16 GA or 14 GA for new construction. - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 06-13-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
avichayil's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi all. I am building a new townhome and the builder specified 16 gauge wiring for the pre-wired 7.1 in the living room. I was quoted $225 to upgrade the wiring to 12 gauge and am looking on opinions if it makes sense. I will be able to run my own wires outside the walls for the front 3, which would be significantly cheaper, so this would only really effect the back 4 permanently (other than potentially unsightly wires for the front 3). Unfortunately I cannot provide my own wires pre-build.
avichayil is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 Old 06-13-2012, 11:53 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
ccotenj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: the toxic waste dumps of new jersey
Posts: 21,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 89
^^^

$225??? eek.gif how long are the runs, a mile? you can buy an awful lot of 12 gauge for $225...

if it was me (and it's not), i'd tell him to pound sand, just as a matter of principle... i hate getting nickle and dimed...

and then if i needed to, use the 16 gauge he runs to pull a thicker gauge....

how long are the runs to the termination point?

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

ccotenj is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 06-13-2012, 12:45 PM
Member
 
mark1280's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Rockford, IL
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by avichayil View Post

Hi all. I am building a new townhome and the builder specified 16 gauge wiring for the pre-wired 7.1 in the living room. I was quoted $225 to upgrade the wiring to 12 gauge and am looking on opinions if it makes sense. I will be able to run my own wires outside the walls for the front 3, which would be significantly cheaper, so this would only really effect the back 4 permanently (other than potentially unsightly wires for the front 3). Unfortunately I cannot provide my own wires pre-build.

As Chris said, you can buy a lot of 12ga speaker for that price, however I can see your problem. I built my home a few years ago and my builder was similar to yours in that they would not let me run my own wires pre-build and anything I purchased through them was way over priced. At the time I decided to not have the builder run the wires and just opted to do it myself later on. I made sure I video taped the entire house before they put the drywall up so I could use the video as a reference later on. Glad I did because I have used it a handful of times installing lighting and stuff.

Fast-forward to last weekend when I ran all of my in wall speaker wires. On one hand it would have just been easier to have the builder run all of the wires and on the other I did save a lot of money. I purchased a 100' spool of 16ga for $18 shipped from Monoprice. I think 12ga was only a little more. The only down side is it took my Dad and I a little over 3 hours, but that is because I have vaulted ceilings and had to run one side through the basement.

If you are pretty handy, I say save some money and do it your self assuming you can access the space above your living room easily. If not then it may be worth the extra money to have them do it. However, I think 16ga will be fine over the 12ga as long as the runs are not over 50' at least you will save $225

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share my experience since I was in a similar situation.

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

Mark
mark1280 is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 06-13-2012, 01:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
KidHorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Derwood, Maryland
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 198 Post(s)
Liked: 210
The only justification for the higher cost is he may have to resubmit permits. I would offer to give them the 12 gauge wire for free if they'll install it. Not having to buy wire may be enough to entice them.

If the runs will be under 50', I would just keep the 16 gauge. Otherwise, I would pay the $225. It will be worth it if you end up trying to run your own with drywall already in place. I just had a 24'x16' room addition added and I ran my own speaker wires. What I did would basically be impossible with drywall, duct work and insulation in place. I would have had to make several cuts in the drywall and not having to do it for $225 would have been a bargain. Using the 16 gauge wire to pull the 12 gauge probably wouldn't have worked. There are way too many places for it to catch.
KidHorn is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 06-13-2012, 04:23 PM
Member
 
joshua.jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

Using the 16 gauge wire to pull the 12 gauge probably wouldn't have worked.
Oh, it works. And, it's a lot easier than you think.
Just use a little extra on the ends.
I tied 2 strands together with about 6 inches of overlap then taped them up with 1 piece of duct tape along the overlap.
All I had to do then is pull. Easy.
When I was stationed overseas, I once used Cat-5 (that was installed throughout the house for television) to pull coaxial cable.
That took a little more coaxing.
joshua.jones is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 06-13-2012, 06:18 PM
Member
 
Geoff_L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshua.jones View Post

Oh, it works. And, it's a lot easier than you think.
Just use a little extra on the ends.
I tied 2 strands together with about 6 inches of overlap then taped them up with 1 piece of duct tape along the overlap.
All I had to do then is pull. Easy.
When I was stationed overseas, I once used Cat-5 (that was installed throughout the house for television) to pull coaxial cable.
That took a little more coaxing.

Depends if the original wire is loose in the walls/ceiling or stapled down in spots. If it is stapled down (which is likely) then you will not be able to pull new wire with the existing wire.
Geoff_L is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 06:10 AM
AVS Special Member
 
KidHorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Derwood, Maryland
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 198 Post(s)
Liked: 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshua.jones View Post

Oh, it works. And, it's a lot easier than you think.
Just use a little extra on the ends.
I tied 2 strands together with about 6 inches of overlap then taped them up with 1 piece of duct tape along the overlap.
All I had to do then is pull. Easy.
When I was stationed overseas, I once used Cat-5 (that was installed throughout the house for television) to pull coaxial cable.
That took a little more coaxing.

Every situation is different. I wouldn't assume you can do this unless you see first hand how the wiring is done. The builder is primarily concerned with passing inspection and not concerned with using the wire to pull another wire. Passing inspection means bunching wires and stapling them to joists and/or studs. Same as would be done with electrical wiring.

Make sure the wiring has the low voltage and high voltage separated by 2" or more and where they have to cross, cross at 90 degrees.
KidHorn is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 09:38 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
AV Science Sales 5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: A beautiful view of a lake
Posts: 7,742
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 373 Post(s)
Liked: 418
I agree that the 12ga price of $225 looks high, but the more than double cost of the wire is not what it costs the contractor. Part of the cost is probably because they will buy a spool and only use part of it. I was a contractor for many years. On a small change order like that the contractor is not going to make much if any money. Often times, I would have been ahead to just give it to the customer, because if the customer pays the true cost, he is not going to be happy and a change order of that size was not really a money maker for me either. The contractor has to go through and estimate the additional amount of wire needed. Then he has to order the wire. Then he has to go down and pick up the extra spool and transport to the job site. Then the contractor has to write up the change order and bill accordingly.

Mike Garrett, AV Science Sales Call Me: 585-671-2968
Email Me:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Brands we sell: 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
 
Call for B-stock projectors
Stewart, Seymour, SE, SI, Falcon & many more.
RBH, Martin Logan, Triad, Atlantic Technology, MK Sound, BG Radia, SVS & Def Tech.
AV Science Sales 5 is online now  
post #9 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 10:05 AM
AVS Special Member
 
chashint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 39
If the wire is installed per code (which it almost certainly will be) it will be stapled to the studs, so using the original #16 to pull your own #12 is probably not going to work.
I never lived in a townhome so I don't know what kind of restrictions there will be on doing things like running additional wires through the walls.
Probably worth checking before doing something on your own that could negate your home owners insurance on some technicality.
In a townhome situation you are not going to be able to blast the stereo anyway so the #16 wire should never be an issue, I would terminate it with a face plate with terminals so the wire in the wall is never physically stressed by connecting/disconnecting speakers and it will last forever. Or as long as it takes the Chinese insulation to corrode the copper.
Even though $225 sounds high just to go to #12 when put into the context of the price of the townhome its peanuts.
If you really want the #12 just pay the $225 and have it installed along with the rest of the original construction.



edited to fix techanicality

Regards,
Charlie

chashint is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 04:40 PM
Member
 
joshua.jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
While I would agree that paying the $225 would not be a bad decision for the installation, the quote seems to be for just the upgrade to #12 from the #16 so I assume that nothing has been installed yet.
$225 extra seems way too excessive of a charge just to get a better cable.
joshua.jones is offline  
post #11 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 06:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chashint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 39
No doubt it is a gouge.

Regards,
Charlie

chashint is offline  
post #12 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 02:58 PM
Senior Member
 
Pet Motel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: DeKalb, IL.
Posts: 471
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 63
Another option would be to run conduit (plastic "smurf tube" would work) to receptacle boxes without any wire, and run whatever you wish when the time comes.

Jay

Heavily addicted SACDBA member, starting the twelve steps tomorrow!
Jay
Pet Motel is offline  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off