Romex in walls?

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  #1  
Old 05-29-12, 12:57 PM
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Romex in walls?

I'd like to run a new outlet for a flatscreen TV by tying into an existing outlet. Can I just run romex from the existing outlet up the wall, into the attic, and back down to the new location? I've been reading about all the precautions needed for running electrical wiring but it seems like it's not possible to do all that without opening up the wall.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 01:00 PM
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What specific 'precautions' are you disregarding in your plan?
 
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Old 05-29-12, 01:57 PM
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So maybe "precautions" was overstating things - I'm asking about stapling the cable every 12in for support, keeping the wire 1 1/4" from penetrating nails, etc.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 02:18 PM
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Cables that are fished are not required to be secured if they are fished.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 02:18 PM
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I'm asking about stapling the cable every 12in for support, keeping the wire 1 1/4" from penetrating nails, etc.
Stapling the new cable is required if you open the wall to do the work. It is not required if you do it without opening the wall. Keeping the cable 1 1/4" from penetrating nails is accomplished by drilling through the center of framing members when the cable is being run horizontally through a stud, for example.

If you do this work by only making an opening for the new outlet behind the TV, then neither of these requirements should apply.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 07:47 AM
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Great! So what's the best way to get a new wire from an existing box up into the attic? If I drill a hole in the top plate, how do I get the fish line to go through the hole - trial and error?
 
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Old 05-30-12, 08:16 AM
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If it is going to an existing box first remove the box. Usually you can jus run a saw blade between the box and stud since most are nailed on. A Sawzall is great for this but just a hacksaw blade with a duct tape handle will work too.

Now look at the calling directly above. If you aren't great at eyeballing use a plum line to find a spot on the ceiling two inches from the wall directly over the center of the box hole and tap in a 6 or 8d finish nail. (there is often a wood plate next to the wall the ceiling Sheetrock is nailed to. Coming out two inches are so you only need to go through the Sheetrock.)

Look for the nail in the attic. It may in some cases be necessary because of insulation to make a 1/8" hole and use a length of coat hanger wire. If you move the insulation a bit you will see the top stud plate. Drill your hole in the center of the plate lining it with the nail or wire in the ceiling.

Tie a weight such as a large nut and lower down. If necessary you can fish in the hole where the box was with your hand for the string. If the wall is insulted you may need to use a fish tape or small flat drain snake instead of string.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 12:28 PM
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what's the best way to get a new wire from an existing box up into the attic?
Ray has already offered some clear advice on this. I'll just add that I would make sure the existing box isn't stuck to the drywall anywhere - cut around it with a utility knife, if need be - to reduce the chance of enlarging or weakening the opening.

When you're ready to install the replacement old-work box, you may find that a plastic box with the flip-out wings won't work because the wing next to the stud can't function. If so, one solution is to use a metal old-work box secured with a pair of "battleships." Just slide the straps into the wall with the longer ends up.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 12:46 PM
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Didn't even think about removing the old box. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 01:42 PM
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These are great when you need an old work box, especially if it is next to a stud.

SMART BOX - The Revolutionary Non-Metallic Device Box

Arlington makes one also.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 04:22 PM
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With a helper shining a light into an existing box, I have have been able to drop some jack chain down through a hole drilled in the top plate into the box. You need to be careful measuring and when drilling the top plate but it can be done. The helper might have to hook the chain with a piece of wire. Of course this can't be done when the walls have itch in them.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 04:25 PM
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You can also drill two holes in the top plate. Drop the string in one hole and look in the other.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 05:23 PM
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Aww, c'mon guys! Removing the existing box takes all the fun out of hitting the small entrance hole in the top of it I actually had a helper do it once. Pure luck, or Red Bull, I'm not sure. Once you cut out the old box nails and remove the box, you will need to either use an old work box back in the hole, OR, if the hole is too big for the ears, use old timey box straps. to secure a regular size box, sans the nails in the hole for a better fit. Had to do that today, 'cause the ears just weren't long enough on the old work box.
Attachment 822
 
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Old 05-30-12, 05:41 PM
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C'mon Larry, I have hit a 3/4" in a bottom plate with a fish rod dropped in from a hole in the attic through the top plate. Looked in the basement ceiling and the rod was sitting on a shelf. The walls were finished too. Just good placement,
 
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Old 05-30-12, 06:16 PM
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None of us have yet mentioned fire stops. Hopefully it is a newer house.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 07:19 PM
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Good point Ray. However, I have also dropped a chain from a walk up attic, down through 2 stories to a basement, in an outside wall, not a firestop to be found. Got to love balloon framing!

use old timey box straps.
Careful Chandler! We use those straps (F-straps, Madison straps, hold-its) all the time in commercial work.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 07:22 PM
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The book I learned from suggested flattening tin cans to make Madison clips but it was an old book even when I was young and cans were made of a lot heavier metal back then.
 
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