PVC Pipe as a Speaker Wire Insulator

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike H Wizard, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. Mike H Wizard

    Mike H Wizard Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to the whole Home Theater Experience and I am wondering if PVC Pipe (the white or gray plastic type pipe) works well as an insulator against power wire. Meaning running Speaker Wire through it.

    Th reason I'm asking is because my Wife and I are building a townhome and I want to put speaker wire in the cieling before the sheet rock goes up for my surround speakers...

    Any suggestions or tips are welcome, I need all the help I can get, I tried doing a search about this but I did not find any info pertaining to this...

    Thank you in advance for all of your help,

    Mike
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Mike. Welcome to HTF!
    First, there is a separate "HT Construction & Interiors" fourm that specalizes in your type of question. You might browse there for room advice.
    But since we are here...[​IMG]
    No, running speaker wire through PVC pipe wont help. You are trying to avoid picking up 60 hz humm in your speaker wires. The PVC plastic AFAIK does not provide electromagnetic shielding.
    Just try to run the speaker wire several feet away from power wires. If you must cross them, try to do it at 90 degrees.
    When you run wire, run extra. Make sure to run 3 sets of wire to the rear for that rear-center speaker that is becoming popular.
    You might also consider running RG6 CATV coax to the rear to drive bass shakers/tactile transducers attached to your couch later.
    Locate the corner of the room with the 2 longest, un-broken walls. This is where you will want to put your sub. Run some RG6 coax here.
    Would you ever consider doing a ceiling-mount projector? If so, you should:
    - Run power to the ceiling
    - Run some 3-conductor High Def capable video cables to the ceiling
    - Run a SVideo cable to the ceiling.
    Some other suggestions:
    See if the builder will fully-insulate the walls in the room. Not just the exterior ones, all of them. This includes the ceiling. The pink-fiberglass stuff works well. This will help keep sound in the room from leaking out, and outside sounds from getting in.
    Try and hook up with the sheatrock guys. Pay them $50 or so each to use double/triple the number of screws. I think the "standard" is to use a screw every 18 inches. Have them put screws in every 6 inches to create an extra-tight surface.
    There may be other suggestions so hit the "interiors" fourm or just look at old posts.
    Good Luck.
     
  3. Rob Warren

    Rob Warren Auditioning

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    You can use metal conduit. Even then I would try to keep my wires away from any other electrical source. However, of all the cables to keep protected, speaker level power is usually not the problem when it comes to picking up other noises. BTW, if you want to plan for the future without buying a bunch of extra wire, i.e.(projector, transducers, etc.) you could run the conduit to a box in the ceiling or wall, then put a blank dummy plate to make it look nice and this way you can always run the wire later. You just make sure you always can get access to both ends of the conduit. May need a box w/ cover plate on each end depending on your setup. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Jerry Wright

    Jerry Wright Agent

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    Mike, code for sheetrocking screws IS 6 inches . I've built enough homes to know. So don't pay extra for what you should be getting anyway. The inner wall insulation is a very good idea, HT wise.
     
  5. Mike H Wizard

    Mike H Wizard Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the Info Guys, It is appreciated!

    I read a few times about the Home Depot 12 Gage Speaker Wire, could you please tell me if they are referring to the Heavy Duty Stuff ($.47/Foot) or is the Copper Strand and Silver Strand 12 Gage ($.35/Foot) sufficient enough?

    Thank you again for all of your help,

    Mike
     
  6. DevonB

    DevonB Auditioning

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    Mike

    If you request sheet rock screws every 6 inches you will pay extra! This is a good idea, however hangers do not normally place screws that close together. I would also suggest having soundboard installed on all walls that back up to any bedrooms prior to sheetrocking. This will help dampen the sound quite a bit.

    I would also suggest using a bead of Liquid Nails on the floor joists if this is a second story home theater.
     
  7. Jerry Wright

    Jerry Wright Agent

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    Mike, If you are charged extra for the 6" spacing, call your codes administrator. The code may vary in your area, but I have never hung rock, screwed or nailed any further apart than 6"
     
  8. Ryan Coleman

    Ryan Coleman Auditioning

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    Perhaps the 18" number is being confused w/stud spacing?
     
  9. Jerry Wright

    Jerry Wright Agent

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    That was my first thought Ryan, but even that is 16" O.C.
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The 16" spaceing was my guestimate from seeing pre-taped sheatrock when they stripped the surface of my kitchen walls a few years ago. What was done then vs now is likely quite different. [​IMG]
    There is also the issue that in earthquake-prone California, we may not normally do as many attachment points.
     
  11. Mike H Wizard

    Mike H Wizard Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the Info Guys, It is appreciated!

    I read a few times about the Home Depot 12 Gage Speaker Wire, could you please tell me if they are referring to the Heavy Duty Stuff ($.47/Foot) or is the Copper Strand and Silver Strand 12 Gage ($.35/Foot) sufficient enough?

    Are the white wall plates with the Screwable Binding Posts a good thing to do on the wall or should I just run straight wire?

    Thank you again for all of your help,

    Mike
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    On the subject of wall plates: run your wires to electrical outlet box's. But buy the blank wall plates ($0.50 ea) and drill holes for the speaker wire. Make sure to pull enough slack to have a un-interupted wire from the receiver to the speaker.

    Later, you can trim the wire off near the box and install wall plates with binding posts.

    Good Luck.
     
  13. Mike H Wizard

    Mike H Wizard Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Bob,

    Sorry, I'm a Newbie, please bear with me, just so I have clarification about these things...

    When you say electrical boxes, are you talking about the Plastic Blue Boxes from Home Depot that nail onto the studs?

    And from my very original post about the

    Home Depot 12 Gage Speaker Wire, are they talking about the Heavy Duty Copper for both Strands at($.47/Foot) or is the Single Copper Strand and Single Silver Strand 12 Gage ($.35/Foot) sufficient enough to use in the Walls and Ceilings?

    Thank you again in advance,

    Mike
     
  14. Paul_Dunlop

    Paul_Dunlop Second Unit

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    Hi
    Another suggestion is that while you're running the speaker wire through the conduit, add a couple of 'pull' strings for future use. Just use regular white string and tape it to both ends. There's always something new to run.
    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    I hope you are running CL rated speaker wire in your walls. If not, you are in violation of building codes. You can't just put any wire in walls, conduit or no conduit. It must have the proper rating. Regards.
     

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