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Old 01-23-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
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Can't find the wires!


Just moved into a house and went to install my surround sound today and I am having trouble finding the wires. The builder had pre-installed the wires and there are seven plates positioned around the room where the wires should be.

There are five plates mounted on the wall where speaker wires for 5.1 surround sound are supposed to be located. Then additional plate for the subwoofer. Finally, a large plate where the wires all come out of the wall to attach to the receiver.

I removed the larger plate and all of the wire were all sitting right there nicely labeled for each of the positions of the speakers and the subwoofer. I then removed the back of the room plates and the wires again were right there coming out of small holes in the drywall for the back surround speakers.

The problem arrived when I removed the plates for the center speaker above the gas fireplace and the front left and right speakers to each side of the fireplace. There were no holes present and therefore no wires. I cut holes in the drywall about 3in by 3in and couldn't find anything besides the fiberglass insulation. The fireplace is against an exterior wall and thus the insulation batting.

Anyone have any ideas how I can find the ends of these wires where these front speakers are suppose to be located? Thanks for the help
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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other than getting the installer back no. this is why i always took progress photos
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:11 AM   #3
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There is a 2 piece device- transmitter and receiver- referred to as a "toner", or Cat and Mouse which will send a low voltage current through the wiring you have located and pick up a signal from the hidden wire in your wall.
Ask the builder if he buried the cable or had the good sense to hide your speaker wires in a buried pipe to make it easier to fish more wiring in the future and be careful where you cut if you have a gas line back there. You could also look in the basement or attic for any signs of wire drops from the wall above or below.
Generally the builder will have these locations premarked on his electrical wiring diagram for the installer. In the homes I have piped for this purpose, speakers are outboard from the fireplace, not above, but there is a central bundle for tv hookup as well
Telephone and alarm companies have the toners to help locate hidden wiring in just such a scenario. You can probably buy a cheap one for about $75 to use in future
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5.1 , speakers , surround , surround sound

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