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Running wire

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#1
I have a ranch home and I went up into my attic last night to place where I was going to run speaker wire to my rear surrounds. The issue I encountered was that I generally can place where the wall is that I want to run cable down but there isn't a gap. It seems the ceiling was run across I'm not 100% where exactly the wall is and where the studs are. Any help to figure things out or should I just pay someone.
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Famous
#2
Would a stud finder help at all? You could always drill a tiny hole that’s easily patched and touched up, I’m talking like a 1/8” drill bit right next to the corner in the ceiling that would be a dab of touch up after filled. You could then stick a metal clothes hanger or rod or similar as a marker. Then you can than take measurement and do exactly what you want to do.
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#3
I had a similar issue once. My solution was to make a tiny hole (easily repairable) in the ceiling to slide a straightened out wire laundry hangar up though. Then I just went into the attic andd looked for the hangar and thus knew where that wall was.
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#4
Awesome idea. I can do that for sure. I know where the studs are on the wall so this can work. I truly appreciate all the help. I feel like I'm pestering everyone with my tons of questions.
 

Dentman

Well-Known Member
#7
Yes a tiny hole or Or you can put a coat hanger through the ceiling drywall right where the ceiling meets the wall. It's then easily repaired with a very tiny dab of caulk you'll never see.
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#10
I can help you out. My teams do this for a living. I have tools that make running wires easy.
Wow, that would be awesome. I want to mount the speakers and just use the speaker wire briefly I have bit then order the speaker wire and do, probably in a few weeks. Oh and order the low voltage mounts and plates
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
#11
My two cents ... plan your wire routing before you mount the speakers to make sure there isn't a reason you can't fish the walls. Make no assumptions that there aren't pipes or electrical wiring, check if possible.

As for the wall mounts... I typically avoid using the screw-type drywall anchors for speaker mounts because their holding strength doesn't account for any cantilevered forces as you'd get when using a speaker mount. Instead I've used toggle bolts for mounting on-wall brackets but they still make me super nervous. A stud mounting is preferable by far.

Any wire you plan to be inside a wall should be rated for in-wall use, obviously.

I prefer the pass-through style plates whenever possible.
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#12
My two cents ... plan your wire routing before you mount the speakers to make sure there isn't a reason you can't fish the walls. Make no assumptions that there aren't pipes or electrical wiring, check if possible.

As for the wall mounts... I typically avoid using the screw-type drywall anchors for speaker mounts because their holding strength doesn't account for any cantilevered forces as you'd get when using a speaker mount. Instead I've used toggle bolts for mounting on-wall brackets but they still make me super nervous. A stud mounting is preferable by far.

Any wire you plan to be inside a wall should be rated for in-wall use, obviously.

I prefer the pass-through style plates whenever possible.
Ordering Blue Jeans cable 5000E gray jacket 12 AWG. $0.63 /ft and CL3 Rated.

Not a bad idea on pass thru but was thinking the plate behind the receiver would be banana posts. Not sure if I like the idea of a nest of wires coming out to receiver from a long run. Am I messing the connectivity up a bit by doing this? I would have banana on back and front of plate


The speaker wire run from base of wall to furthest point will be approximately 28 ft (8 ft up, 17 ft across 3 ft down to speaker on wall. So maybe 30 for safe bet
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
#13
Nah ... Using a connection plate can be a cleaner look and it's not messing anything up but every connection point is a possible failure point. With a banana post plate you have a connections for the wire on the back of the plate, a connection between the connector and the banana plug, a connection for banana plug to the speaker wire plus whatever connections to the receiver.
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#14
Nah ... Using a connection plate can be a cleaner look and it's not messing anything up but every connection point is a possible failure point. With a banana post plate you have a connections for the wire on the back of the plate, a connection between the connector and the banana plug, a connection for banana plug to the speaker wire plus whatever connections to the receiver.
I understand that. I am just hoping for the cleaner WAF so long as there isn't degradation in sound
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#15
I just ran my speaker cables through a hole in the drywall not much larger than the diameter of the wire jacket. That way the size of the hole is as small as necessary and easier to repair in the future. It also can blend in really well, whereas a big plate is always a big plate on the wall and doesn't hide at all. Some people have to look closely specifically for the wire to see it at all.

That said, if you are going to mess with the wire often after the initial setup, it will continue to damage the wall with every motion. For me, I set it up once and haven't touched it since. It has been over 10 years.
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Famous
#16
If the speaker isn’t big, like a Surround, I almost always use one of those desk grommets at Lowe’s or Home Depot behind each speaker. They can be quite small but large enough to get a finger or two in the wall if need be. They’re still way smaller than a single gang wall plate. Then when the cover is put on it’s a nice clean finish.
 
Last edited:

Randy

Well-Known Member
Famous
#17
I just ran my speaker cables through a hole in the drywall not much larger than the diameter of the wire jacket. That way the size of the hole is as small as necessary and easier to repair in the future. It also can blend in really well, whereas a big plate is always a big plate on the wall and doesn't hide at all. Some people have to look closely specifically for the wire to see it at all.

That said, if you are going to mess with the wire often after the initial setup, it will continue to damage the wall with every motion. For me, I set it up once and haven't touched it since. It has been over 10 years.
If the speaker isn’t big, like a Surround, I almost always use one of those desk grommets at Lowe’s or Home Depot behind each speaker. They can be quite small but large enough to get a finger or two in the wall if need be. They’re still way smaller than a single gang wall plate. Then when the cover is put on it’s a nice clean finish.
That also prevents extra terminations/ connections. If you use a wall plate with binding posts you are cutting the wire and making 2 unnecessary connections that could potentially fail in the future. Solid uninterrupted runs of wire are generally preferred. I used the wire through wall method upstairs and used a double gang plate for the speaker wires downstairs. I just chose the method that worked best in each situation.

However I would rather not have the extra cuts and connections.
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#18
Bump. Okay so none of the rear speakers have any obstacles down the cavity between the studs. However it seems the area I want to run wires up the wall on the front of where my equipment will be is not great. Three cavities seem to have horizontal beams or something registering a horizontal stud. To the further right, there isn't but it puts it behind my right speaker and in more view to people. I was hoping to have it concealed a little by the middle stand and equipment.

Can you still run wire through those studs or is the difficulty not worth it? Or is it best to hire someone? The only thing on hiring someone is I want to control the terminations of the wire and the plates
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
#19
Horizontal braces are a PITA for running wires but it’s certainly possible. There are few ways to do it. The easiest (still not easy) is if you have enough clearance in the attic space to use a long auger bit. The hole will need to be large enough to easily run the four speaker wires, but I always recommend drilling a hole a fair bit larger for ease of fishing and just in case you want to run additional wiring later. The danger with this approach is the bit can travel and accidentally come out through the wall where you didn’t expect it.

The next option is to drill from below with a flexible bit. The odds of the bit wandering is much greater this way.

The least dangerous method is to remove a small patch of drywall directly above or below the brace. Obviously this will require the wall to be patched and painted. If you use a multi-tool you can get a very clean cut making the patch job relatively easy.

Whichever method you choose you should pull all your cables at once along with at least one pull-string to be used in the case that you need to run additional lines.
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#20
Horizontal braces are a PITA for running wires but it’s certainly possible. There are few ways to do it. The easiest (still not easy) is if you have enough clearance in the attic space to use a long auger bit. The hole will need to be large enough to easily run the four speaker wires, but I always recommend drilling a hole a fair bit larger for ease of fishing and just in case you want to run additional wiring later. The danger with this approach is the bit can travel and accidentally come out through the wall where you didn’t expect it.

The next option is to drill from below with a flexible bit. The odds of the bit wandering is much greater this way.

The least dangerous method is to remove a small patch of drywall directly above or below the brace. Obviously this will require the wall to be patched and painted. If you use a multi-tool you can get a very clean cut making the patch job relatively easy.

Whichever method you choose you should pull all your cables at once along with at least one pull-string to be used in the case that you need to run additional lines.
Sounding like more and more I'll just have to deal with the right side. Once I swap the speakers out I may have a center again with two smaller stands on either side. So may be less of an issue later
 
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