In wall wirring questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Hopkins, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'm getting ready to run wiring for my surround and back surround speakers so i don't have cable running all the way around the perimeter of my room.

    My questions are:

    1.) Can i use 12 gauge solid copper conduit, or do i have to use a braided cable?

    2.) Can i use 15 amp electrical outlets as the wall plugs?

    The reason for wanting to use both are cost. I can get 250ft of 12 gauge solid conduit for $15 and outlets for around $0.39 each.

    Binding posts would cost around $11 for each set of 2 and 250ft of 12 gauge braided speaker cable would be $60.

    If anyone could inform me of any logistical problems of using solid copper conduit and electrical plugs as opposed to braided cable and binding posts, i would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Stephen,

    Not sure what you mean by “solid copper conduit” or “braided cable”...

    All you need is speaker cable rated for in-wall use. I wouldn’t worry about the binding posts. Just bring the cable straight out of the wall to the speaker; that’s what I did. You can use a blank outlet cover on the wall with a hole in the center and route the cable out the hole. Looks nice and it’s more reliable than binding posts, since they will make you have four extra termination points per speaker (eight extra if you use them at both the speaker and receiver locations).

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. John_W_Jr

    John_W_Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,
    12awg solid wire, like Romex, isn't the easiest stuff to work with--and you really want twisted pair wires. At that gauge, stranded wire for speaker use is fairly common. If I understand, it sounds like you want to use ac outlets in place of binding posts to connect up your speakers--does that mean you'll be terminating the wires coming from your speakers with ac plugs? Hmmm, it would work, but I'd sure hate for someone to come along and try to plug a lamp into that ac recepticle-especially if your amp is on!
    I would avoid using anything that isn't meant for audio, just for the sake of identity purposes. As Wayne mentions, I did the same thing he did only routed my cables under the house and then up through the floor. I use a cover plate with a hole in it that the cable comes through, and mounted to the floor, the plate has more of a "finished" look to it that just a wire coming up from the carpet...or through a hole in the wall.
     
  4. Luis Esp

    Luis Esp Supporting Actor

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    As much as everyone here hates Home Theater magazine, last month they had a pretty good article on this very subject. It's very easy to do once you have the proper tools to execute it. First and foremost, get yourself an electrical fishing tape. Believe me, this will save you the headaches I had.

    Luckily enough, I was replacing my baseboards, so once I ran the cables, which I picked up at Home Depot for $.67 a foot, 14 gauge, from the speakers, I ran them down the wall and behind where the baseboard are now. Looks pretty good.

    The only regret I have is not installing the cables before I painted my walls red. I painted the cables and the "holes" that I patched and the red is slightly off.
    But once you turn on the tube and the surround, all is forgotten.
     
  5. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    "1.) Can i use 12 gauge solid copper conduit, or do i have to use a braided cable?"

    I gather you meant stranded instead of braided. Solid or stranded should make no difference. Although I am sure somebody on this forum will have a beef with that.

    2.) Can i use 15 amp electrical outlets as the wall plugs?

    Definitely not a good idea. No problem with the connection, but being that your speakers will have to have an AC plug to go there, they could be plugged into the real AC outlet and then POOOOF!(actually more like HUUUUMMMMMM, then poof!)

    Don't say "Oh, that won't happen to me". I know a couple of guys that said that and.....

    In one case it was the wife on the other the maid or a guest.
     
  6. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    As everyone else had said I will too. Just use a inwall rated speaker wire at least 16guage for runs under 50feet, 14guage for under 80ft and 12guage for the rest. Wall plates cost about $20 and is a worthwhile investement cause it looks nice. And if you ever need a longer length of wire just connect a longer wire to the wall plate.

    A stud finder, snake, and electrical tape are very handy. as well as a drill. Outside walls are more difficult to run wires through(insulation) and always be mindful of electrical and plumbing lines. Cold air ducts are great for running wires up walls and into attics. And always leave 1-2ft extra wire in the walls
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If by 12 gauge solid you're thinkin of Romex, I'd advise against it as someday someone might think that wasn't speaker wire and do something they hadn't planned on. Another reason against, even if its not romex, is that it is incredibly unflexible.
     

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