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Running Cables/Wires through Wall

3074 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  USMCRon
Hi I need to run some power cords, an HDMI cable, and some speaker cables through my wall.

What are the issues with running such cables through the wall? Would it violate fire codes?

And do I need specialized cables to do this?

Thanks guys.
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Is construction complete?

HDMI, and Speaker cables will not violate anything as they are low voltage,

Power Cords... Dont run them.. Have propper insulated electrical wires ran by an electrician or if your a good DIY person

Originally Posted by caunyd /forum/post/0

Would it violate fire codes?

Thanks guys.

Only use cable and wire rated for inwall use. Read:


If you drill a hole in the top plate of a wall that is either an exterior wall or a interior wall covered on both sides with drywall. Fire code would want any excess gap in the holes plugged with a firestop material acceptable to your local building inspectors. There are caulks that are approved for this purpose. In some areas the inspectors will accept it if the gaps are stuffed with tight pack insulation. In other areas inspectors don't care.

And for some DIYers, they just do what they want, avoid any inspections and hope for the best.
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Definitely follow the advice given about in-wall (CL2 or CL3 rated cables). I've just done this and used cables for Video (HDMI, S-VIDEO and COMPONENT) from dvigear and speakers cables from bluejeanscable. For the power I ran the Panamax In-Wall Kit. It's a power inlet (you can make cheaper versions using the Lutron inlet and then a recessed clock behind your plasma or projector and connec the two using Romex.) I actually did this for my Cooling fan. I cannot post links to these products yet as I am a newbie!
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I didn't know that piece of code about walls with drywall on both sides... I have my inspection this afternoon. I shall see what they make of it. I basically followed what the original builder had done for routing ROMEX etc. (the house is only 9 years old, so I thought it should be up to code still... maybe a risky assumption). They actually seem most concerned with the new California Title 24 code... Almost everything has to have either a dimmer on it or a occupancy sensor. Wish me luck!

mhallida, please post pics or links when you can, I'm new to this, and I can't really understand what you're saying about romex and recessed clocks. Also I did an internet search and romex wire seems very expensive, like $300 a meter. Am I looking at the wrong romex brand? Thanks.

Originally Posted by caunyd /forum/post/0

mhallida, please post pics or links when you can, I'm new to this, and I can't really understand what you're saying about romex and recessed clocks. Also I did an internet search and romex wire seems very expensive, like $300 a meter. Am I looking at the wrong romex brand? Thanks.

Romex is a brand name for wire used for indoor wiring.

It is a bit expensive, but $300/meter is a bit stiff.

I think I just bought a "hank" of Romex wire for miscellaneous things for 46 cents a foot.

I'd make sure I wasn't reading that quote quite right.

Looks like it reads "$234.17/M" That's a 1000 feet, NOT 1 meter!!!!!



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Hi, I posted a write up on my thread.... Sorry I didn't see this one I should have been watching the thread. Romex is cheap... Your house is full of it :)
What is the best way to run cables/wires through a wall that is already been built?

My 58px60u will be mounted on the wall and I need to run cables/wires and wires about 4 feet down to the receiver and dvd player. Thanks.
Any more advice on how to run cables through a wall that has already been built? Thanks guys.
Agreed with the power cable stuff. Don't run excess power lines, get an extension from another outlet done by an electrical contractor. I'm going to put a TV in my son's "play room" and I don't want cabling running down the wall, so I'm going to run the satellite cable myself, but I'm going to have a friend (who does electrical stuff on the side) run an offshoot outlet from an existing outlet, but about 3/4 up from the floor.

I worked at a cable company for a while in the IT dept., but learned a few pointers from the installers. Go to a hardware store like HD or Lowe's and invest in a "fishing wire". This looks like a 24" in diameter plastic circle/case, similar to a toilet snake. It's a thin strip of metal with a rounded hook on the end. If you have an attic or basement, ie, direct access to the bottom or top of the wall, fishing is easier. Otherwise, you'll have to cut a hole to run the cable. You can run the fish line up or down, get it through the hole you cut, tape the cable to it (using electrical tape or something strong enough to hold the cable), then "reel" the fish line back, and you've run the cable. I'm going to pick up a fishline in the next few weeks, actually. We're about to finish our basement, so I'm going to start running network cables, speaker cables, etc. downstairs, and I need to run any other cable I want before the basement ceiling gets put in, 'cause I can't get through the floor after that.
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Is this a normal 2x4 wall with drywall on both sides? Are you running directly through, or do you need to move sideways in the wall?

If you are trying to run a power cable through the wall this way, don't do it. Your house will burn down, your insurance company will send a Sherlock Holmes fire investigator who will notice your code violation and they won't pay. I wouldn't risk it. Get an electrician to run a new outlet for you, or run one yourself.

My take for low voltage, *in-wall rated* cable:

If it's directly through an interior wall, then get a stud finder and find a stud. Get two 'old work' junction boxes (ones that can slide into a hole in the drywall and then have little arms that turn out and grip the back of the drywall). Measure how deep they are.

If they are shallow enough that both can fit back to back within your wall, make two holes in the drywall directly across from each other next to the stud. Make the holes just big enough to slide the junction boxes in, but small enough they will be covered by your cover plate.

If the junction boxes are deep enough that they would collide in the wall, offset the hole on one side by 4-5" up or down so that the junction boxes don't collide.

Being right next to the stud is not critical, I just prefer to mount stuff near a stud if I can.

Now, feed your cable through the hole. Feed it through the little holes on the back of the junction boxes on either side. Slide them into the wall and tighten them into place. Add an appropriate cover plate (the ones designed for coax with the round hole in the middle generally work well for speaker cable, etc. You are good to go.

If that doesn't fit what you are looking for, give more data on what you are trying to do.
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That just depends on where you are starting and where you are ending the run. Do you need to run it the length of a wall? Are you starting at the bottom and running to the mid point (height wise) of a wall. If you can describe what you would like to do, I'd be certainly happy to provide some tips.

For example stuff I've done to run low voltage wire before:

- put it behind crown molding I was installing.

- run it being the floor/wall trim.

- run it to the attic and then back down into the another wall.

If you are talking electrical wire, then you need to figure out where you can tap into it, know how to safely splice in (no hidden or sealed connections), and how to run it through wall joists. That usually means poking holes in the wall so that you can drill holes in the joists and run the wire, and then a bunch of patching.

Anyway, a better description of what you want to do (diagrams and photos please) and we'll better be able to help.

edit: x-posted with others. Lot's of good info there.
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Basically you will need the right tools to do the job. Hopefully your attic is not filled with blown fiberglass insulation, but the newer blown denim insulation. That is if you have an attic or crawl space that is.

You might want to have the following:

*Cable fish

*15'-20' of string

*Drill with a 1" spade bit (or 1 1/2 depending on what and how many wires you are running)

*Stud finder (optional. I don't use one)

* a basic knowledge of how walls are put together

Also I would not run drill between any 2 studs that has a power outlet in them. You don't know who wired your place and never know if you are going to hit a power cable.

Also if you are pulling wires, pull a few extra strings and leave them there for future expansion.

Good luck
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