Need help pulling wire through wall.

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  #1  
Old 12-22-05, 11:47 AM
bmlawless
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Need help pulling wire through wall.

BACKGROUND:
I installed a ceiling fan last night in my living room. There was no fixture in place already so I had to run new wiring. I wanted to run the wire down through the wall next to an existing switch. This is an interior, uninsulated wall. I found the hole in the wall header for the existing switch and slipped the new wire through the hole.

PROBLEM:
When I crawled out, I discovered that there are two horizontal 2x4's blocking the wire from dropping down. Right now I have about 20' of wired coiled up inside the wall between the wall header and the first obstruction. The ceiling in the living room is a 10' vaulted ceiling. It is VERY difficult to move around in the attic and I would really like to avoid going back up there if possible (I say this every time I do something in the attic ).

QUESTION:
I have seen really long drill bits and I was wondering if it was possible to drill up through the boards and get lucky enough to hook one of the loops of wire. If I can't do that, what are the chances that I would actually be able to thread a fish wire back up through the existing wires holes to the attic so I can pull the wire down?

Thank you,
Brian
 
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  #2  
Old 12-22-05, 11:51 AM
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Depending on the wall surface finish, you could just cut a small hole in the wall directly above and below these blocks. You then drill thru the blocks, fish the wires thru and patch the holes.

Drywall is very easy to patch - check at HD or Lowes for the latest techniques.
 
  #3  
Old 12-22-05, 12:16 PM
bmlawless
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Thanks Joe.

Thanks for the reply. I have fixed holes in drywall before but I never seem to have much luck. One of the blocks is behind a shelf, so that would work. The second one is in plain view. The lower block is only about 12 inches above the opening for the outlet, so I may be able to get it from that opening.
 
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Old 12-22-05, 11:55 PM
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If you have a fairly easy way to get power to the fan, it may not be necessary to run a wire to a switch. If the fan is capable (most are) of using a remote (radio) control device the switch is not necessary. About $30.00 in the big box stores.
 
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Old 12-27-05, 09:00 AM
bmlawless
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1GENIERE, I wish I had thought of that before I started. It would have been easy to make the connection in the attic. I still could, but now I have a hole in my living room wall. I suppose I could try and patch it. I think one of the remotes had a wall mount. Maybe I could go with that one.
 
  #6  
Old 12-27-05, 09:30 PM
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Good news and Bad news....Good News is this is a very common problem that I face often in many homes. You need a 9/16" flex bit the appropriate length to drill thru both 2x4's. Bad News you are going to get to go back to the attic. If you dont have enough overhead clearance then you will need the placement tool accessory for the bit. Pull your cable back out the hole you drilled. Drill thru the 2x4's with the flex bit then use electrical tape to tape the cable to the shaft of the bit... release the bit from the drill. Finish taping the cable up to the end of the drill bit. Lower the bit as you feed the cable thru the drilled holes. Sometimes it will hang up... if you have a helper he/she can reach thru the switch box hole and grab the bit. It will easily flex and come out the hole in the drywall, if the 2x4 is real close to the hole then you may have to lower it till the end can come out the hole and then lift the bit back out the hole. Remove the cable install your old work box and you are finished. Unless of course you need two cables to the box. Then you get to do it again. If you have both light dome and fan and want independent control with a two gang switch box I would just run power to the fan fixture first then a 12/3G or 14/3G to the switch box. Good Luck

BTW... you need a fan rated box for your new ceiling fan.
 
  #7  
Old 12-28-05, 08:40 AM
bmlawless
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Roger, thanks for the help. I ran 14/3 wire to the fan when I put it in. I wanted more information on the "fan rated box" you mentioned. I think you are just warning me to use a mount that is meant to support a ceiling fan, correct?

I already have the fan up and I used a mount specifically for ceiling fans. It is a 1/2" deep 4" round box that mounts directly to the stud after removing a 4" circle of drywall. I've seen it referred to as a "pancake box". It said it was rated for fans up to 50lbs. The box has knockouts to route the wire through the box and into the ceiling.
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-05, 11:17 AM
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Roger, thanks for the help. I ran 14/3 wire to the fan when I put it in. I wanted more information on the "fan rated box" you mentioned. I think you are just warning me to use a mount that is meant to support a ceiling fan, correct?
Yes

I already have the fan up and I used a mount specifically for ceiling fans. It is a 1/2" deep 4" round box that mounts directly to the stud after removing a 4" circle of drywall. I've seen it referred to as a "pancake box". It said it was rated for fans up to 50lbs. The box has knockouts to route the wire through the box and into the ceiling
Ok. You are good to go with that box....good luck

Here is the bit I'm talking about....the bigger the better...9/16" is the bare minimum to do what you are doing. You will see that the bits have holes to attach a wire from your cable if you want to use them to pull the cable. I generally just tape the cable to the shaft in your situation just depends on what you are faced with.

http://www.mytoolstore.com/ideal/ide14-10.html
 
  #9  
Old 12-29-05, 11:33 AM
bmlawless
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Would I be able to buy those at a place like Lowe's or Home Depot?
 
  #10  
Old 12-29-05, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bmlawless
Would I be able to buy those at a place like Lowe's or Home Depot?
Yes, but you may not have a lot of size choices.
 
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