Not rated for "In Wall"

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by chris.big.money, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. chris.big.money

    chris.big.money Stunt Coordinator

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    So in my quest for extending HTiB cables, i only found 22 gauge wire that was not rated for "in wall" installation. is this a big deal? the wall and ceiling that i'm running them through don't have insulation, in case this affects the wire in some way.
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    You should be able to find cable both rated and not rated for in-wall use in pretty much any gauge. Are you saying you are intent on getting cable which is NOT in-wall rated? Even though fire is not much of a risk, you should still get in-wall rated wire, since its insulation is designed to endure the environment inside the walls. Regular insulation will dry and crack eventually, which is the last thing you want. Don't use 22 ga though. Use a minimum 14. If you aren't "pulling" the wire, you can even use Romex.
     
  3. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    You'll find everything you could hope for here: Speaker Wire
     
  4. chris.big.money

    chris.big.money Stunt Coordinator

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    well i know that there is in wall rated wire for almost any wire....but at radioshack all i could find is not in wall rated 22 guage. and i can't use any less than that because the wires that i am extending from a HTiB are just about that gauge. Do you think it will make a huge difference? And how long will it take before it starts cracking from being in the wall?
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I don't think not having in-wall wire will affect you much. Since I'm not an electrician or a building inspector that should be interpreted to mean - I've done it (with 14 guage) with no apparent ill effect; and that was going through an exterior wall.

    I'd be more concerned with the use of the 22 guage. How long is the run you're winding up with?
     
  6. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    "In-wall" rating has much less to do with insulation cracking and being a hazard than it has to do with the insulation material itself contributing to a fire in the event one begins from another source. Wire not rated for in-wall can act like a fuse inside the wall during a house fire and hasten the spread.

    And I agree...22g is way too small in any event. 14g minimum and depending on the length, 12g would be even better.
     
  7. chris.big.money

    chris.big.money Stunt Coordinator

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    really? the wire that came with the HTiB (connected to speakers) was at least 22 gauge, if not smaller. that wire was expected to run through walls etc. right? and the maximum i could use would be 18 gauge, because the butt splices (red ones) are only rated for 18-22 and since the HTiB wire is so small, i figured that'd be the best size. also, before i moved the A/V components to the back of the room, i had the wires running through ceiling and walls and it didn't seem to affect anything. how long will it take for the insulation to become so damaged that it requires removal and substitution with new wire?
     
  8. chris.big.money

    chris.big.money Stunt Coordinator

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    it's not very long...i'm thinking (rough estimation) the longest wire is about 35 ft. and that's going through a drop ceiling and the walls. does it affect it more if it's going through the ceiling or the walls?
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    The HTiB wire is 22 gauge to save cost. Most people recommend 14 gauge for runs up to 50 ft and 12 gauge for over 50 ft.
     
  10. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    Chris...take another look at my last post. Degradation of the insulation isn't the big concern.
     
  11. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    The rating for in-wall use is a fire prevention issue, and has nothing to do with the capability of the wire for its intended use.

    Speaker wire should be as thick as practical. The lower the number, the bigger the wire. I would (almost) never use anything less than 16 gauge, and almost exclusively use 12 gauge. You can solder the skinny speaker wire onto something larger for the long runs. For a home theater system, 35 feet is getting into the "long run" category.

    There is almost NO checking what you do inside your own home. You can use wire which is not in-wall rated, and it is likely that no-one will ever know. Your insurance company might use it as an excuse to deny a claim if there is a fire, though.
     
  12. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    A good home inspector should also notice it if you ever sell the house. At which point you'll either be required to remove it or replace with appropriate in-wall rated wire. Such a discovery would probably encourage said inspector to look more closely at everything else while he was it.

    -Brent
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    It typically takes several years for the insulation on regular wire to break down. In-wall wire should last almost indefinitely.

    Don't look at Radio Shack.
    Go to a home center like Lowe's or Home Depot and get bulk wire.
     
  14. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    Again, I'd recommend buying from Monoprice. They ship fast, and it'll be hard to beat $30 for 100 feet of 12-gauge, CL-2-rated in-wall speaker wire.
     
  15. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I recently bought three rolls of these from monoprice. 12 gauge, CL2 and $15.95 for a 50 foot roll (cost me $12.85 two weeks ago) plus a little shipping. It looks a bit thin for 12g but it should be fine.
     
  16. chris.big.money

    chris.big.money Stunt Coordinator

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    okay so just to top it off....i already ran the wire using butt splices. it was 22 gauge. i probably shouldn't, but i had already bought and opened it and didn't feel like going through the process of finding receipts etc. so will i ever have a difference in sound quality or anything? if it's over (x) amount of years then i'll be able to buy a couple hundred feet of 12 gauge or something when i need to because of the cash involved. So just to clear it up in case something happens with my wire; if i were to eventually get some 12-18(?) gauge wire to replace the now-named "temporary" wire, how would i connect it to the wimpy HTiB wire? Is there anything short of soldering it? Thanks for all the help everyone. Even though i ran the other wires, i now know what to get in case something happens and am closer to not being labeled "a beginner"
     
  17. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Soldering the wires is the best connection you can have. Is there any reason you didn't go that route in the first place?

    -Robert
     
  18. chris.big.money

    chris.big.money Stunt Coordinator

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    well i was trying to go for the easiest, but still reliable connection. and i'd heard that butt splices were very reliable. so i used those instead of soldering simply because i did not feel the need to solder all the cables. so if these cables do ever wear out i can just get some 14 gauge wire and take out the butt splices and simply solder the wires together? what if they are different materials (i.e. the wire in the HTiB is silver material and not copper like other wire i've seen)?
     

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