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tk3000 06-25-2011 07:03 PM

Inside Walls Cable Fishing/Routing
 
Hello Folk,


I am in the process of fishing/routing data cable (ethernet, cat5e/cat6) and coax cable (rg6) through my drywalls and betweens different stories of my home (basement and two story home). The holes tend to be a liggle bit larger since I will install cables with terminals already installed (5/8" holes). The inside walls are made of drywall and painted with texture (and it has insulation inside the walls), the exterior walls are made of bricks (masonry walls) as can be seen in the following pic:

Outside of my unit, mine is the one on the left, the cable shall go to second floor).

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5065/...24936084b1.jpg


Initiall drilled hole to route cable thorugh the basement ceiling (shown where the yellow rod is):
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6004/...116ce0cdea.jpg



Cable successfully routed to the first floor:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3232/...e6dd31177a.jpg


The process of a hole large enough through the basement joint was relatively straightforward, I had to drill a relatively large hole (5/8 drill bit) with my angle drill attachment and was able to pass a fiberglass wiring kit and the cables themselves through such hole. It was a little difficult to pinpoint exactly where to cut the drywall in the first floor in order to pull the cable, so I ended up cutting two openings in the drywall and only found the spot from where the cable was coming through on the second attempt (used a plate cover to cover the wrong hole). I am using stud finders, but it is not that precise. Would the studs between the first and second floor be always in the same position, would they be symmetric? And would the be around 16 apart? That is the assumption I am making.

Drill and angle drill attachment shown below:

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6020/...04efc435f6.jpg






The difficult part though has been to run the cable from the first floor to second, and the fact that the external walls are made out of bricks (masonry walls) and the insulation inside the walls may complicate things somewhat. I am also trying to cause minimum damage (openings) on the drywall as possible. So I measure where the outlet should be locate in the seconds floor, and got a good ballpark of the its spot, but not a very precise one, so I ended up opening two holes between a stud, as shown below.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5160/...7556393ecd.jpg


I ended up drill two holes on the joist (5/8 drill bit size) with the help of an angle drill trying to find the best spot to route the cable down, but once the drill apparently finished up drilling the joint it stumbled upon something else harder (maybe concrete or bricks), but there was a very short hollow space between the joist and that something harder, but with a relatively flexible wire (like fishing wire or fiblerglass fishing rods) one could get around such harder thing. Would such 5/8 represent any type of compromise to the strength of the floor or joists, I would believe that not, but I am not sure? I may have to drill another one. Below are some pics of the drilled holes close to the baseboard inside the walls on the second floor:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3229/...08c207f0ac.jpg



I only cut the drywalls at the spots where I would install the wall outlet plates and trying to route the cable from the firs floor to second, but it is difficult to pinpoint where the cable is going without seeing. I would imagined that creating more opening on the drywall along the way (first and second flloor) would make it easier, but I am trying to avoid it. Would there be a better approach or way of doing it.

Any insight would be appreciated.

thanks
tk3000

Ron6519 06-25-2011 10:22 PM

The house should have a plumbing chase from the basement to the attic. That's where the main plumbing stack runs.
All the wires should be homeruns from the source to each room.
Run as many wires as you need up the chase(along with a "pull" left in the chase for future wiring)
Then run them down into each room through the wall of your choice.

joeyr 06-25-2011 10:38 PM

First off,

Very nice to finally see someone with pictures in their post. Pictures are worth a 1000 words in a case like this!

A couple questions here to start this off;

Quote:

The inside walls are made of drywall and painted with texture (and it has insulation inside the walls), the exterior walls are made of bricks (masonry walls)
Your exterior is mason block, but you have dry wall on the inside of your exterior walls, correct? You most likely have brick cladding over top of wood framed walls. They would have had to insulate the exterior walls, so they would insulate the wood wall and drywall it. This means you can run wires in the exterior walls.

Quote:

I am using stud finders, but it is not that precise. Would the studs between the first and second floor be always in the same position, would they be symmetric? And would the be around 16 apart?
It really depends on who built your house. There is no code stating that studs have to line up all the way up the walls. But a good framer knows that it is MUCH easier for other trades to do their work if studs, joists and the studs on the floor above line up. SO.. for your question, I would not rely on the studs in your walls to give you any type of reference points. And studs are commonly on 16 inch centers.

Quote:

drill apparently finished up drilling the joint it stumbled upon something else harder (maybe concrete or bricks), but there was a very short hollow space between the joist and that something harder, but with a relatively flexible wire (like fishing wire or fiblerglass fishing rods) one could get around such harder thing.
Are you drilling on a exterior wall? Have you hit a cast iron pipe? Maybe a steel beam? It could be a pipe and your wire hits the side of it and slips off? Could be a concern..

Quote:

Would such 5/8 represent any type of compromise to the strength of the floor or joists, I would believe that not, but I am not sure?
Your floor joists are most likely 2x10 or possible 2x8. But if the prints called for I joists then they might be those. If they were 2x10s or 2x8s a 5/8s hole is no problem, but if they are I joists then there could be a problem..

Quote:

I would imagined that creating more opening on the drywall along the way (first and second flloor) would make it easier, but I am trying to avoid it. Would there be a better approach or way of doing it.
Your exterior walls most likely line up with above walls if you do not have cantilevers in the floor with your walls jogging out upstairs. You can use the walls that line up above to take base measurements off of.

I hope these few replies help..

Good luck,
Joey

tk3000 06-26-2011 10:54 AM

It is difficult for me to have access to the attic (too many things in the way), and the phone line wires and cable tv wire (the ones that I am trying to route) come from the basement and from there are routed to the living room and another room. The coax cable is only routed to the living room (firs floor), and the phone wires are routed from the basement to kitchen and second floor. When an at&t tech came over a long time ago to enable some service he went to attic looking for the phone wires but found nothing there. Basically I just need to run the coax cable from the basement (its source), to the second floor; and then I would use the same route/path and wall plates to route and and install ethernet jack on the basement, first floor, and second floor. Everything was very straightforward from the basement to the first floor and I only had to cut a spot on the wall to install the outlet. The problem is routing the cable from the second floor to first and then hook the coax cable at the first floor to the second floor. I was trying to do that without cutting more openings on the drywall, but that seems difficulty since I can not see through walls to know what is on the way.


Thanks!







Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron6519 (Post 674141)
The house should have a plumbing chase from the basement to the attic. That's where the main plumbing stack runs.
All the wires should be homeruns from the source to each room.
Run as many wires as you need up the chase(along with a "pull" left in the chase for future wiring)
Then run them down into each room through the wall of your choice.


Ron6519 06-26-2011 11:31 AM

You'll have to open the walls/ceilings to do it your way.
When we moved into the house in 1992, I had nothing put into the attic, because I knew there would be all sorts of wiring being done. I ran a dozen or so wires up the plumbing chase to the attic. Cable(RG59), telephone, 4, 12-3 romex. When the cable company converted to digital, I had to upgrade to RG6 and run homeruns to the basement. Attic was filled so walls opened up. Nature of the beast.

tk3000 06-26-2011 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeyr (Post 674152)
First off,

Very nice to finally see someone with pictures in their post. Pictures are worth a 1000 words in a case like this!

A couple questions here to start this off;




Thanks, I always like to use pics to portray the situation! But now I am scared about that thing of I-Joist; hopefully that is not the case since looking from outset it seems to be a large joist. The thing I hit with the drill (just after the joist) seemed to be metallic judging by the noise, but once I realized that I hited something else I immediately stopped drilling.


=> Are you drilling on a exterior wall? Have you hit a cast iron pipe? Maybe a steel beam? It could be a pipe and your wire hits the side of it and slips off? Could be a concern..
>I am pretty sure that there is not water, sewage, or vent pipes in such area, so I would imagined that if it is a pipe it would be a pipe carrying electrical cables; is that the type of pipe you are referring to? But I really would have to cut the drywall close to the ceiling in order to see, what I was trying to avoid doing since I have not blue print of the house or anything.


=>Your exterior is mason block, but you have dry wall on the inside of your exterior walls, correct?
>Yeah, that is correct. It is mostly an external wall since the bricks side of it mostly faces the exterior.


I found difficult to know what is going on inside walls without seeing through it. Below is a pic that portray the situation on the first floor:


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3077/...326252b2a1.jpg


The marked area the wall and the ceiling is where the cable should come from in the inside of the wall at the second floor. The marked area close to floor where the recent installed wall plates/outlets shows on is the spot where I want the cable from the second floor routed to. But it seems difficult to do that without cut openings in the drywall wall close to the ceiling area.


Thanks a lot!

tk3000 06-26-2011 11:05 PM

I opened a cavity in first floor close to the ceiling on the whereabouts of the cable but found out some wood panel level with the drywall, I am not sure if it would ok to cut through it. Below are some pics:

During the cutting of the drywall:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/...52652218a4.jpg

After the cutting of the drywall:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5303/...a1e6be104f.jpg


Could it be a piece of wood used to support a patched piece of drywall in order fix it in the past, or would it be an integral part of the setup.

Thanks for any inpu.
tk3000

coderguy 06-27-2011 12:01 AM

Some input from experience..

Running Cat5/5e/6 through walls with ends on it already is a waste; you might as well cut the ends and re-crimp as they will usually be damaged.

If you can't do the plumbing chase; do you have a main hvac trunk pair running up? I went that route in my latest install (my home).

You might try renting/borrowing an inspection camera if you truly want to run straight up certain walls to the second floor...

tk3000 07-01-2011 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coderguy (Post 674844)
Some input from experience..

Running Cat5/5e/6 through walls with ends on it already is a waste; you might as well cut the ends and re-crimp as they will usually be damaged.

If you can't do the plumbing chase; do you have a main hvac trunk pair running up? I went that route in my latest install (my home).

You might try renting/borrowing an inspection camera if you truly want to run straight up certain walls to the second floor...



Thanks for the input!


I was planing to run ethernet cables with ends/terminals already crimped at first, but I was also considering the possibility of crimping the terminals. And in actuality I drilled a 5/8 hole in the basement to the first floor, but did not drill a 5/8 hole from the second floor to the first (as I first had stated by mistake); I actually drilled 1/2 hole from the second floor to the first (which may not be enough to pass a cat5 terminal with, besides I am also running rg6 cables too in the perforations).


I happened to have an inspection camera, I was able to run the inspection camera from the basement to the first floor in order to verify the possibility of any electrical wire on the way (it is also my understanding that a data (low voltage cable) should not cross an electrical wire by an angle of 90 deg). Unfortunately I can not run the inspection camera from the second floor hole to verify what is inside the wall from that hole since the hole is a 1/2 and also there an obstruction (possibly large metal object) right after the hole, thus the inspection camera would be blocked since I would not be able to flex it enough to get around such obstruction.


I was working on other things lately, so I did not look into that cable running insides the walls ever since. So last time I cut a cavity on the drywall close to the ceiling between the first and second floor as show in a pic above. (other post) and I stumbled upon some wood board, so I was not sure about how to deal with it. Why would such wood board be there, any special reason? Should I drill a hole large enough to pass an inspection camera and see the inside, or maybe try to cut the wood board altogether?


Thanks
tk3000

coderguy 07-05-2011 08:15 AM

That wood could be for a patch; it is strange. You might drill it; knowing you may need to patch it if it is part of something else... what is on the other side of that wall? Makes no sense for wood to be there like that...


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