Diverting Media Cables

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  #1  
Old 02-21-15, 11:40 AM
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Diverting Media Cables

My fiancee and I have a fireplace in our newer (2008) modular home. Above the fireplace happens to be the most logical location for our TV to be mounted (see photo). The problem is that the only place to put the stereo, XBOX, etc. is on the mantle which isn't very deep and creates quite the eyesore. Plus, eventually I'd like to install wiring for surround sound.

For these reasons I want to install various cables in-wall from where the TV is mounted down to the side of the fireplace. That way we can put a shelf or other media stand on the side for the peripherals, and I would have a more logical location to run the surround sound wiring to/from when that time comes.

I have a few ideas about how to run the wiring but I'd like your input.

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1) Remove fireplace temporarily and run a conduit from above fireplace down to the side, and then use fish line to run cables through conduit. Or...
2) Cut a hole in the right wall at the height of the TV mount (B) and then:
2a) Install horizontal and vertical conduits between A and C, then patch the hole (B) and use fish line to run cables through conduit, or
2b) Skip the conduit and run the wires directly in the wall, then put a blank wall plate over the hole at location B.

Several thoughts I have about the project:
1) If I take option 2 from above, I'm wondering if the mantle which wraps around the wall is likely to be inside the wall. In other words, am I going to have to drill through the mantle once I get inside the wall?
2) One goal of the project is to have the setup be easy to change/update later if needed (hence the conduit or blank wall plate).
3) I estimate that if I use conduit I'd need it to be 1.5" diameter. I'm thinking of using PVC, but would something flexible be better?
4) Will drilling holes through studs for the horizontal conduit cause any sort of structural problems?

Thank you for reading through my post and I appreciate any and all advice on this.

-Jake
 
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  #2  
Old 02-21-15, 11:55 AM
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I don't think wall housing b & C is hollow to the point where you can run cabling. I would opt to cut a hole in the back wall to the right of the fireplace sufficient enough to allow for work, drill through studs into the fireplace cavity, capturing wiring you need from the fireplace side (A). Use a fish pole between the two openings. You can always patch the working hole after you pull the wiring and cables, dropping them into the cavity and out with proper low voltage and line voltage boxes and connectors. Consider in your pull utilizing HDMI cable, RG6 cable, electrical cable, and RCA cabling, whichever you need at the same time along with a fish cord to leave in both boxes for future pulls.
 
  #3  
Old 02-21-15, 12:46 PM
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Hey Larry,

Thanks for your reply. When you say to cut a hole in the back wall to the right of the fireplace, are you talking about wall D in this updated image?

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I hesitate just because on the opposite side of wall D is a bedroom closet. The opposite side of wall D also extends all the way to the front of the house (left in the picture), meaning that wall D is the wall directly between the fireplace and the bedroom. As an additional note, the wall the TV is mounted on (red wall in diagram below), is not the same as wall D. Those 2 walls are offset a bit, although I don't have the exact dimensions at this moment.

Here's a rough diagram of the layout I'm referring to:
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I'm not familiar at all with fireplace cavities either. Once I'm through the drywall is it pretty much just open space behind the fireplace, or does the opposite side of the stud have plywood or something else going on there? If it's just open space then I could potentially scoot hole C toward wall D just a bit and then just use fish rods as you suggested to go direct from A to C.

I don't have much experience with patching drywall. I know it's not a difficult task, but it's something I'd like to avoid if I can.

FWIW, I was an installer for Comcast for a year and for Dish Network for another 2 years. I'm perfectly comfortable installing the gang boxes, wall plates, fishing the cables, etc, I just don't have experience with running cables behind and/or above fireplaces like this. I guess my point here is that once I have some idea of the guts of the space behind and above the fireplace I'll be OK.

Thanks,
Jake
 
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Old 02-21-15, 12:55 PM
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Jake, well arighty then. It didn't look offset at first glance. What you propose may work just fine. I still like to have plenty of working room, so cutting an exploratory hole the size of a double old work box in wall C, high enough for you to see into the cavity may give you a clear fish area to move wires from the TV location down the wall C to receptacles. You will still need to patch the exploratory hole once you get it all done. You may have some luck from A to C directly with fish poles. Cut your hole down there first, since you will be doing it anyway just to see if it is possible. Yes, for the most part the cavity behind the fireplace is open.

With your experience, you should do just fine. Check back if I wasn't clear on anything.
 
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Old 02-21-15, 01:08 PM
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Hey Larry,

Thanks for the follow up reply. My apologies for not making the offset more clear at first. Thanks for confirming that the cavity behind the fireplace is probably open. Just in case it isn't hollow/open, should I try to cut the lower hole (C) parallel to the wall the TV is mounted on, or should I be save cutting that hole closer to wall D?

Thanks,
Jake
 
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Old 02-21-15, 01:26 PM
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I would cut the hole as parallel to the extended wall profile as possible, but you may run into framing at that corner. Offset it a little and go from there.
 
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Old 02-21-15, 04:50 PM
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I would try to skip the hole at B until looking in from C. You can stick a cell phone camera into the hole to see what you are dealing with. Cutting hole A may allow light into the cavity or someone can shine a flashlight in. Normally the framing around the insert is just open behind the drywall.

Use low voltage old work rings instead of boxes for extra room. ENT is flexible and would work better than rigid PVC.

Check out the flush mount TV box from Arlington. http://www.aifittings.com/catalog/sp...d-low-voltage/
 
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Old 02-22-15, 01:39 AM
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I would recommend getting and laying out the mounting brackets now so that the box doesn't interfere with the TV mounting system.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 10:32 AM
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Hey Everyone,

I thought I'd give you all an update. As pcboss suggested, I cut the hole at C first. As suggested by Larry, the space behind the fireplace is totally hollow. I can see up the cavity all the way up to where the TV is already mounted. As a cable guy I used to use old work rings and boxes depending on the application/scenario. For this case I'll probably use boxes just because I would rather the cables be hanging by the box instead of handing from the wallplate connector. Since they're old work boxes they'll be easy to remove if I ever need to look in the cavity again.

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The next steps will be to cut the hole at A, run the cables, and install the boxes. Thank you all again for your input.

Jake
 
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Old 02-22-15, 10:57 AM
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Neat job. Glad it worked out for you.
 
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Old 03-08-15, 01:22 PM
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After all the help you guys gave me I thought I'd post a picture of the finished "product" and say thank you! I'm very pleased with how it all turned out in the end.

I finally finished installing the front half of the living room media components. The stereo and consoles have been relocated to the right (instead of on the mantle), the front speakers have been mounted on the wall, and the wires from said speakers have been sufficiently hidden.

The second half will be running speaker wire for the rear speakers and woofer. Not sure when that's going to happen though.

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Old 03-08-15, 02:22 PM
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Very nice. Thanks for posting.
 
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