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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I'm in the final stage of framing my HT and prepping to run wires.


Namely:

1) Speaker Cables

2) Sub Cable

3) Cat5

4) Phone

5) Audio

6) HDMI


Before I start drilling holes and affixing the cables to the frames, I'd like to know what the best practise is here.


I was thinking of affixing PVC conduits parallel to the studs inside which I would the wires. With insulation going in, I thought that having dedicated channels would make things easier to upgrade in the future (if need be). So my questions are:


1) Can I use PVC pipes that run vertically parallel to the studs to do this?

2) Are there any negatives to running the above mentioned wires in that fashion

3) Any other alternatives that would work well


Thanks for your input.
 

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I can't be a huge help but the best thing you can do is try to keep power wires as far away as possible from the audio wires to avoid noise. If you have to cross a power wire, do it at a 90degree crossing for the least amount of interference possible. I would also run your speaker wires separate from your signal wires for the same reason.


Running conduit for future changes/upgradability is always a plus but you would want to see what requirements your township inspector may have as far as fire blocking. This is of course if you have pulled a permit(s) and will be having it inspected.
 

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Install conduit empty, it's for making future pulls easy.


Install the current, new cables OUTSIDE of the conduit.


Unless you need the conduit per code, which would be unusual.


Flexible orange Carlon Resi-gard and Riser-gard are sold in all sizes at your local electric supply store. Smaller sizes available at HD/Lowes. The blue 'smurf tube' is rated, I believe, for line voltage wires but could be used for LV cables. See which one is cheaper.


If you're going to be inspected, make a call to the AHJ to find out some details about local requirements for conduit, if any. My AHJ wasn't really familiar with the concept of LV flex PVC conduit, and when I called him before I bought the conduit, he basically didn't want to know anything about my basement to attic conduit runs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Neurorad... a couple of questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad /forum/post/19517346


Install conduit empty, it's for making future pulls easy.

Yes - I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad /forum/post/19517346


Install the current, new cables OUTSIDE of the conduit.

I'm not sure I follow. Why would I want to do that? For example: right now, let's say that I put an HDMI cable... but that in a couple of years, a new HDMI cable comes out. Wouldn't I just want to pull the old and replace with the new?
 

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HDMI might be the only thing I would run in the conduit, for that very reason. Speaker wires, cat5, and legacy connections I would just run loose.
 

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Maybe the HDMI, but why? Why would you need to remove it? I guess you could use it as a pull line/string, for the new cable.


Make sure your conduit is large enough to accept the relatively bulky HDMI connector. HDMI cables with relatively slimmer connectors are available, and I think there is at least 1 manufacturer that offers field terminated HDMI connectors, but they're pricey. I've seen the recommended conduit diameter, for HDMI, here on AVS before.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad /forum/post/19517346


Install the current, new cables OUTSIDE of the conduit.

I know this is a fairly general practice, but I just don't understand it myself...as was already questioned, why would you run your existing, let's say, speaker wire outside the conduit? I can't really see any advantage here...if you're replacing it in the future, you can remove existing wiring and use it as a pull string for new wiring. Plus, pulling wire through conduit (if your conduit is installed correctly) is a breeze. Why make it harder on yourself, as well as poking more holes in your framing, to install empty tubes throughout your room?


I installed 3/4" smurf tube for all speaker and subwoofer locations, then pulled my wires after drywall was installed and the walls were finished. This way I didn't have to worry about leaving enough length in the lines to reach wherever they needed to go, I didn't need to worry about having a screw through a wire from the drywalling process...and every line is still easily replaceable in the future.


As far as HDMI is concerned, I used 2 1/2" tubing to the projector so there aren't any worries about cable size, so all they same points mentioned earlier still apply.


If anyone has some enlightening reason I haven't heard yet about running cables outside your conduit, I'm all ears.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmCutter
If you have complete access, why don't people use PVC? It's SO much cheaper than this flexible tube stuff.


Cause it echo's like crazy. If any sound does happen to get inside of it, it will resonate right through. That may or may not be a problem given the different applications (ie. where the runs are located) but under not so optimal conditions, PVC tubing is less than ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies! Really useful stuff. I was actually considering PVC ... but will probably reconsider for the flexible stuff.


Another question for you guys:


1) Can I run similar cables in the same conduit w/o having to worry about interference?

Example:

- HDMI cable in a conduit

- Speaker wires (FL FR RR RL) in 1 conduit

- RCA/subwoofer in a conduit

- Phone & Cat5 in 1 conduit


Or is it best to have a conduit per wire....


** Power will be run as per usual (for me) outside a conduit and away from all the other cables **
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zibonesti /forum/post/19528830


Thanks for the replies! Really useful stuff. I was actually considering PVC ... but will probably reconsider for the flexible stuff.


Another question for you guys:


1) Can I run similar cables in the same conduit w/o having to worry about interference?

Example:

- HDMI cable in a conduit

- Speaker wires (FL FR RR RL) in 1 conduit

- RCA/subwoofer in a conduit

- Phone & Cat5 in 1 conduit


Or is it best to have a conduit per wire....


** Power will be run as per usual (for me) outside a conduit and away from all the other cables **

I've got all the cables you have above, run together without any issues.


I would run as many conduits as you can... I ran what I thought was overkill (4 1.25" PVC) and I am pretty much out of space in less than a year.


Like you said, keep the power separate as much as possible and the rest will be fine. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with having a conduit for each wire...
 

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Pulling cables through conduit that have cables in it already can be much more difficult than running cables in an empty conduit, depending on how many cables you have in the conduit, and number of turns.


If you route your LV cables correctly, they won't be at risk of screws/nails. The conduit can be harder to position in the wall, for protection.


Not sure why one would install conduit for speaker wire, not many reasons to replace that.


If you have a bundle of cables running from one point to another, and it's inside conduit, and you have to add another cable, it can be really tough. I've been adding cables a couple at a time to my basement->attic conduits, and it's getting very difficult (retrofit distributed audio project). Soon, I will have to pull all of them out of the needed conduit, and put them all through at once as one large bundle.


If you install cables initially outside of conduit, you can use smaller conduit, too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifers_ghost /forum/post/19528121


Cause it echo's like crazy. If any sound does happen to get inside of it, it will resonate right through. That may or may not be a problem given the different applications (ie. where the runs are located) but under not so optimal conditions, PVC tubing is less than ideal.

I knew there had to be a good reason!


Does anyone make a shielded conduit?
 
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