Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Few Words About Wordless Wednesday #183 - A Conduit Tale

As I was wrapping up the final construction post for the Goff Brook Farmhouse and posting the "finish pic" above, I mentioned that I could just "visit the prototype and see what it looks like" to get a guide on how to weather it.

Well, I clicked over to review the prototype shot I'd taken - and got a bit of a shock. See what I did there? A hint is in the title to this post - as well as in the pun.

Yup, I'd inexplicably poked the electrical service conduit through the roof(!) Now, in my defense, I had consulted a very thorough clinic on how to model electrical service, and coulda swore that's how it was supposed to be done. But when I went back to check, it looks like the conduit only goes through the roof when it's necessary to get the weather head at least 10' above ground (low sheds roofs, etc). Otherwise, it's safest to have it under the eave - and less chance of someone on the roof coming into direct contact with the weather head & wires.

I should have reviewed my prototype photo earlier.

Now, I was going to see if anybody would notice - but the problem with me is that now I had noticed. And I've been down this road often enough to know that the hemming/hawing/vacillating about whether or not to fix it often takes longer than actually just fixing it. 

So I decided right away to go ahead and fix it. Here are the steps I took (in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation which - hopefully now that you have the benefit of my experience here - you won't):
  • Carefully pry the conduit out of the side of the wall. Cushioned tweezers will prevent chipping the paint.
  • Clip off the old bent end of the wire (the "weather head"), pull the conduit through the hole and set it aside.
  • Fill hole with Squadron Green Putty (I really need to get myself some stryrene rod, which would have worked better here).
  • Sand lightly when dry (I use a variety of sanding sticks, from "coarse" down to "extra fine"
  • Apply another coat of putty and sand when dry.
  • Decant the same color spray paint used for the roof into an old bottle cap and use a microbrush to replace the paint in this area and cover everything up.
  • Cut the conduit to a shorter length (based on the prototype photo!) and bend a new weather head.
  • Add a styrene 2x4x12 to the wall for mounting the weather head end of the conduit.
  • Replace conduit, gluing in place with CA
  • Realize that the repaint you did looks a little rough and takes the light differently.
  • Decide to respray the roof . . .

I think it looks MUCH better - and it's hard almost impossible to tell where the hole in the roof was. Unfortunately, I had a bit of stray masking tape around the chimney which caused a little flare of spray on the roof. And yes, that bugs me. Not enough to RE-respray the roof - but enough to encourage me to get to weathering, which covers a multitude of sins.

I've certainly learned a lot through this build and have built up my confidence that I can recover from most mistakes. But if I'm doing it right, I'm only making new mistakes - so the learning continues . . .

Hopefully my sharing all the fun and folly along the way has been at least a little entertaining, if not super educational!


  1. I had actually noticed that the electric service was different than what you had modeled when I looked at the photo. I must admit I was a little surprised that you had made the mistake but were letting it go....or so I thought :)


    1. Heh -Thankfully I caught it! Like I said, I was gonna wait and see if anybody'd notice - but then *I* certainly noticed, and once that happened there was really no going back. But in my defense, I have since seen many houses with the service going through the roof - heh, but they were one story houses and the service needed some height :^)