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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a single porch light on the left side of my front door. The switch controlling the light is on the same side of the door. I’m looking to add a second light to the right side of the front door, controlled by the same switch. The actual wiring part should be a breeze as I’m comfortable with basic electric work.
I’m looking for tips/tricks to run a cable from the existing light fixture to the new one. I have a two story house, so the path will be through the basement.
Thinking I need to get a right angle drill attachment to make a hole through the bottom plate, going up from the basement? Hope there’s no blocking in that wall. I have fish tape, any tips for doing this on an exterior wall dealing with insulation and getting it to the new hole on the bottom plate?
The current fixture doesn’t have a box. Just a small hole was drilled in the wall to fit the cable through, and a bracket screwing into the vinyl siding. Wondering if it would be best to make a bigger hole there and add an old work box?
Thank you for any insights you can offer.
 

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I'd pull some vinyl siding and do whatever was necessary to loop a 12/2 NM to the other side. Then install octo boxes at both sides.

There is a tool for releasing vinyl siding... cheap too. The rest is simply removing nails or screws.
°
Vinyl Removal Tool
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
Thanks for the response. Are you suggesting that the wire could just be run behind the siding, and not through the wall cavity?
 

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No, but you can clear the way for it by notching it in and providing no-nail plates to protect it. Then repair any damage as needed... the siding will cover any ugly you create... just leave it water tight if the porch has no rain protection by using some felt flashing material.
 

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I'd drill through the bottom plate, as you propose, and run the cable through the basement. If you are careful, you can minimize any damage to the insulation in the wall. My preference would be to use glow sticks rather than a fish tape to thread things through the insulation.

Rather than buying a right angle drill for this one task, there are right angle attachments that you can use with a regular drill.


There's a nice wire-pulling tool called Magnepull, that can make the job much easier. It's a little on the expensive side, but can often be found on eBay for under $100.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for providing some assistance on this. Going to give it a try going through the basement. Doesn’t seem that it should be too difficult with those glow sticks.. we’ll see haha
 

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Thank you for providing some assistance on this. Going to give it a try going through the basement. Doesn’t seem that it should be too difficult with those glow sticks.. we’ll see haha

One thing to check is whether the power feed is to the switch box or the light fixture. It'll be a bit easier if it's the switch box. If you measure carefully as to where the switch box is on the first floor, and then transfer those measurements to the basement, you can end up with the hole in the plate directly below the switch box. I like to use an outside wall as a reference, if I can.



I find it easier if I can push the glow stick straight up (or down), rather than trying to guess at what angle will bring me to the right spot.


It helps to have a second person at the other end who can listen and try to hear where the stick is going, and yell some guidance back to you.



If all else fails, you can make a hole in the wall just above the plate and guide the stick from the box above down into the hole in the plate. Then you'll have some patching to do.



On the side where the new fixture goes, it should be a bit easier since you'll have a larger hole for the junction box to work through.
 
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