1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

"Professional" installer story. (longish)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanKaps, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. DanKaps

    DanKaps Extra

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How many people have had similar things happen?...
    An aquaintance is building a very nice home and wanted to have his family room pre-wired for HT. He knows that I'm a home audio/HT enthusiast and asked me for some input on what he should tell/ask the "professional" security/audio installer. Knowing that the size of room, it would make for a few runs of speaker wire upwards of 50 feet. So I recommended he tell his installer to use 14 guage wire at a minimum. Beyond that, he knew where he wanted the wires run.
    He called me after he met with his installer and he said that the installer always uses 16 guage wire and that larger wire was so companies like Monster could rip off consumers. I still recommended at least 14 for the lengths of his runs but he said "He does this all the time and he's the professional so he knows what he's talking about". So, I let that go and asked what else the guy had planned. He said that he was running wires to two possible subwoofer locations also. I was afraid to ask but I said "Not with the same 16 guage wire, right?" He said, I'm sure he knows what he's doing.
    Welp, The job is done and here's what $300 for installation bought him: generic 16 guage wire ran from a "home run" junction box to two locations in front, two subwoofer locations (same type of wire), ONE wire ran to the left surround and another wire ran FROM THERE to the right surround.
    This "professional" may been doing this for 20 years but he hasn't learned a damn thing during that time. After we looked at the final product, my aquaintance is going to call the guy. I'd prefer we take an evening and start over and do it right ourselves but he's already paid $300.
    Give somebody a drill and $15 worth of wire and they become experts.
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i hate to see this happen, but at least you tried to warn your friend. he should have listened to you in the first place...
    since your friend paid up...he's kinda stuck i guess
    i can't wait to hear what happens when he confronts this "so-called" installer and challenges his work.
    [​IMG]
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  3. Kevin Peak

    Kevin Peak Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2001
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Real Name:
    Kev
    Ouch. That's really an unfortunate story. Good luck with your solution.
    ------------------
    Thanks,
    kevp
     
  4. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've lost track of how many times people I know ask me for advice on setting up their rooms only to go out and completely ignore what I tell them because someone else tells them differently. It IS a frustrating waste of time when it happens.
     
  5. Matt Heebner

    Matt Heebner Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thats about as bad as a friend asking for advice on equipment, and then going out and buying the exact opposite of what you said.
    It's happened more than once and usually with unfavorable results...which is what will happen in this situation.
    Matt
    ------------------
    Sony DB930
    Pioneer DV-525
    Mitsubishi WS55807-Widescreen baby!!
    Paradigm Titans-mains
    Paradigm Atoms-surrounds
    Paradigm CC-170-center
    Velodyne CT-120-subwoofer
     
  6. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  7. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well I can tell you that for $300 I would of questioned the wire used. What usaully happens is (and I'm speaking from personal experience) is they have 20 years experience at running wires not HT or audio. I work for a alarm company and we do it all home and commercial alarms, camera systems ht(mostly pre-wires but thats changing to) card access. Alarms is are main focus but to keep money flowing we have to adjust to demands. And thats what the installer did. only what happens is they get greedy and cut corners for profit and do not take the time to learn and do the job properly. mostly because it would take too much of their time. and of course time is money.
     
  8. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2000
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had to use an old timer electrician recently to wire my new basement HT room I was having built. Similar kind of response when I questioned him as to why he had run 14AWG to the 2 dedicated circuits. Well, he said, I always use 14AWG when I do residential work. This may be true, but, his responses - "you dont need 12AWG for this" , and "if you want 12AWG then go out to my truck and get the 12AWG roll yourself; but first, pull out the two runs I just ran" nearly got his 73 year old ass thrown out of my house and off the job for good.
    Problem was I was in a time pinch and my "real" electrician was all booked during the rough-in day. So I had to settle for "old crusty" and his long since jaded attitudes and "professional courtesy".
    I explained to this salty Yankee curmudgeon that the 12AWG was for the HT system and that it was a minimum requirement. I had contemplated 10AWG.
    Anyway, you already know that I had to pull out his 14AWG runs myself. So be it.
    You can imagine how happy I was when he brought his brother-in-law (also licenced, but this guy taught electrical engineering at a local vo-tech and new his stuff. Not to mention that he was a nice guy, and eager to please) to install the sub panel and make the final connections to the main power. He did a great job.
    I did get another crack at old salty though -- I treated the 12AWG with Pro Gold before he terminated to the Pass & Seymour 5262A duplex outlets. He said, "what the hell is that crap. I never used that stuff before". I just left it at "it is anti-corrosive space- aged voodoo juice, and, well, you dont want to know".
    Unbelievable. And, yes, these contractors will cut every corner possible to save a buck. At the customers expense, of course. Not all of them, but you get my point.
    BOK
    [Edited last by Brian OK on July 31, 2001 at 09:14 PM]
     
  9. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't condone or agree with the installer and never use 16 gauge in installs I have done or helped with but based on information supplied by major wire suppliers, 16 gauge is ok for typical residential runs.
    For instance, Belden states that 16 guage speaker wire will only have .5dB loss at 115'.
    Whatever, I have 11 gauge wire for my 15' runs.
     
  10. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 1999
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    16 gauge wire wasn't the problem. It is completely acceptable and is commonly used in high-end (and low-end) custom installs. The rest of the story is a poor reflection upon the installer in question.
     
  11. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2001
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Personaly... I think the matter of wire size should be discussed prior to the installer getting out there... Its our money... what do they care..If I want to put 0g pure gold wire in my walls... they should say..no problem..where can I draw the blood?????
    hehe
    oh well... lifes to short
     
  12. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    quote: Welp, The job is done and here's what $300 for installation bought him: generic 16 guage wire ran from a "home run" junction box to two locations in front, two subwoofer locations (same type of wire), ONE wire ran to the left surround and another wire ran FROM THERE to the right surround.[/quote]Uh, yeah... sounds like this guy has a passing acquaintance with this new-fangled thing called "Dolby Surround." I wonder if he gave a curious look when told to run speaker wires to the back of the room?
    And a powered sub? What the heck is that?? Never heard of those... And what's that? You need THREE speakers in front? What kind of system are you putting together? You only have two (bleepin') EARS!!??
    Yep, I can imagine someone saying something like that. [​IMG]
    KJP
    [Edited last by Kevin P on August 01, 2001 at 03:28 PM]
     
  13. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Eventually you have to accept the fact that you can't really change some people, even if they're your friends. The possible outcomes are both good really...
    1. friend is blissfully unaware
    2. friend becomes aware and has learned something useful.
     
  14. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 1999
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thomas,
    You're absolutely right. The wire that is spec'd into the job should be agreed upon by both parties. I run Monster 16/4 and a simple twisting of wires will yield an effective gauge of 13. I only suggest this in a theater install. For background music with in-walls you need to use half the 16/4 pair to drive the other in-wall speaker.
     

Share This Page