Things on Walls, White on White Edition, 27 December 2012

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Good Evening:

Still more mysterious objects seen on San Francisco walls. All of these pictures are exteriors taken with my iPhone 4.

Mystery Object Near 18th Street & Connecticut, San Francisco

Mystery Object Near 18th Street & Connecticut, San Francisco

Side Wall of Bus Depot, Harrison & 9th Street, San Francisco

Side Wall of Bus Depot, Harrison & 9th Street, San Francisco

I see a lot of these on exterior walls in San Francisco, long pipes, one inch in diameter, with that pill-shaped cover on the end. What they are and what they do remains a complete mystery to me.

I see a lot of these on exterior walls in San Francisco, long pipes, one inch in diameter, with that pill-shaped cover on the end. What they are and what they do remains a complete mystery to me.

I hope you enjoy wondering what the heck they are as much as I do.

Vonn Scott Bair

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4 responses »

  1. Good Morning,
    Top item: i don’t know, but i thought those had to do with cranking shade awnings up and down.

    Middle item: conduit or pipe on hangers. I’d need a close-up of the bottom left ends to say more.

    Bottom item: electrical conduit, 1/2″ trade size (about 1/2″ inside diameter and about 1″ outside diameter). The conduit body at the end is an L, or i suppose ell. From Wikipedia (hope the link comes through) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_conduit#Conduit_bodies:

    “Conduit bodies come in various types, moisture ratings, and materials, including galvanized steel, aluminum, and PVC. Depending on the material, they use different mechanical methods for securing conduit. Among the types are:
    L-shaped bodies (“Ells”) include the LB, LL, and LR, where the inlet is in line with the access cover and the outlet is on the back, left and right, respectively. In addition to providing access to wires for pulling, “L” fittings allow a 90 degree turn in conduit where there is insufficient space for a full-radius 90 degree sweep (curved conduit section).”

    This particular example you’ve photographed is interesting because there is a modern plastic cover affixed to an older existing LB in an older conduit run, made of metal and painted. The plastic cover has yet to be painted and remains in its factory gray color.

    It is common to run conduit (and pipes) on the exterior of buildings constructed of masonry and related materials where it is not practicable to install the items within the wall itself once the wall has been built and finished. This is especially true in industrial areas where cosmetic concerns are lesser than in residential areas.

    Hoping you (all) enjoy contemplating electrical installations at least a tiny fraction of as much as i do,

    ))Sonic((
    Your electrical historian

    • SP: Mille grazie! Now that I think upon it, the top item was near the awning of a small bistro, so you probably nailed that one. The middle items were pipes or conduits. For me, the mystery is that they popped outside and then popped back into the building. As for conduit, it feels good to know at long last what I’ve photographed so often over the years. Vonn Scott Bair

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