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How to Run Cables Through Existing Walls?

by Guest Post on Nov 29, 2012

Whether you wish to install new speakers for the home theater or a phone jack in your home, you would require running cables through the existing cables. Fishing wires through existing walls can be a difficult task to achieve. You have to be extremely careful while planning the entire procedure. You would require special tools and proper techniques for running wires into the walls of your home.

Following is a list of tools you may need for running cables through existing walls.

  • Stud Finder
  • Measuring Tape
  • Electrical Tape
  • String and Fishing Weight
  • Fish Tape or Wire Coat Hanger
  • Flashlight
  • Drill and Bits
  • Drywall Keyhole Saw

Things to Consider Before Starting:

Check the codes of Building: A majority of buildings allow homeowners to install low-voltage wiring at their homes for various purposes such as phone lines, speaker wire, computer cable but you should not take chances and check to be free from any sort of doubt.

Selection of Proper Cable: You should consult an expert before buying cables for your home. You have to assure that the cable meets the fire codes and other standards of the building.

Plug Off the power: You should turn off the power from your electrical box before starting with the task. This would reduce the chances of getting an electrical shock.

Avoid Electrical Wiring: You would have to keep all the wires related to the phone, speaker and computer at a distance from the electrical wiring of your home. You have to give due importance to your safety.

Walls: You should try running cables through the interior walls of your home because exterior walls are having insulation.

Planning:

Initially, you need to finalize the location of the new wiring. Check out the existing electrical wiring at your home and accordingly keep the new wiring at a safe distance. Thereafter, you should look for hidden wirings at different locations of your home such as an attic, basement or crawlspace. There are instances of hidden wiring beneath the walls, so to locate this wiring you would have to use metal detectors.

Once you’re clear about the route of the cable, then you have a focus on the total length of cable you’d need for running through your walls. A simple method is to measure the distance from start to end and add 4-5 feet extra for connections. You can keep a reserve for tackling some unexpected problems. You would not want the cable to be short as it can spoil all your hard work, so you have to always keep a few extra feet as a reserve.

Steps for Fishing Wires:

Once you’re ready to run a cable through your walls, turn off the power for being safe.

You should start by drilling a small pilot hole and some metal prick or a coat hanger to feel the inside of the hole. This can let you know whether the area is free from any existing wiring or not.

If you don’t find any existing wiring, then you can move ahead and enlarge the hole.

Now go to the endpoint or basement, and again drill a hole that will act as the outlet.

Attach the cable to a coat hanger using electrical tape.

Finally, run the cable to its final destination. This would involve fishing the cable through another wall cavity.

If the pilot hole made by you didn’t work, then you would have to patch it up and bring it to the matching point of the wall by using sand and cement. There are various other options too for filling up of these holes but the material used depends upon the sizes of the holes.

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