speaker wiring obstacle inside drywall


  #1  
Old 10-15-03, 01:02 PM
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speaker wiring obstacle inside drywall

Iím trying to run speaker wiring for a sound system in my home but Iíve run into an obstacle, literally. The wire Iím running behind drywall from the basement into the first floor family room is blocked by what at least feels to be a cross-member between 2 studs. The cross member feels like itís around 4 feet up from the floor and I need to set the speaker around 6í up on the drywall. Iíve put together a sketch of what I think is happening inside the drywall cavity.

http://www.pataustin.com/speakerwiring1.gif

So what does one do in a situation like this?

I was thinking it over while I was sketching this out, Ďwhy not just come in from the top (attic) and not have to deal with the cross stud at all?í but off hand I canít think of another route for getting the wiring up into the attic to begin withÖ

Any thoughts?

Has anyone ever brought the wire out of the wall below the cross-member, cut a channel in the surface of the drywall to lay the wire into and cut another hole above the cross member to send the wire back underneath the drywall only to come out a 2nd time at the mounting location for the speaker? of course, that would involve a fair amount of drywall repair/painting afterward...

Thatís all I came up with but it seems a little complicated (ie. there must be a simpler approach to thisÖ)

Thanks in advance

Pat
 
  #2  
Old 10-15-03, 01:17 PM
Mac Attack
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Pat,

The only thing i can think of off the bat with your situation is using one of those long masonary drill bits like what the cable company uses to run cable from the outside of a home to the inside. These drill bits are around 4' or so. Don't know if that is enough for your situation. I've seen these types of bits in hardware stores. Might be able to rent one from a rental place.

If your able to get through that cross member with one of those,
you could then fish a piece of wire or string from the opening in the drywall where your speaker wire terminal will be. It will be tricky to fish but not impossible.
 
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Old 10-15-03, 01:18 PM
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They make really, really long drill bits for the situation you are in.

As for your other proposal, yes it is done. My alarm system panel was wired in the manner you describe. It can be done for low voltage applications. It cannot be done for regular (120/240) voltage wiring.

In another location in my house, I removed a kitchen cabinet. After removing the kitchen cabinet I cut a (large) hole in the drywall. After cutting the hole in the drywall I was able to use my regular drill bit and drill through the crosspiece. When I was all done wiring I reinstalled the kitchen cabinet.
 
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Old 10-15-03, 01:30 PM
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thanks for the suggestions

i don't the the 4' plus drill bit would work because i don't have a 'dead on' drilled hole in the basement, nor could i probably get one because there's a wall directly below the hole i've drilled already (pretty much just enough room for the drill and a regular 5 or 6 inch bit that i've already used)

the hole-out, hole-in, hole-back-out weave i suggested and was affirmed by racraft, i guess its a question of which wall gets the 'loop' done to it? the family room or my son's room on the other side of it... which paint would be easiest to touch up without a big repaint spot that's really obvious.... ??? ;-)

we'll see - still have somethinking to do...

anyone else have an opinion???

thanks

Pat
 
  #5  
Old 10-15-03, 01:33 PM
brickeyee
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Sounds like a cavity with firestop blocking. You can get drill bits 60 inches long, and add additional extensions if needed. I routinely go basement to attic in one pass in remodel work. Here is a sight that talks about the bit you need:http://www.lashen.com/vendors/BES/Fish_Bits.asp
(just an example). Evil Orange has some bits, a good electrical supply house should have even more.
 
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Old 10-16-03, 07:16 AM
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What is the exterior/interior wall-finish? Apparantly you are reluctant to cut a groove in the wall-finish.
 
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Old 10-16-03, 07:29 AM
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speaker side of the wall is the living room (just re-painted in march when we re-did the whole living room)

other side of wall is a bedroom (last painted in 2000).

so both sides are interior -- drywall painted with latex. it's the center wall of a ranch dividing the front rooms of the house from the rear rooms of the house.
 
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Old 10-16-03, 07:41 AM
hotarc
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Have you got any of the paint left? Drywall work really isn't that difficult and with patience and perseverance, even a novice can make repairs that are virtually indetectable.
 
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Old 10-16-03, 08:10 AM
brickeyee
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All you need is a hole into the correct cavity for a 'fish bit'. The shafts are flexible enough to bend 90 degrees. The biggest hassle with them is knowing where the tip is when they are bent. If you run one up the hole from the basement it will go up through the stop. Cut a hole for whatever access you need to the wires, grab the end of the fish bit and tie some pulling line on (they even have a hole in the flotes). Pull the drill back down and your pull line is in place.
 
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Old 10-16-03, 09:19 AM
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after hearing all the advice here, i think i'm going to go with the 3 hole approach and just deal with the patching/painting....

if i got one of those long fish bits, 1) i'd be spending $ on a tool i might use once and 2) i'm not confident i'd be able to blindly line up the fish bit in the center (or close enough to center) of the firestop blocking and have the bit come out thru the drywall at a really low angle because its lined up in the corner of the firestop blocking and the backside of the drywall...

if i run the risk of making a hole in the drywall, i might as well make it a 'controlled' hole(s) and go with the weave & channel method...

thanks for all the good advice

Pat
 
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Old 10-16-03, 10:46 AM
masterjoe
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Talking Narrow groove

I had to deal with the same thing when I ran 14-3 NM-B up through the wall for my new ceiling fan. I thought about spending $30+ on a fish bit (long flexible rod with a drill bit at the end), but with the same mentality as yours, I thought it wasn't worth an investment.

In your case, speaker wires are thinner than romex(well, except heavily shield monster cables). You'll only need to cut a groove in front of the firestop crosspiece about 1/2" wide or less.
When you drill holes on both sides of groove, angle your drill so that upper hole is pointed upward and lower hole is pointed downward.
This makes fishing & catching wires much easier.

Mark your cutline and carve out the groove using a good utility knife.
Make 2 angled holes on both ends.
Catch wires coming from the bottom.
Fish into the upper hole and catch it at the speaker location.
Patch up the groove using drywall spackling.
After it dries, lightly sand it and paint it.

Groove will be almost invisible.
 
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Old 10-16-03, 11:02 AM
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thanks masterjoe

that's roughly about how i was imagining it. good tips for angling the exit and reentry holes

Pat
 
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Old 10-17-03, 10:52 AM
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If you want to fish it to the attic and then come down from there a possible route without blockage is along the main plumbing vent stack. Often this runs in a straight line from the basement up into the attic and out the roof.

This may however be a distance from where you are running the wire meaning substantial extra wire.

Just a thought.
 
 

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