||06-03-2012 10:03 AM
Originally Posted by curiousB
I agree conduit is great for changes like this but you have conduit fill and box fill issues that can creep up as you add wires to existing conduit.
Secondly is the cost build a house. Probably $5-10K more labor to use conduit over Romex for an average sized house. You can rip out a lot of drywall, repair, and repaint for $10k.
Lastly is the safety or should I say perceived safety. I'm not aware of any statistics that say Chicago has statistically lower electric fires than other parts of the country. Years of data, millions of homes to compare but nothing saying it is safer.
In the end it is simply a union driven mandate to drive more trade work to union workers. Now IL is driving fire sprinklers into residential single family construction. Another $10-15k tax on new construction. Where is the runaway fire data to justify this?
I've done a lot of electrical estimating in my career. When I compared Romex to conduit, the conduit added about $2-3K to the cost of a 2500 Sq/Ft house. Also, in my career, I've had several friends ask me to come over and explain why their wall puts out an electrical shock (drywall nail or screw into the hot of Romex). That doesn't happen with conduit.
While the unions may have had an influence on keeping conduit in the local codes, I'm pretty sure the conduit concept began when homes formerly lighted with gas fixtures were converted to electricity and they used the abandoned gas pipe to pull wires through to the new electrical fixtures.
Regardless, the idea of running extension cords through your house just seems wrong. But that's coming from someone who has worked with conduit from day one.
As far as the sprinklers, I agree, it certainly seems its mandate was generated by those who benefit. Still, you have to ask yourself why commercial and industrial applications have "forever" been required to install conduit and sprinklers. Just because they can afford it? Because there are more people's lives at stake? Because there was a catastrophe and new laws were enacted to prevent another one?
We hated seat belts. We hated air bags. They both save lives and reduce injury. And I wouldn't call the data supporting their use "runaway". It's just that every life is precious.