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Speaker wire in electric wire stud holes?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am about to run my speaker wire through my dedicated room. Rather than ask in my own thread, I figure this question could be of help to many.

Is it fine to run the speaker wire through the holes in the studs I cut for the electric wire? The speaker wire will, obviuosly, be running both parallel to and adjacent to the electric wire. I know this is frowned upon in the computer networking world, but will it mess with (enough to be noticable) my audio?

The electric wiring is only for outlets in the room. The only time power will ever be going through these outlets if when someone uses the power recliner motor or if the wife is watching TV and turns on the small light I will setup next to where she sits (so she can knit).

My gut instinct is that it should not be a problem at all...and I do not really want to cut another several dozen holes in my studs.
post #2 of 7
From my physics classes, wires with a current will create an electric field around the wire. This dissapates rapidly with distance. I believe that this electric field is one of the causes of hums in speakers.

In my theater, I drilled extra holes in the studs a distance away from the electric wires for the speaker runs. I also crossed every electrical wire at the greatest distance possible, and did so at a perpendicular angle (to cut down on the potential for hums).
post #3 of 7
It won't cause any hum problems as long as the speaker are passive and don't have amplifiers built in such as subwoofers. A basic speaker has no electrical gain and therefore cannot amplify the very weak induced electrical field from a power cable running next to a speaker cable.

However this is most likely a code violation as you are mixing high and low voltage in a confined area.

Just drill another hole a few inches above or below the power cable. A new sharp spade drill bit is about $2 at any homecenter. Don't worry about weakening the stud. Another 3/4in hole is not going to make any structural difference and is allowed by code.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ah, did not think about high and low voltage cables being run together.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Is it fine to run the speaker wire through the holes in the studs I cut for the electric wire?

No, it is prohibited by NEC. It is basically the same issue as running the two kinds of wires in the same conduit, or the same j-box, without an approved divider.
Quote:


My gut instinct is that it should not be a problem at all...

Just goes to show you what gut instinct is worth sometimes.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Just goes to show you what gut instinct is worth sometimes.

My gut instinct says there would be no problem with causing audio problems, which is what I was talking about. That gut instinct was apparently correct in the way I was using it.


725.136(A) is what forbids it? Even if the low voltage insulation is rated for high voltage? The 300s imply this is ok then.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

My gut instinct says there would be no problem with causing audio problems, which is what I was talking about. That gut instinct was apparently correct in the way I was using it.


725.136(A) is what forbids it? Even if the low voltage insulation is rated for high voltage? The 300s imply this is ok then.

Induced noise can act very strangely. I once had a system where a long run of parallel speaker wire induced noise back into the amplifier which then showed up as hum in the OTHER channel (way back in stereo days).

Besides, the code issue makes the whole discussion moot.
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