thermostat wire for in ceiling speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-05-2012, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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We just went through a renovation and trusted our electrician to install the correct wiring for our in ceiling speakers.
Just now I checked out the wires closely and they say: Steren (R) 18/4 AWG CU Thermostat E222992 c(UL) CL2 731271.
It makes me suspicious that I wanted speaker wires and got thermostat wires.
Can anyone educate me, if these wires work at all or if there are any major quality issues regarding the sound with those?
Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-05-2012, 03:01 PM
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Wire is pretty much wire. That said, it's generally preferred to use heavier than 18 gauge for speakers. Did he run the 4 conductor cable to each location? If so you could double up by using 2 conductors together for each of the speaker wires, making the wire equivalent to 14 gauge.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-06-2012, 08:27 AM
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I'd call him out on it. Unless you didn't give him much guidance, that's a pretty stupid mistake. biggrin.gif

I agree it'll *probably* work, though
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-06-2012, 08:38 AM
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it will work but sound quality might be seriously compromised

it depends what size speakers and amplifier you have: you will be limited by use of undersized wire: if it is an in wall speaker in a bathroom it might be OK: if they are outdoor speakers by the pool: it will never be right

this is a major mistake by a guy who should know better

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-06-2012, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

...this is a major mistake by a guy who should know better
Assuming an electrician knows anything about the requirements for a speaker system is asking for trouble. If you specify what you want and don't get it, that is one thing. If you don't specify what you want, you get what you get. Seems OP got what he specified: speaker wires. 18 AWG is apparently what the electrician is used to using. Sounds like typical tract home speaker pre-wire to me.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-06-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Did he run the 4 conductor cable to each location?
OP said he ran 18/4.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-06-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmann View Post

Can anyone educate me, if these wires work at all or if there are any major quality issues regarding the sound with those?
The wire is fine for what it is. It is rated CL2 (same as most in-wall speaker cables) which means it is adequate for class 2 circuits, which most speaker cables are. The only noticeable difference may be it is solid wire. Speaker cable is usually stranded. But it really makes no difference for in-wall wire. Stranded wire is better for something that is repeatedly flexed. I doubt you wil be repeatedly flexing your in-wall wire. According to the table on Roger Russels's site. 18 AWG is adequate for a 8 ohm load up to about 32 feet. Double up strands of the 18/4 and it is fine for about double the distance. If the speakers are lower impedance, the distances are reduced.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-07-2012, 05:41 PM
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The thermostat wire will work, but unfortunately your electrician did not
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmann View Post

install the correct wiring for our in ceiling speakers.
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