Home Networking Problem - Wall Obstruction

Old 04-14-04, 09:08 AM
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Home Networking Problem - Wall Obstruction

I own a two story house in Southern CA built in 1963, and I'd like to run CAT5 to all the rooms in the house. Ideally, I'd like to run the cables through the crawlspace and down the walls to a nice wallpate.

But, it turns out that I have an obstruction about 3 feet off the floor in the middle of my external wall preventing me from getting the cable from the attic to the floor.

Beside tearing up that section of wall to put a hole in that obstruction, are there any other options for me?

I know I could run the cable down through the closet, but that option is less appealing since it seems less "professional".

Thanks for any advice!
Old 04-14-04, 04:28 PM
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Look for a plumbing drain pipe that runs from the attic to the crawlspace. You may be able to drop a chain next to the pipe and pull the wires up into the attic and then drop down.
Old 04-14-04, 06:23 PM
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I had a similar problem getting from the second story to the first floor family in a house. I went ourside -- and used outside suited CAT-5 cable with stand-offs and ran a line outside and down the edge fo the house. I ran it directly into an outlet box -- but it could have just as well gone into a distribution box in the basement / crawlspace. This is the way that cable companies would run another line to an inaccessible room.

Another possibility would be to get an extra long bit (extensions are available) and drill up from the crawl space through the obstruction and then cut a small hole in the drywall to connect the wire that was fed from the top to the feed from the bottom. A small hole is easy to patch.
Old 04-15-04, 08:40 AM
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Actually, your last suggestion is what I did last night.

I used a stud finder to locate the blockage, and then cut out a 4"x1" section of drywall with a utility knife. I then took a chisel and took out a chunk of the 2x4 to the cat5 could pass through.

I also invested in a cable snake which made everything much easier.

Now I just have to see if I have any of the same color paint left to paint over the patch!

Thanks for all of your input!
Old 04-15-04, 06:18 PM
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A flexible fish bit will do this handily.


Hope this helps.
Old 04-16-04, 02:58 AM
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If your house is 2 stories you will have to cut out drywall between the first and second to get it through the floor board no matter what(unless you don't have drywall up in that area of the first floor).

You just don't have access to the bottom of the stud wall. No one does. There are ways to get a line or two down but you'd need a fiber optic camera with a light, a monitor, and a decent sized hole near a pipe or a duct, or be one lucky S.O.B.

Don't even attempt this on an external wall because (if insulated) you'll get no where fast.

I wired a house for my parents and ran 32 lines (between phone, data, and cable) to the 2nd story. I ran them outside in PVC and smartwired it all to the basement (with the first story lines and basement lines). Luckily I'm also a DIY carpenter and I made an enclosure that you wouldn't see unless you were looking for it.

Have fun with the mud and tape!
Old 04-17-04, 05:55 PM
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Fishing wire through exterior walls is not impossible - it's an art. It helps to know how the house was built and how it's insulated, but it's anything but impossible.

Take a look at Labor Saving Devices Application Page for some ideas on how to fish wire and what to use (of course, they recommend all of their own products - very good products, btw, but very expensive.) You can find LSD's products all over the web - usually reserved more for the professional installer though. However, if it means running a wire in 1 hour, as opposed to 1 day, it may be worth the investment.

A snake bit (flex bit, "the biggest drill bit I've ever seen" bit - or whatever you wanna call it) will be your best friend in a project like this.

Good luck!

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