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Tools (or techniques) for low voltage cable pulls through walls?

Tools (or techniques) for low voltage cable pulls through walls?

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  #1  
Old 11-06-11, 03:23 PM
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Question Tools (or techniques) for low voltage cable pulls through walls?

* If there is a better place to post low voltage/data+video cable questions, please let me know.

Background: This is an older home and is basically unwired except for some real old RG59 (I think). Home is bolted slab foundation and structure somewhat sucks in that half the house (master bedroom, family room, kitchen) is flat roof [no attic] while the room we want main TV/couches in is actually the bigger living room and it has cathedral roof so also no attic.

Goal: CAT6/RG6 to each room with a few security camera wires run while I'm at it (we have a 5 month old).

I've never done this before but am comfortable with the small home repair projects I've done so far.

Questions:

1) What tools will I need to pull CAT6/RG6 cable through my walls?

- What tool is best suited to cut the drywall for the receptacles and holes I need to place the drill in to punch through studs?

- Is an angle drill the best for each stud I need to go through? For example in the vaulted ceiling area, I'll have no choice but to cut in front of each stuff to get through...? Even with the smaller head, I still need to get the drill bit inside so I'm guessing it's not the drill but rather just needing to drill at an angle for each stud?

- A 25 foot or so fish tape to pull the cable?

- stud finder (I already bought both a well-reviewed magnetic and seperate electrical one)


2) When I cut the drywall to make room for the drill at each spot, is there any special cutting technique to help the drywaller have an easier time to patch when I'm done?


3) Is there a site or videos somewhere to help a greenie like me learn the ropes before making some mistakes? Basically any video collection for first-time cable pullers.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-06-11, 03:38 PM
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I'd suggest buried conduit around the outside perimeter of the house for those jacks that want on outside walls. Just come up out of the ground and into the house.

On the inside walls I'd just pull the base boards, drill holes as close to 180 as I could get with a regular drill, and run the cable through the holes then replace the base board. Going past interior doors pull the facing and go up, over and back down.

Use a hand drywall saw assuming you really have dry wall not plaster.

 
  #3  
Old 11-06-11, 03:50 PM
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If you pull the baseboard you may have enough room to tuck the cables below the drywall and then turn up into the wall cavity.

Some like to drill a 4" hole saw centered on each stud or joist and drill the hole. Then you would screw the disc removed back to the framing. Others would cut a trough a couple inches wide the entire length and patch.
 
  #4  
Old 11-07-11, 10:15 AM
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Have you looked at Wiremold low voltage raceways? It can be a little pricey, but compared to cutting out sheetrock, patching and painting it sounds nearly as good as using wireless.
 
  #5  
Old 11-07-11, 08:10 PM
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You can get flexible drill bits up to 6', and a guide (Greenlee). But they take some practice. And you have to know exactly what's in the wall before you start drilling willly-nilly. For best results I'd build a mock-up wall for practice, or practice somewhere like a garage where you can see what you're doing until you get the hang of it.

A FLIR camera is very helpful, at least for outside walls. But very expensive.
 
  #6  
Old 11-08-11, 04:05 PM
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Thanks guys for the great responses. Unfortunately I don't have internet right now (part of why all the wiring work) so sorry for the late responses.

So here are some questions/clarifications and any guidance would be much appreciated:

1) I've heard of wiremold but for the areas without easy access, I need to run about 5 wires (2 speaker, 2 cat6, 1 rg6) and putting that in wiremold along the base, then up the wall, etc. is less than desirable. Not really a valid option.

2)
Some like to drill a 4" hole saw centered on each stud or joist and drill the hole. Then you would screw the disc removed back to the framing. Others would cut a trough a couple inches wide the entire length and patch.
Can you explain the 4" hole part? If you cut the 4" hole on the drywall right over the stud, then how do I drill the hole such that it's parallel with the plane of the drywall, not perpendicular? Or maybe I don't follow.

Also, assuming you need to go across a ceiling (sloped) and have a stud/beam every 16" or so, would you cut a trough across the entire ceiling or put 8-10 holes in the entire length. I'm worried patching a big trough would look worst, although it sure would be easier to work with.

3) Also, I'm still looking for a great site or set of videos that might help me learn how to better approach cutting dry wall or approaches to drilling studs for pulling wire, etc.

In face, I don't even know what I'm supposed to do for placing a junction box (or whatever the name is for where the jacks get terminated).

4) My biggest confusion is still how I approach getting through each stud when I've decided that I can't go through baseboard or wiremold, etc. Do I just cut open a small square and then drill a 3/4" hole or whatever at an angle? I don't want to cut a huge part to get an angle drill in, but unless I remove a long trough the entire length of the roof or wall and then replace the whole thing with a drywaller, I'm just plain confused.

I hate being such a noob in taking on this type of project but...I'm determined!
 
  #7  
Old 11-08-11, 05:44 PM
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LV cables do not need a junction box and in fact are better off without one due to bend radius considerations.

Peruse this link to see if any of their solutions would help in your endeavor.
Products and Projects: Organize Cords or Cables and Add Power at Home

With the 4" hole over the stud you would need to angle the drill bit.

A good drywall person should be able to make the patches look like they aren't there. Another trick is to replace the 1/2" drywall with 3/8" and then skim coat to the old surface.
 
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