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-   -   Running in-wall speaker wiring during construction. (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-dedicated-theater-design-construction/1439544-running-wall-speaker-wiring-during-construction.html)

tgjr 11-16-2012 11:14 AM

I have been asked by a good friend to help make his bonus room upstairs into a theater. This is new construction and they are still in the process of framing. The room is 22' x 14' with the back third of the ceiling being sloped with the roof. I know a bit about the electronics side of what needs to be done but the construction side of it is foreign to me. I know the codes on low voltage are fairly slack but what I'm not sure of is how strict they are on where you can drill holes and attach wiring and where you can't. A majority of the 7.1 wiring, including the HDMI cable, will run to the attic and then to their respective locations. Can I just drill a large hole in the top of the wall behind the entertainment cabinet to bring all the cables to the attic? How would you recommend fastening the cables while making the runs?

These are probably very amateur questions but I just want to make sure it is done right and doesn't cause any problems with the builder and/or inspector.

J_P_A 11-16-2012 11:27 AM

I found our local building inspector to be extremely helpful during the construction of our home. If I had questions that I wasn't convinced I got the right answer from the builder or sub, I called the inspector. They were always willing to provide the answers that THEY wanted to see installed.

So, back to your question, IIRC there is a 60/40 rule that says you can bore 60% of a doubled stud or 40% of a single stud. I think the intent of that is for vertical members, but it is probably a good guide for the plates as well. I "think" you can actually cut an entire section of the plate out if it is strapped appropriately, but I would just stick with the 2" hole (60% of 3.5"). Again, I would check with your builder or inspector first.

tgjr 11-16-2012 11:59 AM

I had read about the % of what can be removed from the stud. Just wasn't sure if the recommended way of running the wires is together in fewer larger holes or apart in multiple smaller holes for more direct runs. And what is the best way to fasten groups of wiring to the ceiling joists and wall studs.

J_P_A 11-16-2012 12:12 PM

I think one large vs several small will be a combination of personal preference and what makes sense based on the setup. If all the wires are coming down into one bay and/or are terminating in the same place, then a large hole makes sense. I would also drill a larger hole than you think you need to allow space for that extra wire you will inevitably want to add or forgot about.

As far as securing your wires. I used lots of zip ties. I put an electrical staple in a stud or joist and ran a zip tie through it and secured my wires. If I needed to add wires it's easy enough to add another zip tie around ALL of the wires and cut the first off. Zip ties and staples are cheap, and it's easy to add more wires as you go to keep things up and out of the way. It's not the sexiest of solutions, but it worked for me.

mn_hokie 11-16-2012 12:18 PM

I agree with fastening the zip ties to the staples. I'd also bundle the audio and video cables in two groups. In addition to the code concerns above, one major thing to keep in mind is keeping the wires tight and out of the way of the guys hanging the drywallers, as they will cut anywhere and everywhere to get the job done.

tgjr 11-17-2012 07:20 PM

Thanks for the tips. I'll be stopping by the house this week to check the room out in person. It's just a budget build so nothing too fancy.

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