How easy to make a new run between floors?


Old 08-11-08, 05:41 PM
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How easy to make a new run between floors?

First of all, this run is for data lines, not AC but this seems like the best forum...

My house is a 2 story with slab floor. I need to get some wires from the attic to the lower floor. On the lower floor, one side of the wall is a garage so I could open that wall if necessary (it is finished but not painted). The same wall on the upstairs is a bedroom/hallway which is finished and just painted etc. so I don't want to cut open drywall or even try using a right angle drill through an existing hole.

First off all, the upstairs room already has a wall plate with cable in the wall/stud bay I plan on using and I might as well use that same stud bay space. It's possible that there is already a hole running through the floor for the cable. If not my plan would be to drill from below through the floor plates from the garage.

So before I go off half cocked I thought I'd run my plan by someone in the know..

1. Open a small hole in garage next to ceiling right below stud bay with cable in bedroom. Try to determine if there is already a hole with cable.

2. if there is no hole, use a right angle drill to drill a hole upwards into stud bay. Having an existing cable access box hole will allow easier fishing of wires past access.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

It appears that all of my AC wiring goes from the attic straight down through to the second floor (becuase it's slab floor) but your not really supposed to run data cables (i.e. CAT5e) next to AC and the holes probably wouldn't be big enough anyway.

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Old 08-11-08, 06:46 PM
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Is it possible to get a mechanics mirror into the hole and look down at the plate? Depending o your area it may be stuffed with fire caulk or foam to seal it off so the hole doesn't act like a chimney.

I would try to avoid cutting through the drywall in the garage to preserve the fire rated integrity.

You may also have thermal insulation in the wall that can make fishing difficult.

Last edited by pcboss; 08-11-08 at 06:47 PM. Reason: added insulation note
Old 08-12-08, 06:37 PM
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As pcboss noted, exterior (or garage) walls are generally tough places to fish wires because of the insulation and whatever else may be in the wall. Interior walls are usually quite easy as more often than not it's just a straight shot up. The way I figure, you have 3 options:

1) Drill a hole from the bottom, measure from something that you'll be able to locate in the attic, then drill a similar hole in the attic, drop a string and weight down and cross your fingers that you aligned the holes in the same stud bay

2) Get a bell puller's drill bit (I think that's what it's called). It's basically a 36" or 48" drill bit with extensions so you can drill straight up (or down), then after going through, attach a pull string, and pull the bit back. Great solution, but the drill bits aren't cheap.

3) Try #1, and if it doesn't work out, cut a small hole at the top of the wall - large enough to get your hand in. You'll then be able to ensure you're drilling in the correct stud bays, and with a fish tape or stiff wire, fish the wires through. This option works especially well if there's wallpaper as it will easily cover up the hole afterwards!

The most important thing you'll need with any of these methods is patience!
Old 08-12-08, 07:49 PM
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Thanks guys,

My house is about 15 years old and unfortunately has insulation in all walls. However, I have sucessfully fished wires from switches/outlets to attic. Going between floors will make things even more difficult but it's worth a shot.
Old 08-13-08, 02:11 AM
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If you want it done with little or no damage follow the advice laid out before me. You want the low voltage contracters to do it, prepare yorself for a act a monkey could do it. Run cable or phone down the outside wall, drill hole, place inside box not even close to your outle height, caulk outside penatration hole and leave your home with a feeling not many people will ever achieve.... just mauled the whole house with their lazines. If you value your appearance of your house, open up what you ned to, buy the appropriate tools or if push comes to shove you can terrorize your house with a little more pride and cuth than LV guys will

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