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daxinarian 07-16-2008 02:38 PM

Pulling wire through insulated walls
Does anyone have advice on pulling wire through insulated walls/ceiling?

I am adding wireing to my (attached) garage for a hobby shop. Unfortunately, I have to pull the wires through the wall that is common with the house, and therefore insulated. I also have to do the same with the ceiling, which is also insulated.

Does anyone have any advice on how to best pull the wires through the insulation whithout bunching it all up (I am assuming they are bats of insultation, I haven't opened the wall yet. Do they still use bats? or is it primarily blown insulation these days?)

Question number B...
when runing this new wire through the studs, do I have to pull a chunck of the drywall off at every stud so I can add a metal plate to act as a nail-stop?

Thanks for your help

hpp58 07-17-2008 07:45 AM

I use "Fish Sticks" (fiberglass polls).
It might be tricky to get through the bottom plate, you might have to remove your molding and cut back the sheetrock so you can guide the fish sticks through your bored hole. Cover the cut sheetrock with your molding.

No. you dont have it install nail plates.
Just keep your bored hole in the middle of the plate.

fw2007 07-17-2008 08:09 AM

I second that. Fish Stix are great tools!


handyman78 07-17-2008 08:54 AM

I like using fish stix as well as the flex drill bit kit by Greenlee or Ideal to drill through the plates. It worked great for me to add wiring from basement to first floor. To avoid wrapping up insulation with the spinning bit some have used tubing over it as a loose sleeve with good success.

J. V. 07-17-2008 10:07 AM

Do you have to run cables horizontally? See if you can accomplish this task by either going up and over or down and over. It would be a shame to tear up perfectly good drywall.
I have heard very good comments regarding the flexible drill extensions. But have been told they are not as good if you do not buy the guide. I have never used one, but the guide is supposed to keep the drill bit in the middle of the stud or plate.

daxinarian 07-17-2008 10:59 AM

I have no access from above (or below, the wife would frown on me digging a tunnel under the foundation). I have to go horizontal 8' in an insulated wall turn 90 degrees and go horizontal another 3'6" (no insl). The next leg is easy because I am constructing that wall from scracth, so no sheet rock until I am done with wires. That gets me to my sub panel. After that I have to go back into horizontal, insulated walls and up into the insulated ceiling.
Right now I am leaning towards cutting horizontal strip out of the drywall that doesn't have nails or screws (with my luck I won't find a stirp that is completly clear). I have heard the extensions and guides work great in a hollow wall, unfortunately 75% of the walls I will be going through are full of insulation.

I am hoping that the ceiling joists run in a perpendicular to the new wall so that I can stay in the new wall and then go straight up and over to the new ligth fixtures, that way I don't have to drill in the ceiling joists at all.

HouseHelper 07-17-2008 11:26 AM

Since it is a garage, I would give a lot of thought to using a surface wiring method like Wiremold for the finished wall runs. More expensive, yes, but a lot less work.

Your idea of cutting a strip out is a good one if you do go behind the walls. Are there baseboards that could be removed and have the cutouts behind them?

daxinarian 07-17-2008 11:33 AM

The base moulding isn't tall enough to hide any cutouts unfortunately

jogr 07-17-2008 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by daxinarian (Post 140190)
The base moulding isn't tall enough to hide any cutouts unfortunately

But it could be and would be easier than extensive drywall repair.

You should have attic access. If you don't you might as well install it now. Then you can run wire over the top of the insulation.

Nothing wrong with surface mounted conduit in a garage - that's the easiest route and what I would recommend. Blind drilling works but can lead to surprises.

daxinarian 07-17-2008 12:18 PM

the garage is under the occupied portion of the house (2nd floor extends over garage)

hpp58 07-17-2008 01:00 PM

Sounds like it's time to run PVC around the exterior of the house.
It might be the easy way out.

jogr 07-17-2008 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by daxinarian (Post 140208)
the garage is under the occupied portion of the house (2nd floor extends over garage)

Then I'd definitely go for conduit along the garage walls and/or ceiling.

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