Planning ahead: Pulling 4 or more cables through the wall

neuro

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Hi all, been reading and doing as much research as I can. I have never ran cables in the wall before.

I have a (bordering exterior) wall that I plan to pull at least 4 wires through into the attic in the event that I may want to run to other rooms or external cameras.

1. How difficult is it to run 4 wires, and are there any tips?
2. Since I don't know when or where I'll want to run them, is it OK that I terminate them at the top of the wall in the attic, and then connect them in the future?

I've tried looking for youtube videos but none show multi-cable installation.

Thank you!
 

mat200

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Hi @neuro

Pulling wires can be very easy to very challenging with a lot of "it depends".

Recommend getting a scrap piece of lumber and drilling a few different size holes and then cutting some sections of cable and seeing what size hole works best.

Smallest hole I would try is 1/2" .. then upto 3/4" or so.

Often running a few more cables is as easy as running just one ( hint electrical tape is your friend.. )

I do like the idea of using PVC conduit ( schedule 40 ) for some runs - as it can really make it easier. I prefer to use 3/4" conduit as I can easily pull 4 or even 5 cat6 cables through it. If I am using 1/2" conduit I have to go with thinner cable - cat5e typically.

Search for recommended tools, and the cliff notes.

With the proper tools and a friend to help it can be fairly reasonable job. Without the right tools and a friend it can be more of a pita.

I do not like to "splice" cables - so better imho to determine where you want to run it and complete it in one go.
 

neuro

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Hi @neuro

Pulling wires can be very easy to very challenging with a lot of "it depends".

Recommend getting a scrap piece of lumber and drilling a few different size holes and then cutting some sections of cable and seeing what size hole works best.

Smallest hole I would try is 1/2" .. then upto 3/4" or so.

Often running a few more cables is as easy as running just one ( hint electrical tape is your friend.. )

I do like the idea of using PVC conduit ( schedule 40 ) for some runs - as it can really make it easier. I prefer to use 3/4" conduit as I can easily pull 4 or even 5 cat6 cables through it. If I am using 1/2" conduit I have to go with thinner cable - cat5e typically.

Search for recommended tools, and the cliff notes.

With the proper tools and a friend to help it can be fairly reasonable job. Without the right tools and a friend it can be more of a pita.

I do not like to "splice" cables - so better imho to determine where you want to run it and complete it in one go.
Thank you for the tips. But let me get this straight: you put a full PVC conduit into the wall? How do you manage to fit the entire length of the pipe into the wall cavity, not withstanding the fire blocks?

Can I assume there will be more than 1 fire block?
 

mat200

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Thank you for the tips. But let me get this straight: you put a full PVC conduit into the wall? How do you manage to fit the entire length of the pipe into the wall cavity, not withstanding the fire blocks?

Can I assume there will be more than 1 fire block?
Hi @neuro

Normally I don't run the PVC conduit in the wall - I've used it in "attic" spaces where it was too low to access. Just pushed the PVC pipe into the attic corner to where the cables go outside or where the cables will run down the wall.

The only exception maybe the interior wall I may use to run the cables up / down to the "data room". Depending on your home construction you may have some voids in the wall where there are no fireblock in the way and you can run a conduit up / down. I've found such space next to a staircase before.. nice open section from the attic down into the basement.
 

pete_c

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Personally I would build a chase from source - patch panel to the attic for future use.

Here post construction cabling for a two story home initially built a chase between the basement and the attic of the two story home.

The attic cabling went to the bedrooms and cameras under the eaves.

Mid level on brick cameras (2) went in the garage walls to garage attic which was attached to the main attic which went down the main chase in the center of the home.
 

dudemaar

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is
Hi all, been reading and doing as much research as I can. I have never ran cables in the wall before.

I have a (bordering exterior) wall that I plan to pull at least 4 wires through into the attic in the event that I may want to run to other rooms or external cameras.

1. How difficult is it to run 4 wires, and are there any tips?
2. Since I don't know when or where I'll want to run them, is it OK that I terminate them at the top of the wall in the attic, and then connect them in the future?

I've tried looking for youtube videos but none show multi-cable installation.

Thank you!
Are we talking a 2 story house with a unfinished basement? Interior walls are better for that. especially if you can follow the cold air return from basement to second floor. then is a jiff to get them into attic from there.
 
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pete_c

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In the attic over did it some building a cat walk and illuminating it and structurally redid the attic access ladder going from wood to metal.

Baby steps running cable when I had time and temps were good.
 

neuro

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Personally I would build a chase from source - patch panel to the attic for future use.

Here post construction cabling for a two story home initially built a chase between the basement and the attic of the two story home.
Unfortunately I won't have the resources to add a chase. It's not the time or cost, but the logistics aren't worth the battle for such a small operation I'm planning.

Are we talking a 2 story house with a unfinished basement? Interior walls are better for that. especially if you can follow the cold air return from basement to second floor. then is a jiff to get them into attic from there.
Single story with a crawl space that I can get into. I've considered running wires that way, but going through the floor and then into the ceiling seems like 2x the work than simply adding a patch panel and going through the original place I wanted to run it from.

In the attic over did it some building a cat walk and illuminating it and structurally redid the attic access ladder going from wood to metal.

Baby steps running cable when I had time and temps were good.
My attic doesn't have any walkways. it's practically a crawl space as I have to squat-walk through it. However I still plan to do my best to meet code when laying out the wires.
 

mat200

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My attic doesn't have any walkways. it's practically a crawl space as I have to squat-walk through it. However I still plan to do my best to meet code when laying out the wires.
Hi Neuro,

I'd use the PVC conduit in that situation.. hate crawling in attics.. worth the $2.75 per 3/4" section + glue + clamps .. ;-)
 

neuro

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Hi Neuro,

I'd use the PVC conduit in that situation.. hate crawling in attics.. worth the $2.75 per 3/4" section + glue + clamps .. ;-)
Hah ok. I am very familiar with PVC conduit. I've just never used it in this context. Thank you, I'll definitely consider it!!
 

neuro

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long flex drill bit if you can drill down from the attic it works well ;-)
That was my plan. I have figured out how to attach a cable (or two) after that, but I recall a youtube video showing me.
 

mat200

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That was my plan. I have figured out how to attach a cable (or two) after that, but I recall a youtube video showing me.
The one I have has a hole in the bit that you can then use to attach a wire to and pull up the pull string.

Remember to use a stud finder and blue painters tape to mark where the studs are.

update: example of a longer flex bit with a hole you can use to connect to a pull string / wire

I found this video interesting to watch on this topic.. though I still prefer to drill straight down from the attic... ( I like to avoid the bit hitting nails.. so I want to avoid the edges of the fireblocks )
 
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dudemaar

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This one should go through fire block drilling down from attic. Just make sure you are on centre of wall plate/block and drill straight down. But I suppose if your cutting a hole in drywall below fire block for a recessed box then do what’s in the video but upwards . Hopefully you don’t have insulation in wall to deal with.
 
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neuro

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This one should go through fire block drilling down from attic. Just make sure you are on centre of wall plate/block and drill straight down. But I suppose if your cutting a hole in drywall below fire block for a recessed box then do what’s in the video but upwards . Hopefully you don’t have insulation in wall to deal with.
What's the difference between this one and the one that @mat200 posted? I have seen some videos where they drill up. I imagine I'll still have to go into the attic and double check if it's within the center block. Drilling up might be easier, but I suspect that because this is a wall that is also an exterior-side wall, it will have insulation.
 
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