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Wiring Home > How to run wires in your home
How to fish wires in the walls of your home.
How to address this subject just leaves my mind whirling with past experiences of fishing wires in houses, and the large number of circumstances that I have seen arise when attempting to fish a cable from point A to point B. I will say upfront that it would be impossible to cover every situation.
The first thing you need to consider when fishing wires in your home is how your home is constructed. It would be impossible for me to cover all the different types of construction, and it is impossible for you to know exactly what is in your walls or ceiling.
The best you can do is to familiarize yourself with the type or construction that was used to build your house, and run with it. There may still be some little surprises but you will just need to deal with them if the arise.
Having said that, most walls are very similar to each other with only minor differences, but you may find big differences between walls in an old house and walls in a new house. It tends to be easier to fish a cable in a newer house than it is in an old house. Some old houses have horizontal stud in the middle of the normally open space that resides between studs, which if you need to fish from top to bottom makes thing very difficult.
There are times when you will have no choice but to make holes that you will need to patch when you are done, but that is always a last resort.
Let’s go Fish a wall.
The first thing you need to determine is your accessibility to the area in which you need to fish the cable. So get your flashlight and measuring tape out and let’s get a game plan together. Inspect the area and go through the process below.
1) Do you have access either above or below the wall you intend to fish? You need to have access from either a basement that doses not have a drywall ceiling, or an attic.
2) Can you locate the exact location you need to fish? If the area is carpeted you can pull back the carpet a little and drill a small hole into the basement to easily find the location. You can do the same if your coming from the attic but you will need to patch the hole after your done.
3) Is there enough room to fit a drill into the area to drill into the wall? If not you may need an angle drill or a change in location.
4) Next use a stud finder to locate all the studs and identify the open space in the wall. This works best if you have a wall made of drywall. I have found that a stud finder is unreliable in old plaster lath walls.
5) Now assuming you are still with me at this point, drill a hole from either the basement or attic into the open space of the wall.
6) Insert a
or a slim rod into the wall to insure the space you intend to fish is indeed open.
7) If the space is open than cut in the hole for the device you are going to fish the cable too.
8) Insert a fish tape into the hole you drilled and use a small piece of fish tape with a hook on the end to find the fish tape you put inside the wall.
9) Next attach the cable to the fish tape and pull it through the wall. It usually helps to have two people when doing this.
Now you can install your device and run your cable to the end location.
Running Wires in your Basement
When running electrical cables through an unfinished basement area the National Electrical Code requires that you drill holes through the floor joist not less than 1.25 inches from the edge of the wood to run your cable if your cable is less than 6g in size. In areas where wiring is running parallel to framing members the cable must be supported and not less than 1.25 inches from the edge of the wood.
Fishing through a ceiling.
If you have attic access above the ceiling this should be self explanatory. If you don’t have attic access above the ceiling than your work is cut out for you. If you want a nice clean installation some patching will be required.
1) As with the wall you will need to start the inspection process to find a suitable wall that lines up with your location and aligns with the direction that your floor joist runs.
2) Once you did your homework and you have the plan your will need to follow the process above and make sure you can fish the wall. Once this is established you will need to drill a hole from where that wall meets the ceiling to get up into the ceiling space.
3) Next cut in your hole for the device.
4) Now you are ready to fish the cable, fish it up the wall and than across the ceiling.
5) Install your device.
6) Patch the holes you made where the wall meets the ceiling.
If you don’t like to patch and don’t mind wiremold you can run wiremold up the wall to meet the ceiling and than fish across the ceiling. Or if you are lucky enough to have a closet that lines up with your device location you can use it to conceal your patches or wiremold.
Don't miss this home wiring fish tape tip.
If you still have questions on this topic you can ask them in our forum, I will do my best to answer them for you.
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