Running Speaker Wire in Wall

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  #1  
Old 05-05-02, 05:45 PM
luisduo
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Running Speaker Wire in Wall

I would like to know how I can run speaker wire in the wall. I was planning to use a paintable flat speaker wire, but the paint did not adhere to the wire jacket very well.

I was thinking of running the speaker wire behind the base boards with a small hole in the wall behind the surround speakers to access the cables.

My concern is will I be hitting any major wires or horizontal beams that would interfere with the wires. Plus my walls are painted and I'm hoping to do as little damage as possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-06-02, 01:38 PM
Doctorhifi
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You are wise to be concerned about hitting either existing wiring in the wall or wooden members.

Tha baseboard route has been discussed in this forum previously. Perhaps you can search through old threads for it. To sum up, just be careful if you remove the baseboard: better to punch the nails through and put in new nails than trying to pull the board up nails and all (easily damaged or broken)

Stud sensors are fairly effective in finding wooden members inside the walls that could block your route, but you can get false positives even with the best. Common sense may help you. Look on the floor above and below where you want to route your wires...do you see plumbing fixtures that could indicate plumbing could be in that wall? Do you see cold air returns or heat ducts indicating ductwork in the wall? Any electrical outlets close by?

Although I wouldnt offer this advise as golden, but unless you have a really weird house, if you do a bit of investigation before you cut, chances are in your favor that you can avoid a major pitfall. There are always exceptions, but there is almost always an indicator of what you may find inside a wall if you look with your eyes and with tools suitable to the task (stud sensors, metal detectors, etc.)

Bottom line is, even the best installers sometimes take a chance when they cut into a wall. You have to gather as much info as you can by viewing the area, then you take the plunge. I know you don't want to make a mess, but you can always patch drywall if you must. Very little has been built that can't be REBUILT.

good luck

Dochifi
 
  #3  
Old 05-09-02, 02:07 AM
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Cool

IF your room has wall-to-wall carpet, there will be about a 3/8" space between the tack strip and the wall.
Carefully pull up the outer edge of the carpet with needle-nose pliers (but NOT off the tack strip), run the wire, and push the carpet edge back down into the groove.
If you have to cross a carpeted doorway, push a stiff wire under the carpet from one side to the other, and pull the speaker wire under the carpet over the padding. It shouldn't damage the speaker wire like that.
At least, that's the way that I do it.
Good luck!
Mike
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-02, 03:01 PM
luisduo
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Doctor Hifi, thanks for your help. I was able to get one of the surrounds hooked, after a lot of swearing, and I've got the wire running behind the base boards and up the wall. Luckily that part of the wall had no insulation, but now I'm having problems where the other two speakers are located.

The center back channel speaker is on a stud and I've drilled a hole to the right of it to run the cable through. The problem I am encountering is the insulation is blocking access to the cable to the floor and I have no way of getting to it from either the top hole or the bottom hole.

Would you recommend that I drill a hole directly on the stud then run the wire? My other option is to go back to the flat wire speaker and try painting again.

Thanks in advance.
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-02, 07:40 AM
Doctorhifi
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??

L,

I am not totally sure I understand... 'would you recommend I drill a hole directly on the stud then run the wire?'. If you are unable to fish the wire up to the hole next to the stud, how will drilling a hole in the stud help? Please clarify.

One thing to consider is the size of the hole you are trying to fish the wire to/from. You should cut a hole large enough for your hand to fit inside the wall so you can grab the wire you are fishing. Hopefully the speaker mounted on the wall will cover the hole (you would have to have VERY small speakers for them not to cover). It is nearly impossible to fish a wire to and through a small hole even with specialized tools.

If the insulation is blocking the way, try running the wire in FRONT of the plastic vapor barrier which is directly behind the drywall and in front of the insulation. The plastic will stretch enough as you fish down to allow the wire to easily glide down the wall. Don't try to fish up...always fish down the wall.

We use tools called Creepzits, which are basically fiberglass rods about 1/4 in diameter with threaded ends. You can link many together to fish inside walls or ceilings and they are very flexible but also very strong. We rarely use metal fish-tapes because they don't retain a straight line, they always curve the way they were coiled up.

Perhaps you have an old fishing pole you can sacrifice...cut off all the eyelets so you are left with just the pole. This would be close to the tool I described above. Then tape a pull wire to it's end and fish the pole and the pull wire DOWN the wall from the upper hole to the lower hole. Grab the pull wire through the lower hole, disconnect it from the fishing pole and pull only the fishing pole back out of the wall. Then attach the speaker wire to the pull wire (overlap the pull wire with the speaker wire by about a foot and wind tight with electrical tape) then use the pull wire to pull the speaker wire up the wall and out through the upper hole.

Hope this helps!

Doctorhifi
 
  #6  
Old 05-14-02, 12:41 PM
luisduo
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Thumbs up

I was thinking that maybe there would have a space between the stud and drywall....doh! That's how the drywall is attached to the stud. Fishing the wire down makes more sense, work with gravity not against it.

The hole that I drilled was only an inch in diameter.

Thanks for the advice, say a little prayer for me.
 
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Old 05-20-02, 04:10 PM
Doctorhifi
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??

L,

My server crashed so have not had email for over a week.

How did your project turn out? Did you get the wires where to wanted?

dochifi
 
  #8  
Old 05-20-02, 05:49 PM
luisduo
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Well it's all done, and after a few attempts and a lot of curse words, I went to Home Depot and purchased an electricians fishing tape.

Talk about easy! The speaker wires were in 10 minutes top ( after I finally figured out how to use it) and now I'm in the process of painting the speaker jackets to match my red walls.
They sit right behind the speakers, but the original colour is a bright yellow.

Thanks for you help.
 
  #9  
Old 12-02-06, 01:47 PM
E
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Unhappy Running Speaker Wire in Wall

I need to run wire from the basement up through the first floor wall.

I have read how to do the fishing from the upper hole in the wall to a lower hole. My question is how to locate the spot in the basement that will line up, more or less, with the wall cavity that I am fishing through. (I don't want to drill up into the middle of the floor above.) I am assuming that I am going to have to drill a 1" (or so) hole up from the basement into the wall cavity.

Once I have the lower hole from the basement, then I am going to have to find that hole by fishing from above. It seems like the odds of hitting the hole are near zero. Any tips here? Would it be easier to fish up in this case? Is my overall approach flawed?
 
  #10  
Old 12-02-06, 06:59 PM
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Drill a small pilot hole right at the edge of the wall where you are wanting to run wire. Just make sure there is nothing below that will get drilled through like wires. This small pilot hole will be unnoticable when done. I ran speaker cable in my walls and it would have been almost impossible without the fish tape. Also, drill your speaker cable hole just big enough for the wire and fish tape to get through. I used a flashlight in the hole so I could see it from the attic.

Wow, this is a old thread. Why didn't you just start a new one?
 
  #11  
Old 12-23-06, 02:35 AM
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you are in violation of the NEC to have the wire in the wall
 
  #12  
Old 12-23-06, 10:22 AM
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I'm pretty sure he is not doing it to meet code. Who does? It's just speaker cable which is unable to carry enough voltage/amps to even do anything. I've had speaker cable in my wall for YEARS and they still holding up like the first day I put them in there.

Also, the NEC says you can't have wire in the wall? All wires supposed to be run accross your carpet?
 
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