Conduit in basement

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by John Swarce, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. John Swarce

    John Swarce Second Unit

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    Hi folks:

    A couple of questions about conduit....

    1) How wide of a PVC pipe do I need? 1", 1 1/2", 2"?
    2) How do I hang it from my joists in my basement?
    3) I have read that 90 degree bends are bad for snaking wires in the future. So how do I run conduit from a centrally located projector position to a front corner equipment room? Two 45 degree bends?
    4) How do I set up a "wire pull" for future wiring?
    5) I am setting up a 7.1 system. Do I run speaker wire through a conduit or just run it to my speaker locations?

    My basement is at the final framing phase and I am starting the electrical phase. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me! [​IMG]

    John
     
  2. Darren Hunt

    Darren Hunt Agent

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    Some people have used just a strong cord or rope strung through the pipe to pull the cables through. If you have twice the length of rope as the pipe, you can pull anything through both ways. A major issue with this is that once you start pulling cables through, they will spin and roll, ending up twisting along the rope. As you do more cables, it progressively becomes harder until it is almost impossible to use the rope. At this time, pull another rope through and cut the old one.

    In my room, I did not have any corners to deal with, so I set up a channel instead of a pipe. I used the base of a steel frame (U shape) and hung it from the ceiling. Above this, I placed a long curtain rod and strung my rope/string along the curtain rod. I can now pull cables back and forth down my channel without worrying about the cables twisting with the rope, since it is supported from above by the curtain rollers. Works well for me, but then, I don't have any corners to deal with.

    Darren
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Don't bother running your speaker cable through the conduit. You should runt he speaker cable where you will want it and install wall plates for it. Your electrical contractor will have the correct type of speaker cable to meet local codes.

    As for the conduit, run a 3" to be safe, and a string will be a good idea.
     
  4. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    1) How wide of a PVC pipe do I need? 1", 1 1/2", 2"?

    I used 1-1/2" and pulled the following through it: Component Video (3 RG6), 2 RG6 runs for S-Video, 2 RG6 runs for L/R Stereo, Phone cord, Cat5 run, Center Speaker Wire, and a spare string for future pulls. go 1/2" larger than what you think you will need... I wish I did. Here are some pics.

    2) How do I hang it from my joists in my basement?

    Go to Home Depot and check out their Electrical Section. You will want to use electrical conduit. They have straps to hang the conduit.

    3) I have read that 90 degree bends are bad for snaking wires in the future. So how do I run conduit from a centrally located projector position to a front corner equipment room? Two 45 degree bends?

    Again visit Home Depot's Electrical Section. They have 90 degree soft bends that will get the job done.

    4) How do I set up a "wire pull" for future wiring?

    String/Rope. use a shop vac and rag to suck the string through for the first time.

    5) I am setting up a 7.1 system. Do I run speaker wire through a conduit or just run it to my speaker locations?

    I would just use in-wall rated speaker wire and forget about the conduit. Just make sure you pull the gauge speaker wire you want the first time.

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    I used 1.5" conduit but I had to use a 90 degree elbow because the ceiling is 12' high. So I run 12' from the rack to the ceiling, through the 90 degree elbow, and then another 12' over to the projector. If in doubt, use 2" conduit. I currently have two component runs, an s-video and a composite run in the conduit. All of my speaker cables were run independently using the rated in-wall stuff.
     
  6. John Swarce

    John Swarce Second Unit

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    Thanks to all!

    I've been scouting my local Home Depot and have found the electrical conduit mentioned. Looks easy enough to work with. Didn't see the straps to hang the conduit, and there was no-one around to help me.

    I am putting up a suspended ceiling in the theater room, so I have to be mindful of the width of the piping. I want to maximize my headroom, so I don't think I could use anything over 2". This should be enough room for the projector cables.
     
  7. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    The straps are shaped like a C with two holes for screws at either end. usually sold in packages of 10-12 ect. They would prob be in some sort of plastic bag packaging and located with the couplings, elbows and junction boxes.

    Can you tuck the conduit up into the joists? Will the conduit run with the joists or perpendicular to the joists?

    Here are some stick drawings: [​IMG]

    Joist
    ---------------------------
    conduit
    =====================
    ---------------------------
    Joist

    or

    Joist.........conduit
    -------------||-------------
    ................. ||
    -------------||--------------
    Joist ...........||
    (.... just for spacing)

    If you can tuck it up into the joist then you could maximize your drop ceiling height.

    Good Luck
     
  8. John Swarce

    John Swarce Second Unit

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    Thanks, Chris...Now I know what I'm looking for. [​IMG]

    As far as the joists go, it's a combination of the two ways you described. My projector is to be placed in the center of my 15' x 23' room, with the screen on the short wall. My joists run parallel to the projector throw, so tucking the conduit between the joists would work...for a 6' run. THEN, the conduit would have to make a 90 degree turn to go to my equipment closet (about 7' away). this would mean the conduit would run below the joists. This is probably a moot point, as I have a 1" water pipe running below the joists where I am making the 90 degree turn, so the conduit would have to run below the joists.

    I figured that I would have to have about 3" of clearance between the joists and the ceiling tiles, with a little "wiggle room" between the conduit and the pipe.

    Maybe I will rethink the layout of the room and have the screen on the opposite short wall. This would eliminate the need for a bend in the conduit. Of course, then I would have to plan around my water meter and a big cleanout pipe sticking out of the floor (riser was to cover this).[​IMG]

    Things are never easy.........
     
  9. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    I would stay with your original plan... a couple of 90 degrees are not that big of deal and you wont be pulling to many cables through the conduit.

    The sweeping 90 degree bends makes pulling the cable pretty easy. I actually pushed my cable through my conduit while the wife pulled the rope.

    If your cables have the ends on them then make sure to tape them up to minimize the chance of them hanging up on their trip through the conduit.

    Just thought of an idea.... if you have the room to keep the conduit under the joists why not make it a straight run to the gear closet (diagonal to the joists or as the crow would fly [​IMG] )? the end result would be less 90 degree bends.
     
  10. John Swarce

    John Swarce Second Unit

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    Chris:

    That's a great idea! I could use two 45 degree turns with a diagonal run. Thanks again! [​IMG]

    John
     
  11. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    no prob... its so nice to have a place to bounce ideas around. [​IMG]
     

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