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Question about Fishing Wires

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a 2 story condo and an attic above the second story. That is where all my coax cable runs reside. My question is.... Can I use a fish tape and run cat6 down the same lines the coax is run and have cat6 right next to the coax without having to cut in to the walls?

You would think with 1 wireless router i could have full great coverage. Not the case. the 2 coax runs in the house are just not placed well for it to reach all the spots.

Mods: if this is the wrong place can you please move my thread. Sorry
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
For reference here is the layout.

post #3 of 18
Well, there is nothing against code or unsafe about doing it. Whether you can do it is another question. The holes in the top and bottom plates of the walls would have to be big enough. Hitting a tiny hole from 8' away won't be easy if you want to get to the first floor. You can use the existing coax as a pull cord if it wasn't tacked down, but it should be. Exterior walls will have insulation, and likely fire blocks, which will complicate matters.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah I know there is insulation for sure. I figured if I used the coax line and the fishtape right next to it that i should be able to make it a straight shot down. Is that more fantasy than reality? I thought i could run the fishtape all the way through then put the cat6 cable on it and then reel it back up. I guess it would depend on the holes they drilled through the 2x4's?
post #5 of 18
I seriously doubt you'll have any luck with this. If I were to guess, I'd think an electrician ran the coax cable when the condo was being built. They're supposed to have the cable fastened somehow to a stud from floor to ceiling, so I'd guess that the electrician fastened the coax with Romex staples. Your best shot would be cutting the coax in question in the attic, then using it to pull the Cat6 down, along with a pull string so you could pull the original coax back up. However, that almost never works with a wire that was fastened to a stud during original construction.

Another thought....surely you could get a better wireless router. Your condo doesn't look very big. We get solid coverage in 3-4000 sf. homes with one router all the time.
post #6 of 18
If you have an outlet on the first floor that lines up with one on the second, you might be able to fish from the attic to the second floor outlet and then fish again from the second to the first. Take the plate off on the second floor and see if you can find the wire going to the first floor.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I tried it tonight. I found 1 of the wires pretty easy and it was a 10ft drop. they didnt fasten the coax cable because I can yank on the cable until it gets tight on the other end. I tried the nylon fishtape I borrowed but it seems when the fishtape is unravling that it spirals in the same pattern the fishtape is in. Is there a way to straighten the fishtape? Should I try taping the hell out of the cat6 cable to the fishtape to drop down?

Problem is i dropped about 15' of the fishtape and the guy on the receiving end never saw it or could reach in with his hand and grab it. My guess is there is a cross beam that the fishtape hits and since I am not doing a straight shot with the fishtape spiraling it cannot get past it. Then again thats to say the original hole (if there is a cross beam) was a straight shot down. The second run I notice goes right from the attic to the bedroom from the ceiling so that should be easy.

So far I could not locate the run to the first floor, I didnt look too hard yet as I assume it will be the hardest run.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

I seriously doubt you'll have any luck with this. If I were to guess, I'd think an electrician ran the coax cable when the condo was being built. They're supposed to have the cable fastened somehow to a stud from floor to ceiling, so I'd guess that the electrician fastened the coax with Romex staples. Your best shot would be cutting the coax in question in the attic, then using it to pull the Cat6 down, along with a pull string so you could pull the original coax back up. However, that almost never works with a wire that was fastened to a stud during original construction.
Another thought....surely you could get a better wireless router. Your condo doesn't look very big. We get solid coverage in 3-4000 sf. homes with one router all the time.
It should however I get reception everywhere it just drops out. The router is in 1 corner of the house on the 2nd floor where it says 11ft on the drawing and the 14ft part of the wall on the first floor drops connection all the time and the bars drop to 1 bar. It was a 250 dollar linksys router. model is wrt610n.

I think there is just a lot of interference coming from somewhere causing it to drop out. That or just all the damn insolation in the walls.
post #9 of 18
The only way to do this without spending hours and likely NEVER getting throigh was suggested above. Disconnect the coax and tape a strong pull string and the CAT6 tightly in a straight line and pull the coax down from the floor below while someone keeps a slight tension on the string and CAT5 cable. Then after you have the end of the CAt5 , unwrap the coax and string and pull the string back up with the coax. suggest removing the coax connectors first as electriicans rarely drill over sized holes for COm/coax lines.

Another easy way to get a fish down inside a wall is to not use an actual fish tape, but rather use a 12 ft length of ball chain (bath tub drain plug chain). This is available in bulk from HD/ Lowe's etc and it is steel so it is easy to retreive using a magnet. Be sure to fasten something arge to one end so it cannot fall into the wall. Use a small fishing wieght on the free end so gravity pulls it down inside the wall/It is easy to see and hook with a coat hanger or a magnet.
post #10 of 18
I would use fiberglass fish stix/rods, instead of the tape.

And, as somewhat suggested by someone else, cut a hole in the 2nd floor wall, at outlet height, to turn it into 2 runs - attic to second floor, and 2nd floor to first floor. Cover it with a blank plate, or install a keystone LAN jack there.
post #11 of 18
Yeah I bought a tape for fishing some wires behind my fireplace. I really wish I had bought the fishsticks also/instead rolleyes.gif
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

Yeah I bought a tape for fishing some wires behind my fireplace. I really wish I had bought the fishsticks also/instead rolleyes.gif

You can get fish sticks today at either of the major big-box home improvement stores, or for about half their price at Harbor Freight.

I can tell you for sure that it is possible to loose any of them in the wrong floor or wall. If you buy the cheap ones, you cry less!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You can get fish sticks today at either of the major big-box home improvement stores, or for about half their price at Harbor Freight.
I can tell you for sure that it is possible to loose any of them in the wrong floor or wall. If you buy the cheap ones, you cry less!
Or if you buy the Harbor Freight ones you cry more. Cheap ones splinter like nobodies business and boy do those shards hurt...Not to mention trying to pull them out! eek.gif
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You can get fish sticks today at either of the major big-box home improvement stores, or for about half their price at Harbor Freight.
I can tell you for sure that it is possible to loose any of them in the wrong floor or wall. If you buy the cheap ones, you cry less!
Or if you buy the Harbor Freight ones you cry more. Cheap ones splinter like nobodies business and boy do those shards hurt...Not to mention trying to pull them out! eek.gif

I cannot imagine abusing fish sticks so badly that they splinter.

I've lost a few by dropping them into inaccessible places, but that is it.
post #15 of 18
You could also setup a second router and link the two. If you can see your router from the problem location with your iphone or other wireless, then a second router can easily link to it with its much better antennas.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Or if you buy the Harbor Freight ones you cry more. Cheap ones splinter like nobodies business and boy do those shards hurt...Not to mention trying to pull them out! eek.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I cannot imagine abusing fish sticks so badly that they splinter.
I've lost a few by dropping them into inaccessible places, but that is it.
Then you either lack imagination or experience. Believe me when I say cheap fiberglass rods have splinters. And that they do hurt when they get under your skin. If you plan on only using them once or twice or losing them in the wall then Harbor Freight is OK. But get some good gloves.
post #17 of 18
I've had enough fiberglass splinters in my fingers to agree with the statement. It happens when the fiberglass rod runs against the wood for a period of time. Bending the fiberglass rod seems to increase the opportunity for splinters.

However those were still very helpful in situations where loose wires were in the wall and you needed to get another wire past those without hanging-up. Kind of a push the wire motion when gravity wasn't enough force.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

I've had enough fiberglass splinters in my fingers to agree with the statement. It happens when the fiberglass rod runs against the wood for a period of time. Bending the fiberglass rod seems to increase the opportunity for splinters.
However those were still very helpful in situations where loose wires were in the wall and you needed to get another wire past those without hanging-up. Kind of a push the wire motion when gravity wasn't enough force.
Oh yeah, rods are great. Just be wary of cheap ones. Especially if you'll use them a lot or in tight spots like going into a wall header in a short attic space.
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