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Wire fish: Exterior wall, between floors?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I tried google searching this and unfortunately didn't find much.

My specific question is:

Has anyone drilled through the floor plate (right term?) from the second floor to the first floor in an exterior wall?

I'm trying to run RG6/CAT5e from my attic and have been able to get it down to the second floor room. The ultimate goal is to an outlet on the first floor in the same wall. I started drilling a 3/4" hole and am about 7" through but haven't come out the other side. I still feel pine through the hole though. How thick are these supposed to be?

Also, when I stick a coat hanger in the hole, I can feel fiberglass if I angle the tool right after about 3".

I'm thinking things look like this.


*............*
*............*
*............ <-- hole in drywall where I'm using a flexbit/auger to drill
*............*
*==....===
*==....===
*==.... fiberglass
*=======
*=======
*...........*
*...........* <--- wall i want to get too


*: drywall/sheetrock
=: wood
. : air/insulation

Thanks for any help!!
post #2 of 34
I am quite experienced at this and would be more than happy to help. However, there are a lot of variables. would it be possible for you to post a few pics so I can visualize what you are working with.

Also, whats on the exterior of this wall? Vinyl siding, brick, Etc? Do you have a basement or crawl space? It may be easier to run from a different location and come up from the bottom.
post #3 of 34
I am trying to do the same thing. I want to put a Home Run system/panel in my house and it looks like the only place for it is the attic or possibly the 2nd floor bonus room closet which drops to the garage/kitchen. I haven't found any other common walls. My idea is to drill and then run conduit. Just don't know how to go about. I wired my old house but it was single story/crawlspace. My new house is Crawl/First/second/Attic with bonus over Garage. Any help would be great.
post #4 of 34
Your probably almost there hdtv-md,

I had to drill from my first floor up to the second floor to run some cat5 and component cable to bedroom tv. Do you know what size joists you have likely 2x8's. If that's the case your looking at 7.5" then add 1.5" for the bottom plate and the top plate of each of the walls that your passing through. So your probably looking at a good 10.5" to get through. If you have an exposed basement go see the joist size your dealing with and you'll have a more definate idea.

If you haven't popped out through exterior and are still going down you should be on the right track. FYI that last inch is always the toughest. Good luck.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

Your probably almost there hdtv-md,

I had to drill from my first floor up to the second floor to run some cat5 and component cable to bedroom tv. Do you know what size joists you have likely 2x8's. If that's the case your looking at 7.5" then add 1.5" for the bottom plate and the top plate of each of the walls that your passing through. So your probably looking at a good 10.5" to get through. If you have an exposed basement go see the joist size your dealing with and you'll have a more definate idea.

If you haven't popped out through exterior and are still going down you should be on the right track. FYI that last inch is always the toughest. Good luck.

Uhhh... are you suggesting he drill completely through a joist...?
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Uhhh... are you suggesting he drill completely through a joist...?

Sounds like it.

hdtv, you should not do this. Drilling a hole all the way through the joist vertically completely destroys the integrity of the joist. Not to mention that it's much easier to simply drill through the floor right next to the joist.
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Uhhh... are you suggesting he drill completely through a joist...?

Acckkk....
post #8 of 34
There should be 2 joists running parallel on that wall. If he started drilling right in the middle (which he had already started) of the bottom plate he hopefully would end up in between the 2 joists. If you dont want to go straight up or down, you can remove sheetrock from ceiling below come up at an angle into the joist area, and then go back at an angle into the wall cavity.
post #9 of 34
if the exterior is vinyl siding, then the easiest path may very well be out through sheething, then down the outside of the house under the vinyl siding, then back in through the sheething on first floor. Biggest trick with this is popping out the siding so you don't drill through it.

In my house, I have my "head end" in the basement under the stairs, and needed to connect to OTA antenna in attic. I ran a 1 1/2 inch conduit down the chase next to the water heater flue (far enough away to avoid heat - and flue is double wall)

also, joists holding up first floor and second floor may very well not be the same. My home has I-beam style joists for first floor (easily seen from basement) while the second floor has truss style joists (which are definitely "taller") - figured this out while running the above described conduit.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm going to have to rethink this. I didn't punch through the floor plate completely. I like omen's idea of going at an angle. Hmm... Wish I had x-ray vision.

My exterior is stucco.
post #11 of 34
There are a lot of variables, as well as a lot of ways to accomplish the same task. Drilling straight down through the joist would be far down on the list for me. You never stated what was below the 1st floor. I have found that even though it is a longer run it is usually easier to get a a wire from the attic to the basement via a chase like AC ducting (not in the duct but in the cavity) or gas lines, Etc. You could even come down through a closet. At that point you can come up from the bottom in whatever wall you choose. If you have a slab or a finished basement it becomes more difficult though.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Miraculously, I just found some to scale blueprints of the place (too bad it was after I started drilling the exterior floor plate -- it seems they used 2 x 10's).

Thanks for all the help.

It seems that the consensus is to NOT fish wire between floors through an EXTERIOR wall.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
All right, so I found an interior wall common to the first and second floor.

After drilling about 4", my bit has hit metal! I moved over a couple of inches and drilled again. Still metal.

Anyone have any ideas?

Is it common for metal to be between the first and second floor plates?
post #14 of 34
I understand what the poster is trying to do, but I'd consider trying to use the plenums for moving between floors rather than drilling through the joist. I used the plenum to go from the attic to my basement without any problems. (It was really easy infact)
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtv_md View Post

All right, so I found an interior wall common to the first and second floor.

After drilling about 4", my bit has hit metal! I moved over a couple of inches and drilled again. Still metal.

Anyone have any ideas?

Is it common for metal to be between the first and second floor plates?


I hate to tell you this, but you probably just hit a ventilation duct. Most likely a supply run. Look around in line with where you are drilling and look for an A/C vent.

Also, I hope you haven't covered up your previous drill hole in the exterior wall, you need to fill the hole you drilled with some fire retardant sealant, such as a fire retardant caulk. This will prevent any flames inside your walls from having easy access from the first floor to the second. It may be a small hole you drilled, but it's always good to keep the fire blocking intact.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
D'oh!

I didn't feel the drill punch through though the metal. If it was ventilation, wouldn't it have gone right through since ventilation material is thin?

What filler do you suggest I use?

Yeah... I'm tempted to go with plenum. Right now, there is a Cold Air Return that leads from the attic to the garage. I was planning (hoping?!) to run it along side.

This is sooo much work :P
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtv_md View Post

D'oh!

I didn't feel the drill punch through though the metal. If it was ventilation, wouldn't it have gone right through since ventilation material is thin?

What filler do you suggest I use?

Yeah... I'm tempted to go with plenum. Right now, there is a Cold Air Return that leads from the attic to the garage. I was planning (hoping?!) to run it along side.

This is sooo much work :P

following the return is probably a good idea. My theory when retroing wires has always been to follow whatever I can. If someone else has already installed something there, then you know its possible. Damn I wish someone would invent x-ray glasses
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtv_md View Post

D'oh!

I didn't feel the drill punch through though the metal. If it was ventilation, wouldn't it have gone right through since ventilation material is thin?

What filler do you suggest I use?

Yeah... I'm tempted to go with plenum. Right now, there is a Cold Air Return that leads from the attic to the garage. I was planning (hoping?!) to run it along side.

This is sooo much work :P

Just go to the home store and look for a caulk that is fireproof, should be with the rest of the caulk's
post #19 of 34
OMG.

slow down man, before you really mess up.


1st. For all the time you've wasted so far, it is probably easiest to remove some sheetrock if you really want this done.....you will have to repaint the whole wall, but if you do (with a very large nap roller) you will never know.


2nd. The metal you hit is there for a reason. If it was a nail, the bit would have most likley handled it. If it is a duct (extremely unlikely) the you've made it! It is more likely to me a strike plate for plumbing or electricity that is there to prevent someone from drilling through.

3rd. What kind of flooring on 2nd floor....if carpet, just pull it up and pry up or unscrew the subfloor...drill your holes at a angle, call it a day.
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
THANKS to everyone here.

I think I probably hit a brace or a nail plate.

Anyway, I drilled the stud next to the Cold Air Return and ran all my cabling next to the return. Had to go into the garage, but it was much, much easier than spending hours trying to drill in different places.

Now I need to patch my "work". Time to goto the dry wall forum (and the crown molding forum... after my 3/4"versabit went straight through molding...)
post #21 of 34
caulk/spackle is your friend and remember, most surfaces in a house are veiwed from many feet away......
post #22 of 34
We learn by making mistakes. I have done hundreds of incredibly difficult (near amazing) wire retros. With that being said I have made some serious mistakes along the way. I have hit hidden water and electrical lines. I have drilled through siding sheet rock and once, I even drilled through a roof. I have also missed a wall completely when drilling up from a crawl space and I came up through a brand new hardwood floor with a 3/4" spade bit! But I have learned from every mistake I have made and no longer make them (usually). My point is, sure maybe there may have been a faster/easier/better way for you to run those wires, but hopefully you learned from this experience. You'll also get to learn/hone your skills at repairing mistakes! I am now a master of fixing just about anything. I say congratulations on your DIY project!
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
One last FINAL question (thanks for putting up with me!)

I have all the wires coiled in the basement... I was going to route them today, but then it started raining!!! Any adverse effects with water and some cable? I don't think my crawl space is flooded, but it's probably a little damp.

I hope the wires are ok in a little water until I can get down there...
post #24 of 34
Im sure they are fine. I cant imagine that much water getting into your crawl space. (If there is, you have bigger problems) when you get a chance to get back down there, just make sure they get neatly tacked up to the floor joists. If by some chance they did get wet, just dry them off. The only problem I could foresee, is if some moisture got into the terminations at the ends. If that happened I would probably recommend re terminating them.
post #25 of 34
Just cut enough of the ends off if they got wet. Otherwise it should be fine.
post #26 of 34
Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I am struggling. Here's a breakdown of what's going on:

Had satellite installed in a house where the previous owner had cable. Somewhere in a finished wall/ceiling, a splitter was installed and thus the satellite signal won't reach those locations (basement). Satellite service comes into the house in the attic, and I need to run some cable from the attic through the second floor, first floor and finally into the basement (completely finished). Also note that this is an exterior wall eek.gif I have managed to get the cable from the attic through the second floor and down to the first floor. This is where I got stuck. When drilling the floor plate with a right-angle drill attachment, I get through roughly 4" of wood and then there is a small gap before what looks to me like more wood. When I try to drill into that and reach the basement stud cavity, it sounds like the bit has hit metal (see photos). Can anyone clue me in to what this may be?

Thanks a million in advance...



post #27 of 34
looks like the trigger mechanism for a thermonuclear weapon. Actually I don't see anything that looks familiar and when in doubt don't mess with it. If the basement is finished I would cut a small hole in the basement ceiling in that exact location and look up at that area for a clue, bottom line is you are going to need to find another path.
post #28 of 34
Thanks for the quick reply. I actually had already opened up the top of the wall in the basement to help out with the insulation-fish tape pull. Just looks like normal framing from underneath.
post #29 of 34
I think I've figured out what my problem is. The basement exterior is brick (cinder block underneath) and the 1st and 2nd floors have siding. I'm thinking that the difference in thickness for the brick/cinder block on the basement causes its wall to be farther in than that of the 1st floor. I measured from my stairs to each wall. The basement is about 25'-2" and the 1st floor is about 25'-9". I must be trying to drill into the cinder block...? So now I'm left with a wall fish through two floors for naught. I guess it's back to the drawing board to find another route mad.gif
post #30 of 34
look for a vent,or drain stack that goes from the basement through the roof and you might be able to snake along the side of it.
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