for wiring if desired. Do they really sell 2 X 3s or are you to but 2 1 X 3s together?

They then appear to say its *OK* to cut a piece of wood the size of an outlet box (pt wood I assume????) and fasten the wood directly to the concrete wall. You then cut a hole in the XPS to accomadate the wood. You then mount the XPS and then mount an electrical box (platic I assume) to the wood. The 2 X 3 fur strip has left space to drop a wire down to the box. Does this sound right? Up to code? Safe? A poor practice?

I am unusre how you would run wire from one box across to another in this case, maybe you don't...does the wiring typically drop from the basement ceiling to each box?

I can see benefits:

The 1/2" of space between the drywall and foam would make for better insulation...I would think

It is less work than framing! (if yours wall are plumb)

It takes up less space than the XPS + Framing.

What are the downsides?

Is this up to code?


Less insulation than adding framing and fg.

Note the area I am doing has 2 walls, one about 28' that will starts at the bottom of the stairs and runs 10' then becomes an 8' closet. I need no outlets in this vicinty. The last 10 or so feet I'd need an outlet. Perpendicular to that would be a 12' wall where I'd desire at least 2 more outlets. It was these final 8 and 12 foot sections where I had planned to XPS and then frame in front of....but if the xps goes up plumb, maybe I do not need to...?


Thanks again for all the help, ideas and reccomendations.

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The National Electrical Code requires either a 1.25" separation from the wall surface or mechanical protection of the cable as with a conduit; BX (armoured cable) may be permitted locally. You should be able to run the electrical in the 1/2" space created by the furring. Or use surface-mounted systems on top of the finished wall.

From where you supply a feed to the new receptacles depends on how many outlets will be on the total connected circuit.

While I do my own wiring to professional standards, as attested by Provincial inspection, I won't attempt to instruct anyone on how to wire anything. It's just too dangerous. If you're not familiar with home wiring, take a course or hire a qualified electrician.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:48PM
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..can always count you worthy!

I am NOT wiring anything!!!! I need to have things in place for the electrician though, ie boxes in place etc.

It sounds like the outlet box need to be 1.25" from the concrete. Wallmate has it 1/2" away the way I read it.

Are you saying I CAN mount the box 1/2" from the wall but the electrician will need to use the wiring with the metal conduit over it?

Is the wiring much more expensive? I guess my real question is am I better off just framing in front of the Wallmate in the areas I want outlets. (i'd prefer not to have surface outlets and conduit.

It amazing all the detail that goes into something like this....and waht you learn. I was in Lowes and needed to pick up some more 1 X 3s. All my prior were bought at HD. I got them home and noticed the quality for inferior to the ones at HD. They were straighter but the wood was much more flexible and seemed rougher and less dense. I have no idea if it matters but evedently I should look at the product more carefully, HD's are likely not fur strips but something else which explains why they were about .30 more expensive I guess.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:22PM
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It sounds like the outlet box need to be 1.25" from the concrete. Wallmate has it 1/2" away the way I read it.

Wallmate is correct. What has to be 1.25" away from the drywall is the wiring, unless it's protected. Your electrician will know what form of protection is acceptable in your jurisdiction. (I'm assuming this is done to Code.)

I guess my real question is am I better off just framing in front of the Wallmate in the areas I want outlets.

As I've posted before, the drawback to Wallmate is the special attention that has to be paid to electrical services on the wall. You have to be sure the boxes will not protrude past the surface of the finished wall and you have to protect the wiring by using armoured cable (AC) conduit or other protection. (Though you can router out a channel in the Wallmate for wiring, that would seem to be self-defeating.)

All that strapping is more like firewood than lumber! Try to get pieces that are just out of the shipping wraps, stack them in your basement and get them on the wall before they turn into skis! Don't hesitate to cut off curved portions. It doesn't have to look pretty, just has to hold the insulation and provide a base for attaching the drywall.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 10:22AM
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With more foam thickness, I guess there's more flexibility as far as routing the wire channels, depth of boxes, etc.. I'm still slowly doing the rim joist, but here's a pic of the second layer of insulation, with a channel milled to go over the strapping that's holding on the 2" of foam next to the concrete. Still not sure how it'll work with the drywall though.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 1:35AM
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I'm not sure why you didn't just strap over two layers of foam at once using 6" Tapcons; and then cut out where you want electrical boxes.

Still, you'll have a warm cozy basement when you're done.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 1:30PM
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for what that double layer costs I think I would have gottten a spray foam estimate. Either way thats out of my budget...maybe over overkill fo my eastern pa location.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 9:23AM
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I don't know. Today's overkill=tomorrow's standard.
I have a feeling that 4" of sprayed foam on the 9' walls of my 1000 ft2 basement wouldn't have been too cheap. Would've been faster though. :)

I'm still working on putting the xps in the rim joist area and found a pretty good chunk of ice in one of the bays tonight. The fiberglass was just stuffed in the bay, unfaced. I guess it eventually dries out when the temps warm up, and I didn't not see any damage in this 4 year old house, but it was still an eyeopener for me.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:55PM
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I am not familiar with the Wallmate system. But electrical boxes are permitted to project out from finished wall surfaces or even to be surface mounted. Fastening electrical boxes directly to concrete/masonry walls is done routinely.
Shallow wall boxes can be used in the wall with Wiremold steel boxes used as surface extensions, no surface raceway used. The Wiremold boxes add to the (cubic inch) volume of the assembly and help achieve the required volume for conductor fill.
The Wiremold site is not so easy to use, but boxes for the 500 and 700 Series raceway would work. Not the most attractive, but completely functional.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiremold

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 5:02PM
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"...you have to protect the wiring by using armoured cable (AC) conduit or other protection."

AC requires the same protection as NM.
Anything in bored holes within 1.25 of the face of the wood needs a plate at least 1/16 inch thick.

AC is not especially nail or screw resistant when trapped in a bored hole.
Even EMT has protection issues depending on the AHJ.
About the only thing that is considered nail and screw proof is rigid metal conduit, basically it is steel pipe threaded together.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 1:44PM
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