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Old 09-28-2008, 05:18 PM   #1
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


Hi All,

I am redoing all of the network cabling in my home because quite frankly, the people who built the house did it all wrong. Even an electrician I had out to run some electrical wiring was in shock. The perfectionist in me just has to have it right. Currently all of the low-voltage cabling goes from my a 2nd story closet, up into the attic and then to get to the 1st floor, they've run it through the space next to anA/C vent that goes to the 1st floor and then to outlets. I'd have to tear up my ceiling downstairs to get to it the various runs. It's just nasty.

How do I get from the attic down to the 1st floor? I'm thinking about doing something like this. Is this the typical way to do something like what I want to do?

1. Access Attic and locate wall right above required 1st floor location.
2. Drill through top plate of 2nd floor wall
3. Drill through sole plate of 2nd floor wall
4. Continue drilling through to the top plate of 1st floor wall
5. Drop cable as needed using my fish stix.

-BC

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Old 09-28-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


Go from the attic to the basement than back up to the first floor. The way I fish from attic to basement is from that stack pipe. Usually they cut out a square hole for the stack pipe. And even if they didn't do that there usually is enough space to fish wires along the stack

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Old 09-28-2008, 08:55 PM   #3
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


If you have your network router in the 2nd floor closet, and intend to leave it there, the method that was used to distribute the cable was done in the usual way!
If you plan to reposition the router, into the lower part of the house, then re-cabling would be necessary, perhaps.
If the cabling was installed in a haphazard way, perhaps it can be tidied up.
I'm left with the impression that the cable installer didn't want to rip down ceilings etc. just to run cable. His approach was exactly the way that I would run it in, under the circumstances.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


Thanks for the input but I don't want to fish through existing spaces near pipes, a/c vents, etc. I'd like to put fresh routes in the walls through the floors and home runs directly from the patch panel to the spot where I want it.

I guess I'm asking, do cable installers sometimes do what I suggest doing if allowed? I want to retrofit my home so that it's better than how they are doing it now.

-BC
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:06 PM   #5
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by diyintexas View Post
Thanks for the input but I don't want to fish through existing spaces near pipes, a/c vents, etc. I'd like to put fresh routes in the walls through the floors and home runs directly from the patch panel to the spot where I want it.

I guess I'm asking, do cable installers sometimes do what I suggest doing if allowed? I want to retrofit my home so that it's better than how they are doing it now.

-BC
Cable installers? That is a pretty broad category of people. I know people that have installed phone / data cable professionally, if I hired them to come and install some cable for me, would they install it up to my standards by default, likely no. Would it comply with any codes that apply, yes.

Yes, it sounds like your install is pretty standard and most people would do it the way it is done if I understand what your saying correctly. Are things done more perfectly in some installs in high end custom homes? Sure, but there are not that many people that want to pay for an extra 50 hours at $65/hr to have their cables be really pretty. But if you want to do it and you have the time, go for it.

Jamie
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:29 AM   #6
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


They make long 5 or 6 ft. drill bits (drill bit welded to flexible long bar) and these have a small hole drilled in the end of the bit or end of the bar or both.

So you can use these to drill up/down, then fish a wire. You can get these at an electrical supply or maybe a Home Depot type of store.

Then a fish tape helps.

Also good to know how to do drywall work, then you can do whatever you want. You can cut a small hole in a wall (say chest height on 1st floor), then use the long drill bit to drill up, fish wire down, then drill down, then fish wire down to basement, patch hole in wall (drywall knowledge time).

So a lot can be done through one small 6 inch by 6 inch hole.

Then if you know drywall, you can just rip out a section of drywall from stud to stud - floor to ceiling and do all sorts of work, then patch and can't tell wall was ever torn apart. (If you are good at drywall.)

P.S. A trick to keeping the mess down (say for a 6 x 6 hole in the wall) is to get a plastic bag and tape it with masking tape below the hole. Then when you cut the hole, most of the white dust goes into the bag!
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:22 AM   #7
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


Thanks Billy Bob. I can do dry-wall nicely. I just don't like doing it on ceilings where I have to add that texture back. :-)

Is it typically safe to drill the appropriately sized hole through the top plate of a load bearing wall?

-BC
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:14 PM   #8
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


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Originally Posted by diyintexas View Post
...Is it typically safe to drill the appropriately sized hole through the top plate of a load bearing wall?
This is pretty much a common sense thing if you are familiar with construction work and wood framing. An outside bearing wall is supporting up and down and also in/out left/right for the case of high wind or earthquakes.

Basically you're pretty safe with a small hole for a wire or two to pass through unless there is another hole in the same spot. If there is an existing large hole and you drill another hole in the same location, then that spot will no longer have enough "wind" support, so not a good thing to do.

Then sometimes there is a "header" which is above a door or window typically and you would not want to drill into this.

FYI - If you need to drill a large hole and the stud needs additional support, you can use a "stud shoe" which looks like this...
http://images.lowes.com/product/conv...92507505md.jpg

For what size hole you can drill where, there is a handy reference called codecheck (search google.com). The plumbing section will take things to the limit so far as how large hole sizes can be. These are smaller for a bearing wall than for a non-bearing wall.
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #9
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How do I get from the upstairs attic down to my 1st floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by diyintexas View Post
Thanks for the input but I don't want to fish through existing spaces near pipes, a/c vents, etc. I'd like to put fresh routes in the walls through the floors and home runs directly from the patch panel to the spot where I want it.

I guess I'm asking, do cable installers sometimes do what I suggest doing if allowed? I want to retrofit my home so that it's better than how they are doing it now.

-BC
I have my doubts about whether the wiring will be better!
Electrons really don't care where they travel.
If it makes you sleep better at night knowing that all the wires are running in a manner that you like, then why not do as you wish. After all, you are the customer, and why should you not have your wishes attended to.
Better will not be what will result. Happiness, will happen! Your happiness, so why not proceed.

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