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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, a long while back I posted about needing advice on speakers and I finally got them all in aside a sub for the moment. I hooked up the center and side speakers no problem but, upon trying to run wire to the left and right surround speakers I decided to try and make it look the best I can. Based on the layout of my room, it seemed fairly simple to just run normal speaker wire under the baseboard that sits semi flush to the carpet, and for the most part it fit just fine. However, there were some spots that I had to shove in so tightly (I used a butter knife) that the possibility of some dings in the wire might have happened. I doubt it happened since the wire is pretty rubbery/sturdy but, it made me wonder, does this sort of thing pose a fire hazard of any sort?

This might be a totally idiotic question but, being a new home owner the last thing i'd want to do is catch my new home on fire by having a semi damaged cable carrying a signal on carpet. Being very inept with this sort of stuff (just knowing the basics of how to hook up) I felt I should ask the more savvy among the world to tell me if i'm safe or not :p Thank you!
 

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When dealing with electricity the potential for fire always exists. With speaker wire the threat level is very low, as the voltages involved are low, while amplifiers usually have protection circuits that will shut the amp down in the event of a short circuit. Nonetheless the threat exists, so just be sure there's a good heat/smoke alarm in your listening room, just in case. That applies to all listening rooms.
 

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You would pretty much have to poke a hole in the wire casing and then spill something flammable on the wire and have it short across whatever you spilled to have any chance of a fire starting.
 

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As Bill said in post #2 , yes, it is possible, but it is unlikely. Amps have protection circuits in them and should shut down in the event of a short circuit.

However, if there is a fire unrelated to the wire itself, the wire could give off toxic fumes.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you guys, I'll keep that in mind. We have a good smoke detector system in place. I assume when the receiver is set in standby it doesn't put power to the speakers anyways right?
 

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When dealing with electricity the potential for fire always exists. With speaker wire the threat level is very low, as the voltages involved are low
This is true but I wanted to chime in with a personal experience.
I was standing beside a work vehicle one day and saw a clearance light on the rear of the vehicle burst into flames.
Only 12v to it but it seems a direct short had occurred at the fixture causing intense heat.
Not exactly related to speakers wiring but I wanted to show that even 12v is enough to start a fire under the right circumstances.
That being said I have to agree with Bill that the chances are extremely low since speaker wiring carries very little voltage.
 

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This is true but I wanted to chime in with a personal experience.
I was standing beside a work vehicle one day and saw a clearance light on the rear of the vehicle burst into flames.
Only 12v to it but it seems a direct short had occurred at the fixture causing intense heat.
That's because of the available current, and probably an oversize fuse on the circuit. Anyone who's inadvertently connected the poles of a car battery, say with a screw driver or wrench, knows from experience that they have enough current capacity to literally arc weld. Amp protection circuits should shut an amp down before current flow is enough to start a fire, but you never know. Speakers catching on fire when crossover components short out are more common than you'd think.
 

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Hello, a long while back I posted about needing advice on speakers and I finally got them all in aside a sub for the moment. I hooked up the center and side speakers no problem but, upon trying to run wire to the left and right surround speakers I decided to try and make it look the best I can. Based on the layout of my room, it seemed fairly simple to just run normal speaker wire under the baseboard that sits semi flush to the carpet, and for the most part it fit just fine. However, there were some spots that I had to shove in so tightly (I used a butter knife) that the possibility of some dings in the wire might have happened. I doubt it happened since the wire is pretty rubbery/sturdy but, it made me wonder, does this sort of thing pose a fire hazard of any sort?

This might be a totally idiotic question but, being a new home owner the last thing i'd want to do is catch my new home on fire by having a semi damaged cable carrying a signal on carpet. Being very inept with this sort of stuff (just knowing the basics of how to hook up) I felt I should ask the more savvy among the world to tell me if i'm safe or not :p Thank you!
At the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting, there is typically something called a tack strip. It's a narrow piece of wood with tacks shoved up through it. The carpeting is stretched and the tack strip is used to anchor the carpeting to the floor at the wall. It is quite possible that one or more of these (extremely sharp!) tacks will penetrate the wire as it is shoved down into the space under the molding and very likely cause a short.

My advise would be to protect the wire by getting a "wire runway" in metal or plastic (available at Home Depot, etc...) and shove IT under the molding, THEN insert the wire into the runway. Alternatively, just run the runway along the top or bottom of the molding and paint it to match.

While you are at Home Depot, go ahead and check out the tack strips, just to see what you are dealing with. They would make a formidable single use weapon! :eek:
 
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