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Old 02-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
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snake speaker cable under wood floor?

I am trying to run rear speaker cables to create home theater surround sound, under a wood floor where I cannot get access to the crawl space. I think that I can use a long drill bit to drill through the wood floor near the receiver and then where the speakers will go, but I am concerned about how to guide the cables using an electrician's fishing tape under the floor. How will I be able to get the wire to the other end of the floor, 25 feet away and find the other hole?


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Old 02-13-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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So does that mean that I have no chance of getting them through?
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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If you cannot gain access to the sub floor perhaps you can pull the wire through the attic? If that is not an option, then you may want to look at running some conduit just above the baseboard of the room. The big box stores sell some designed to run on the outside of the walls that would not be an eyesore.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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I can't get access to under the floor whatsoever. I would love to avoid using conduit if possible, but so far, I haven't heard if there is any kind of fish tape that will help me feed the cables under the floors. Anyone?
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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You could try your idea of makeing two holes and hope luck is on your side. Chances are you will have to make one of the holes quite big for you can get your hand or a few fingers into it to catch the fishtape.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:23 PM   #7
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Forgot about wire fishing tape. There is no way to guide it in an open space.
The Pro's e.g. Satellite TV Installers, use a Fish Stix

or a cheaper substitute

or an even cheaper substitute
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:52 PM   #8
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Some of the micro inspection cameras allow you to extend them to around 25-30' by adding additional sections - I've never gone that far, but I've gone around 10', and it's a *lot* easier to catch the end of a fish tape if you can see what you are doing.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:36 AM   #9
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Buy wireless speakers.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:22 AM   #10
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if there is insulation in that floor joist space forget it. If and only if you are in the same floor joist space you might be lucky enough to buy one of those flat fish tapes and push it in to a ~1" hole at one side of the room and reach down with a magnetic pick up tool thru another hole across the room.

another untried trick would be to get a magnet powerful enough to attract a small length of chain thru the floor. Tie on a string and drag it from hole to hole.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #11
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I second the wireless speakers option.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #12
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I suggest doing most work around floor level, exposed, then covered.

If you have quarter round or cove molding where floor meets wall, carefully remove it and mark where each piece goes.

Run your new wiring, smallest allowable gauge, in the point where floor meets wall, tight to wall, using a glue gun every few feet. Keep wiring tight.

Using a belt sander, take 90 degree pointy back part off of molding, the part you will never see. Test that molding will fit in place, where it was, but now covering wiring. Remove more material if necessary.

Reinstall molding at floor level with tiny nails into floor or use silicone only.

When you get to wall point where speakers are mounted high up, make a turn up, staple over baseboard (paint later?) and make small 'fish' hole in sheet rock. Stay in same space channel between 2 joists and make a hole high up where speaker will go, exactly aligned with first one.

Now you need to fish from hole where speaker will go to hole near floor. It takes patience and depends on how much insulation is behind sheet rock. If hole can be as big as a fishing weight, consider dropping from higher hole to lower on a string using gravity.

Of course, if room is carpeted, lift carpet at edges and run wiring behind tackless strips etc.


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