Cutting Electrical Chases in Brick Wall | Guidelines to Keep in Mind!

When you are planning to work on building construction with a systematic investment plan, preparation is essential for everything in life but is especially crucial when performing electrical work in structural insulated panels. An electrical plan will need to be decided upon, with the homeowner/building owner and systematic investment plan manufacturer, to ensure all the outlets, lighting, and power needs are important.

What is Electrical Chasing

Electrical Chase in Wall

Electrical chase is a technique used for cutting proper channels in masonry or concrete.  Chasing is a continuous recess in floor, ceiling and walls for required pipe work and conduit.  Generally the size of channel is 50 to 100 mm in width and 50 to 75 mm deep.

Electrical chase is a technique, in which the channels (generally 50 to 100 mm min width and 50 to 75mm deep) are chipped or carved in the masonry or concrete elements to place the electrical conduit or other services of house to conceal them in the walls for better aesthetics.

Also Read: Types of Masonry that can be used for Construction of your Dream Home

Tools are Used in Electrical Chasing Work

  • Chase cutter
  • Chisel
  • Lump hammer
  • Large bolster
  • Medium bolster

How does Wall Chasing Work? /How is Wall Chasing Done?

During the floor or wall treat, hand-held cutting tools, which have a double diamond blade, are used for cutting brickwork. In the process; two slots are cut to a specific depth and width. The Centre part of concrete masonry is removed by using a small breaker or a hammer drill. This technique is quick and dust-free.

How to Cut Chase

Cutting chase is a simple job and most professional electrician will have own chasing tools. Basically an angle grinder with two parallel cutting blades with a depth setting is used. The depth gauge simply sets and runs the grinder up/down or across the wall making two parallel cuts. The waste between the cuts is knocked out with use of the cold chisel.

Also read: What is the Basic Difference between Wires and Cables?

How to Fill Electrical Chase

Once the cable is kept or installed in place, use a paint brush to wet the sides and back of the chase by using clean water, and then apply a coat of neat PVA adhesive to the sides/back of the chase and conduit/ pipe. This will aid the adhesion of the filler.

As a filler material use,

  • A strong sand/ cement mix (3:1:1 – 3 part of soft sand: 1 part of sharp sand: 1 part of cement).
  • One coat of plaster or patching plaster,
  • A standard decorator’s filler.

If applied to a deep chase, both the plaster and filler may sag and hence, they may need to be built up in layers.

Also Read: Basic Guide & Types of Plaster that can be Use for Your Dream Home!

The chases need to be filled from the back and around the conduit/ pipe from the front. A small trowel will help push the filler into the back corners and behind the conduit/ pipe. Use the trowel across the sides of the wall surface to cut off the filler to the line of the wall. If channeling is used, there is no need to try to fill the chase behind it.

If the wall is to be tied, there is no need to give fancy finish to the wall. But if the wall is to be painted or papered, cut back the surface of the filler by about 3 mm before it fully hardens.

Also Read: Paintable or Anaglypta Wallpaper: All you need to Know

Chases can also be filled with a plaster which is called patching plaster or one coat plaster. This can generally be applied in coats up to 50 mm thick. If there is a deep chase, build the fill up in layers. If using one coat plaster, make sure you wet the chase really well before applying it. The plaster will dry out really quickly and crack badly if its moisture content is not maintained. You may add pre-fiber like Recon fiber with mortar for filling the chases.

Guidelines for Cutting Electrical Chases in Brick Wall

01. Cutting of Electrical Chases in One Brick Thick and Above Load Bearing Walls:

(a) As far as possible services should be planned with the help of vertical chases. Horizontal chases should be avoided, as they reduce the strength.

(b) The depth of vertical chases and horizontal chases shall not exceed one-third and one-sixth of the thickness of the masonry respectively.

Depth of Electrical Chase

(c) When horizontal chases are unavoidable it should be located in the upper or lower one-third height of storey and not more than three chases should be permitted in any stretch of a wall.

(d) No continuous horizontal chases shall exceed 1 meter in length.

Length of Horizontal Electrical Chase

(e) Vertical section should not be closer to 2 meters in any stretch of a wall.

Distance Between Two Vertical Electrical Chases

(f) Electrical Chase shall be kept away from bearings of beams and lintels.

Distance of Electrical Chase from Lintel

(g) If unavoidable, stresses in the affected area should be checked and kept within permissible limits.

(h) No vertical chases for fixing electric conduits or G.I pipes or a recess for fixing electrical metal boxes should be cut within 1.5 feet from the edge of the wall.

Also Read: 10+ Important Electrical Safety Tips to Make Your Home Accident a Shock-free!

02. Cutting of Electrical Chases in Half Brick Load Bearing Walls:

No chases shall be permitted in load bearing walls having thickness of half-brick and as such no recessed conduits and concealed pipes shall be provided in load bearing walls having thickness of half-brick only.

Also read: Which is Best Load Bearing Structure or Frame Structure?

03. Cutting of Chases in Half Brick Non-Load Bearing Wall:

Services should be planned with the help of vertical chases. As horizontal chase should be provided only when vertical chases is not possible, however one should try to avoid it.

If you follow the guidelines which are mentioned above, there will not be any major problem you will face in future.

Also Read:
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Things to Keep in Mind While Planning Kitchen for Your House!
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