Whats the trick running wire

lorgendorgenDecember 7, 2008

So whats the trick running some wire in a wall that has insulation? I am running a wire down to the main floor but having trouble with the insulation being in the way. Any thoughts? Thanks

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bigbird_1

Use fish tape to pull the wire through.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 11:11PM
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terribletom

Yeah, a fish tape is definitely the tool of first choice.

I'm afraid that fishing wire is more of an art form than a science. If the insulation is covered with kraft paper or similar vapor barrier, it's usually easier to fish between the barrier and the wall surface than it is to drive through the insulation. Similarly, a run alongside a stud is usually easier, for much the same reason.

Just hope you don't hit a piece of "2X" blocking along the way!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 2:55PM
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texasredhead

Most homes have what is called a fire break, that is a row of horizontal 2" X 4"s nailed between the vertical lumber. This would require you to cut out a section of wall board to drill a hole through the fire break. There's really no way around it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:28PM
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gblentz

>If the insulation is covered with kraft paper or similar vapor barrier, it's usually easier to fish between the barrier and the wall surface than it is to drive through the insulation.

I've often wondered about this. When one fishes NM down the inside of a wall, you really can't pick and choose where it ultimately lays. That said, by fishing down between the kraft and drywall, aren't you setting yourself up for a greater likelihood of nailing, drilling, or otherwise cutting into the cable at some point? I know the cable will 'tend' to move out of the way (assuming it's not restrained somehow at that location), but still....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:55PM
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fixizin

Most homes have what is called a fire break, that is a row of horizontal 2" X 4"s nailed between the vertical lumber. This would require you to cut out a section of wall board to drill a hole through the fire break. There's really no way around it.

Do the codes require that such a penetration be sealed with fireproof red caulk, or is that just a "best practice"?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 7:36PM
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lorgendorgen

Their is no barrier on the insulation. I guess I will go get a fish tape. I never had to use one before. How does it work. Any tips? Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 8:32PM
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pharkus

It is sometimes possible to shove a piece of romex through an insulated wall - I can usually do it - but, as terribletom indicated, it's "more of an art than a science". Pre-straightening the cable and gently "tapping" it forward inch-by-inch, and knowing by feel when it has decided to curl and needs correcting...

It is a LOT easier with fishtape!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:05AM
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kanes

Easier than fish tape is Fish Sticks or Rods. They are more rigid than the tape and don't curl up. I think it's also easier to recognize fire blocks when you hit them with a fish stick.

I like fish tapes for conduit. Rods for insulated walls. They make glow in the dark ones also but I didn't spring for those.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sample of Fish Sticks / Rods

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 8:56PM
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terribletom

"Most homes have what is called a fire break, that is a row of horizontal 2" X 4"s nailed between the vertical lumber."

Ah, now ain't that a typical Texan for ya? Hey, boy, you need to take yersef a trip up nawth!

Once you get much past the Mason-Dixon line, you'll start seeing a whole lot more two-by-sixes than two-by-fours these days. (Heh...so let's just say "2x", eh?)

"...by fishing down between the kraft and drywall, aren't you setting yourself up for a greater likelihood of nailing, drilling, or otherwise cutting into the cable at some point?"

Maybe so, maybe not. However you fish wire, who knows where it ends up? If the wire doesn't have the good sense to get out of the way, what can I say?

Cluck, cluck... :-)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:09PM
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countryboymo

Back to the fish tape and fish sticks.. its 10:15pm here and fish sticks sound pretty good for some reason. On a serious note, fiberglass fish tape is better than regular fish tape in my opinion I have better luck with the fiberglass tape. I think a stick would be better yet. I used to use an old fishing rod with the eyes snipped off.... Hey don't knock it I 'fished' a tstat wire in with it in no time flat. The only way I could have got it in quicker is if I still had the reel on. ô¿ô

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:41PM
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texasredhead

Well terribletom, spent the first 28 years in northern Ohio so do give me that Mason Dixon crap. Owned two homes in Ohio and the interior walls were 2 X 4s with fire breaks about half way down the wall.The exterior walls were 2 X 6 with fire breaks. Now, it doesn't matter 2 X what, if there's fire breaks in those walls, you can fish tape to your hearts content and your not going past that fire break.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:26AM
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terribletom

...you can fish tape to your hearts content and your not going past that fire break.

North or south, you got that right! :)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 11:30AM
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gblentz

>Easier than fish tape is Fish Sticks...

I've heard too, that if you encounter resistance with these, a little tartar sauce on the tips will help them slide right on through.

Tom:

>Cluck, cluck...

:-b ;-)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 9:38AM
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countryboymo

LOL a little dab would do it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 10:45AM
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lorgendorgen

Thanks for the tips. The fish tape worked the first try!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 8:53PM
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