How can I run romex up wall in to ceiling space?

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  #1  
Old 01-07-18, 04:44 PM
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Question How can I run romex up wall in to ceiling space?

I'm looking to install a two gang box and run up romex in to my ceiling in this first story room which does not currently have any ceiling lighting. This switch only controls the upper outlets in this room.



How would I open the wall / drill stuff, with the least repair work required, to run romex in to the ceiling space for the canned lights I'm installing?

Thanks in advance.

Thanks,
Hans
 
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  #2  
Old 01-07-18, 04:56 PM
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Make one hole in the drywall right of the switch, use a long flexible spade bit to drill through the top plate. Drill a hole at the closest ceiling fixture to the that hole... connect the dots. If you are lucky the joists will be parallel.
 
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Old 01-07-18, 04:56 PM
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I am a complete newbie myself, but if it were me, I would get one of those magnets and rollers. You attach the magnet to the cable, and use the roller to roll against the wall/ceiling and pull it up. You also need a stud finder to find studs and also hope you dont have a fire breaker in between. Not sure what you can do if you have one.
 
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Old 01-07-18, 04:59 PM
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You need to confirm what wiring you have in the box. If you have a white wire and a black wire on the switch.... there is no neutral and you cannot add on to it.
 
  #5  
Old 01-07-18, 05:07 PM
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First, you have ti figure out how your joists run. You are in luck if joists run parallel to how you want to run the wire and very lucky if it is also in the same space as where the switch is.

Since you are installing canned lights, you will have to cut quiet a lot of ceiling drywall anyway.
Here are the steps I take.

1. Measure and mark where you want your canned lights. It really helps if you have a laser level, but can be done without it. Locate and avoid any possibility of duct work by checking ceiling registers.
2. Using a stud finder, locate joists near desired location of canned lights.
3. If any joists overlaps or very close, adjust your canned light locations accordingly.
4. Cut holes for the canned lights. If you find any duct work or plumbings, you are screwed. Find another location and try again.
5. Once you cut holes for the canned lights, now you know how your joist runs for sure. Cut ceiling drywall close to the canned lights (may be a foot or two) perpendicular to the joists all the way from the first light to the last light. Try to keep it in one piece as much as possible. Using a long level or laser to mark and keep your cut straight as possible. This makes patching easier. You will need a assistant to hold drywall. Cut the drywall large enough to put your head in, which will make wiring much easier.
You should use some sort of power tool. Such as reciprocating saw with dull blade. Care full not to put the blade too deep and damage wire or plumbing that may be in the ceiling. You can also use a circular saw with depth set shallow, but will create cloud of dusts.
You may choose to just cut drywall between joists, but if you do that, it will be harder to repair depending on how many cuts you have to make.

6. Cut drywall one the wall and ceiling above the switch. Again, make the hole large enough to put the drill and drill bit in the wall.
7. Drill holes on the joists and studs as necessary.
8. Fish wires and install canned lights.
9. Repair drywall and paint.
10. You are done.

Flexible bit may come in handy, but not going to make much of difference here. You have to patch the wall anyway, so just make the hole large enough. No need for expensive flexible bit.



Also, if you find your switch to not have neutral (switch loop), you can pull the wire from switched outlet instead of the switch.
Doesn't really make much of difference in the amount of the work.
 
  #6  
Old 01-07-18, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by lambition View Post
First, you have ti figure out how your joists run. You are in luck if joists run parallel to how you want to run the wire and very lucky if it is also in the same space as where the switch is.

Since you are installing canned lights, you will have to cut quiet a lot of ceiling drywall anyway.
Here are the steps I take.

1. Measure and mark where you want your canned lights. It really helps if you have a laser level, but can be done without it. Locate and avoid any possibility of duct work by checking ceiling registers.
2. Using a stud finder, locate joists near desired location of canned lights.
3. If any joists overlaps or very close, adjust your canned light locations accordingly.
4. Cut holes for the canned lights. If you find any duct work or plumbings, you are screwed. Find another location and try again.
5. Once you cut holes for the canned lights, now you know how your joist runs for sure. Cut ceiling drywall perpendicular to the joists all the way from the first light to the last light. Try to keep it in one piece as much as possible. Using a long level or laser to mark and keep your cut straight as possible. This makes patching easier. You will need a assistant to hold drywall. Cut the drywall large enough to put your head in, which will make wiring much easier.
6. Cut drywall one the wall and ceiling above the switch. Again, make the hole large enough to put the drill and drill bit in the wall.
7. Drill holes on the joists and studs as necessary.
8. Fish wires and install canned lights.
9. Repair drywall and paint.
10. You are done.

Flexible bit may come in handy, but not going to make much of difference here. You have to patch the wall anyway, so just make the hole large enough. No need for expensive flexible bit.

Also, if you find your switch to not have neutral (switch loop), you can pull the wire from switched outlet instead of the switch.
Doesn't really make much of difference in the amount of the work.
I've installed canned lights before. After stud finding and adjusting my potential light positions, I use a piece of wire bent 90 degrees in an L , with a 1ft side and 3" short side. I insert this L into the hole and turn it while pushing up and down to sweep the area in the ceiling for obstructions. I've had to drill through floor joists, no issues there... just some patch work.

Main concern is drilling down through the wall's top beam. Getting a drill into the ceiling space to come down at an angle will require some space.
 
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Old 01-07-18, 05:21 PM
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Main concern is drilling down through the wall's top beam. Getting a drill into the ceiling space to come down at an angle will require some space.
Why not just drill from bottom up? You will have to cut the wall above the switch anyway to fish wire from the switch junction box, unless you will cut out the junction box and replace with remodel junction box. You still have to patch ceiling anyway, so having one more hole on the wall is not going to make much of the difference.

If you really have to drill from top to bottom, you can do that with an angle drill.
 
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Old 01-07-18, 06:03 PM
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Unless you want to keep the switched receptacles for some reason, they are no longer needed. Switched receptacles are only required in rooms with no ceiling lights.
I find it easier to take the new light power from a switched receptacle and use the existing switch.
Using fiberglass fish rods, you might be able to get a cable up to the ceiling with only a few drywall cuts. It's also easier if you cut out the existing receptacle box and replace it with a remodel box. Removing the box lets you get your hand in the wall.
 
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Old 01-08-18, 09:07 AM
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You should be able to see the top plate from the attic. No need to cut the room side drywall. Someone can tap on the ceiling to help you find it. Drop a string down to the switch box and pull the new cable in.
 
  #10  
Old 01-08-18, 10:07 AM
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You should be able to see the top plate from the attic.
I assumed there is another floor above. If it is the attic, yeah it is the best to do everything from the attic.
Little to no need to cut and patch drywall.
 
  #11  
Old 01-09-18, 10:09 PM
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Took the advice of drilling down from above. Measured things, pulled back a section of carpet, opened a hole. I put down a thin nail next to the board so I could see from downstairs where things were (taped the nail to the end of a stick and used a hammer to tap through the drywall. After verification, used a long 1/2" bit to drill the hole. Used a 3/4" bit to open it a bit more. Stoked to have this wiring access without opening the dry wall.

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Thanks for the replies.
 
  #12  
Old 01-09-18, 10:35 PM
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In my opinion cutting hole on the sub floor like that is not a good idea.
How did you fix the subfloor? In order to fix that floor correctly, you will have to put some backing material under to subfloor and patch with cut plywood. With a hole that small, it won't be easy to repair.

Patching drywall is less trouble than fix subfloor in my opinion.
 
  #13  
Old 01-10-18, 07:13 AM
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Yeah, man, you shouldn't have cut through the subfloor like that. Cutting and patching the drywall would've been the way to go. Seems like you'll need to cut a large hole in ceiling from below to patch the subfloor now
 
  #14  
Old 01-10-18, 10:00 AM
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Was pondering a thin piece of aluminum plate over the hole. Don't see why this is such a concern? Much easier than matching the old paint and ceiling knock-down downstairs IMO.
 
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Old 01-10-18, 12:16 PM
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Was pondering a thin piece of aluminum plate over the hole.
Is it thick enough to not flex when stepped on?

You can do it from above if you want, but repairing sub floor properly is more work than patching drywall.
 
  #16  
Old 01-10-18, 09:27 PM
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Yes - not sure of the thickness but it did the trick. We'll be in this house another ten years at least and the carpet(15 yrs old) will be replaced in time so didn't sweat the somewhat visible seam after gluing the carpet back down.

Thanks for the responses.
 
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