Running RG6 wire through cold air return


Old 11-04-14, 02:30 PM
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Running RG6 wire through cold air return

Hopefully this is the correct forum to ask this.

I am wanting to install an antenna and I want run RG6 from the basement up to the attic. The easiest way to do this it seems is to use a cold air return.

I was wondering if anyone has done this or if there is anything wrong with doing this. While I would never run an electric line through the return, I am not seeing any issues with an antenna wire (RG6).

My only concern might be I could hear the wire hit the side of the wall when air was going thru it.

If there are better ways to run a wire, let me know. I'd rather not run it on the outside of my house.

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Old 11-04-14, 08:34 PM
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Generally no, you may not run any electrical cable through a duct. There ARE some instances where you can run a cable across a duct. The issue has nothing to do with either the voltage or the power carried by the wire, it is because in case of a fire the insulation on the cable may give off toxic fumes. For this reason ONLY cable that is rated for use in "plenums" is allowable.

I'm pretty sure that they DO make plenum rated RG-6 coax but it will have a higher cost.
Old 11-04-14, 08:55 PM
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What type of house do you have ?

Sometimes you can follow the chimney, a vent stack or even next to your return duct instead of thru it. If you have an open basement.... you can usually find a way up.
Old 11-05-14, 05:03 AM
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An example part number for plenum-rated RG6/u is West Penn's 25841.
Old 11-05-14, 10:22 PM
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Generally speaking ... most jurisdictions will not allow any type of wire traveling in a duct. Plenum wire is usually only allowed in "open" plenums .... not in ducts. Of course the way to find out in your area is to call the local building department or fire marshal.

As an alternative....

If your home is a one story home and you have an open ceiling in your basement, you can run a wire up to the attic through a closet. Or .... with an open ceiling in the basement and a two story home, see if you can locate a closet on the first floor that is located under a closet on the second floor .... and then to the attic. As mentioned sometimes you can run a wire along side of the duct or chimney or the plumbing vent pipe, if it is an older home.

There are other methods of making wire runs between floors but they require flexible drill bits, knowledge of the type of house construction that you have and some expertise in running wires in after market frame built homes.

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