Snaking wires with metal studs

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Old 11-19-13, 02:36 PM
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Snaking wires with metal studs

I moved and my townhouse has metal studs. I've frequently fished wiring through wood framed homes, but have no clue with metal framing.

The floors are supported with engineered wood trusses (wood 2x4s with metal reinforcing plates).

My question is, are there any tricks/tips for fishing wires through floors with metal framing? I assume it is similar in that there is a top plate/header/track like wood framing. I know some metal studs have holes for wiring. I assume the top plate (or track, not sure of term) does not?

I am just running low voltage wiring without conduit and I don't have an attic or basement.
 
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Old 11-19-13, 03:01 PM
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A wooden truss is an engineered structure made with pieces of lumber joined together - sometimes by metal nailing plates. The finished truss has more open space than filled space.

Is that what you have?
 
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Old 11-19-13, 05:12 PM
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My question is, are there any tricks/tips for fishing wires through floors with metal framing?
Yes, there are a few. What are you trying to do? Do you have lay-in ceilings or drywall ceilings? Do you want to fish from floor to floor or just down into a wall?
 
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Old 11-20-13, 08:41 AM
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Yes- wooden trusses so once I get it into the ceiling, I can easily go anywhere in the room.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 08:46 AM
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Yes, there are a few. What are you trying to do? Do you have lay-in ceilings or drywall ceilings? Do you want to fish from floor to floor or just down into a wall?
I am trying to wire Cat6 to all my tvs from my router. I use PCs or media extenders for all my tvs.

I need to go through floors and then over. I assume I will need to make a cut in the drywall at the ceiling and at the floor to drill through the top plate.

My trim is about 4" high. I am hoping to make a hole above that, angling the drill, so I don't have to remove the trim. I know I could possibly remove the trim and make the hole behind that, but I will probably mess up the wall and trim trying to remove it.

I think to snake in the ceiling, I probably need a pretty big hole so that I can get my head in there and see what's going on to get the snake to the right spot.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 12:53 PM
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I assume I will need to make a cut in the drywall at the ceiling and at the floor to drill through the top plate... My trim is about 4" high. I am hoping to make a hole above that, angling the drill, so I don't have to remove the trim.
Flexible drill bits are often a good way to do that. They can sometimes be flexed enough to come back out of a rim joist. Greenlee, Milwaukee and Klein all make them.

Look for ones that have a small hole in each end. That's for fastening your cable to the bit and using it to pull with.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the tip.

I've never used one of those types of bits.

If I get a bit with the hole, it sounds like I will only have a hole the size of the bit in the wall which is easy to fix. I guess I still need a big hole on the other side of the floor to grab it and move it where it needs to go in the trusses.
 
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Old 11-20-13, 01:29 PM
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I've frequently fished wiring through wood framed homes, but have no clue with metal framing.
Since you have some steel framing, such as studs, don't forget that you must use insulating bushings when you pass through a steel framing member. This would incude steel studs and steel top tracks as well. There are several types available through supply houses. Here is an example from a box store.

Shop IDEAL Universal Metal Stud Bushing, 25-Pack at Lowes.com

Fishing poles might also be helpful.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. - Fishing Poles
 

Last edited by CasualJoe; 11-20-13 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 11-20-13, 01:59 PM
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I guess I still need a big hole on the other side of the floor to grab it and move it where it needs to go in the trusses.
Yep, probably so.................
 
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Old 11-20-13, 04:13 PM
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Use a mirror to see into the hole or insert your cell phone camera and snap a picture.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 11:25 AM
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I am wondering if not making much of a hole in the drywall using a flexible bit is outweighed by the chance of hitting something bad (plumbing/electrical) in the wall which you would probably see if you made a bigger hole.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 01:18 PM
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I am wondering if not making much of a hole in the drywall using a flexible bit is outweighed by the chance of hitting something bad (plumbing/electrical) in the wall which you would probably see if you made a bigger hole.
You can use the flexible bit to feel for the center of a plate or stud, and for obstructions, before you start drilling (plumbing is usually very obvious). Sometimes, though, if I'm not sure what I'm "seeing" with the bit, I'll pull it out and look for electrical and plumbing runs with my scanner before proceeding,
 
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Old 11-21-13, 02:27 PM
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Since you have some steel framing, such as studs, don't forget that you must use insulating bushings when you pass through a steel framing member. This would incude steel studs and steel top tracks as well.
I get what you are saying, the hold can be sharp and cut the wiring. That defeats the purpose of using a flexible bit though if I have to make a big hole to put a bushing in.
 
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Old 11-21-13, 02:39 PM
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You said you have metal studs. Those bushings are for running Type NM horizontally through the pre-punched openings in the studs.

Do you also have metal track at the top and bottom of the studs?
 
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