Concrete wall penetrations or sleeves for plumbing


I need pipe penetrations for electrical, drainage, and water lines thru my basement concrete walls, how does this works? The pipes need to extend inward and outward beyond the two faces of the concrete wall. How are these going to work with the formwork?

Hi, thanks for visiting
There are two ways you can achieve penetrations thru concrete walls.

First: Sleeve
This is the easiest and least expensive. This can be achieved by using a piece of pvc pipe bigger than the size of the actual pipe you are going to use such that the actual pipe will pass thru the sleeve i.e if you need a 1 inch diameter water line, use 1.5 or 2 inch diameter sleeve. Cut the sleeve to match the thickness of the wall and nail it to the forms. This needs to be done before the formwork is closed.

I have seen some people cut the formwork in order to install the pipe penetrations. This is a very expensive way of doing it. Whether you rent or own the form, it is not wise to damage the form considering that one concrete wall form panel cost over $100. A piece of pvc pipe cost $10 or less and few minutes to install.

One thing to watch for during the pour make sure to pour the bottom side of the sleeve first and allow the concrete to rise to the level of the sleeve. This will assure the weight of the concrete will not cause the sleeve to move or break off.

Second: core drill
If the sleeves were not installed, core drilling in the next option. Some plumbing contractors prefer this method because it assures the penetrations will be at the correct location. In most cases, when the footings and foundations are prepped and poured, the plumbing locations were not finalized

Core drilling is more expensive than installing sleeves but less expensive than cutting the forms. Most plumbing contractors own core drilling machine for this purpose. If not you can always hire someone to do it.

In either approach, cored holes or sleeve will leave a gap between the pipe and the sleeve or hole. After the pipes are installed, use grouts and shoot them to close the gap before applying waterproofing to ensure no leakage come thru to your basement.

Hope this help

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