Running cable outside for speakers, what type and what gauge?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Trevin Chow, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Trevin Chow

    Trevin Chow Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to be running cable for my rear surround speakers. Since my townhouse has no crawlspace underneath, and no attic, the easiest way is for me to run a cable around the exterior then back into my townhouse on the other side (I am an end unit).

    I can tuck the speaker wire nicely underneath the vinyl siding. I will fish the cable through the ceiling to the 2 ceiling mounting points.

    The wire runs will be 25 feet for the left surround, and about 40 feet for the right surround.

    The speakers I will be picking up this week are the M&K K4, which are rated at 4-ohms and are rated at 10-150W. They will be poweredinto a Pioneer Elite VSX-45tx receiver that I just got.

    Here are the speakers: (search the page for K4)
    http://www.mksound.com/Kseries1.html#SPECIFICATIONS

    Questions:

    1. Do I need special wire that is "weather proof"? I figure the wire will be exposed to the elements, in terms of moisture, wind, and some sun. I say "some" sun, because the 2 side of the townhouse that the wire will run along are basically north facing, so sun doesn't hit it directly very much.

    If I do need special wire, what kind and what is the expected cost per foot?

    2. Considering the lengths of the wire runs (25 and 40 feet) and power characteristics of the speakers, what gauge of wire do I need to run? Obviously 16 gauge is preferable since I will be fishing the cable and the smaller the wire the better. But I don't want to make a mistake and fish too small of a gauge.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Here is a link to recommended cable lengths:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~rogerr7/wire.htm#wiretable

    As you see, his recommendation would be 14ga for 40 feet Max with a 4 ohm load.

    Since you are running the cable through a wall at some point, your local code probably requires CL2 or CL3 rated wire (also called 'In Wall rated').

    Partsexpress sells 14/2 Carol In wall rated for 14.00/100 feet.
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd..._ID=2895&DID=7
    or their own wire for 22.50/100 feet
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd..._ID=2906&DID=7

    There should be no need for you to run outdoor 'burial' cable as you say you will feed the wire under your siding.
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd..._ID=2932&DID=7
    Outdoor cable from General Cable is 16.60/100 but I am not sure if this would be rated to run through walls into your Townhouse.
     
  3. Trevin Chow

    Trevin Chow Stunt Coordinator

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    I started another thread on this topic, but it was closed since it was a duplicate thread [​IMG]

    In my other thread, John Garcia wrote:

     
  4. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Trevin, worst comes to worst, you could run your regular speaker wire through PVC conduit. PVC can be painted easily, is cheap, and will be thoroughly waterproof once it's glued up.
     

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