Running wires under carpet

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by dosei, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. dosei

    dosei Auditioning

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    Can fellow forum readers please help me with this project - I would like to run speaker wires for my surrounds under the carpet. I have absolutely no experience doing this sort of things, but would like to make this my project this weekend. Can people who have experience or knowledge of how to this please help me out. I have heard I can do this w/out pulling up the entire area the wires will run through, but I need help from pulling the carpet up to how to snake the wires through. Much thanks.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Can you run the wire around the baseboards to the rear location? That’s the easiest thing to do. Typically it's not hard to tuck the wire down between the carpet and the baseboard.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. dosei

    dosei Auditioning

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    "Can you run the wire around the baseboards to the rear location?"

    By baseboard, you mean the molding at the bottom of the walls? No, patio door is on one side, and other side is open. I can run the wires to the patio door, then go around it, but then the wires are visible and are alot longer than if I can go under.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Shouldn’t be a problem. The wiring can run along the baseboard and tuck down between the baseboard and the tack strip.

    When you get to the patio door, you can pull the carpet up from the tack strip, and run the wire inside the tack strip for the length of the door. The carpet can be nailed down again afterwards. You might want to cut a notch in the strip with a chisel, at the point where the wires cross it, to make sure you don’t have a bulge.

    The opening on the other side might not be out of the question, depending on how wide it is.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. RonFla

    RonFla Extra

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    I just came across this post and i may have a similar situation. I have wire under my rug now but the wire is not the best. Ok it's old and not too good. If and when i get a new receiver and/or speakers i want to use new wire. My problem is not so much running it against the baseboard but the doorways. I have one area that leads into the kitchen so there a doorway there and another door leading to the second and third bedrooms. I can't have wires loose. I need to hide them and here's why. You'll love this! I have 3 parrots. 2 of them are cockatoos, the big ones ok. THese 2 are all over the floor when i take them out and if a wire is near them they will bite it to see if they can break it. THey can! Trust me they can! I need to hide the wires!
     
  6. RonFla

    RonFla Extra

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    I just came across this post and i may have a similar situation. I have wire under my rug now but the wire is not the best. Ok it's old and not too good. If and when i get a new receiver and/or speakers i want to use new wire. My problem is not so much running it against the baseboard but the doorways. I have one area that leads into the kitchen so there a doorway there and another door leading to the second and third bedrooms. I can't have wires loose. I need to hide them and here's why. You'll love this! I have 3 parrots. 2 of them are cockatoos, the big ones ok. THese 2 are all over the floor when i take them out and if a wire is near them they will bite it to see if they can break it. THey can! Trust me they can! I need to hide the wires!
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Getting across a doorway is pretty easy.

    You’ll need a long, stiff wire. I have found the best wire for this application is the stuff they use to hang drop-ceilings in offices. The problem is, it can be difficult to come by. I don’t know if you can buy it at the Home Depot and Lowes stores; if they do sell it, I imagine it will be in bulk, not per-wire. Your best bet might be to snag a piece of scrap from a construction site.

    If you can’t find this, a small-diameter aluminum rod should be available at Lowes or Home Depot, in the metal stock section.

    When crossing a doorway, you will have to pull up the carpet a little and cut away a section of tack strip wide enough for the wire to fit between. Naturally, you’ll have to do this on both sides of the doorway.

    You will need to make a tight bend in the leading end of the wire that you will be pushing across the doorway. Make it as small as possible, and bend it all the way back in a tight “U.” This will keep the wire from snagging on the underlying padding, even if you have to pull it back out.

    Tape a pull-string to the wire, and then push the wire across the doorway. It will probably be helpful to have a helper lift the carpet slightly as you push across. A good way is to grab the knap with some needle-nose pliers. Pull the wire all the way through and out, leaving the pull-string in place under the carpet. The pull string will work better for pulling the speaker wire than the ceiling wire will. Use something heavy-duty for your pull string, like electrician’s jet-line or weed-eater line.

    Now you’re ready to pull your speaker wire across. A common problem with pulling speaker wire under carpet is that the pull string slips off the speaker wire. The trick is to properly secure the pull string, as well as “taper” the bare speaker wire.

    First split out the speaker wire’s two conductors 3-4 inches back, and cut one of them off. Strip the insulation off the remaining conductor about 1-1/2” back, and bend it into a “u.”

    Tie the pull string into a knot around the stripped-back section of speaker wire and situate the knot in the apex of the “u” of the bare wire. Then twist the bare wire in a tight spiral.

    Next spiral-wrap some good-quality electrical tape around the speaker wire/pull string junction.. Use high-quality 3M electrical tape for this that cost $2-3 a roll, not the cheap, stiff 99¢ stuff. Start the wrap past and the cut-off conductor of the speaker wire and wrap towards and fully cover the knot in the pull string. This will help taper the cut-off conductor (wouldn’t hurt to help that taper along buy trimming the cut conductor at an angle).

    When you are finished, you should have a reasonably smooth and gradual taper from the pull string all the way to the second conductor. This will make it easy to pull the string and wire across the doorway without snagging on the padding. Again, it will be helpful if someone slightly raises the carpet as you pull the wire in.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
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    Getting across a doorway is pretty easy.

    You’ll need a long, stiff wire. I have found the best wire for this application is the stuff they use to hang drop-ceilings in offices. The problem is, it can be difficult to come by. I don’t know if you can buy it at the Home Depot and Lowes stores; if they do sell it, I imagine it will be in bulk, not per-wire. Your best bet might be to snag a piece of scrap from a construction site.

    If you can’t find this, a small-diameter aluminum rod should be available at Lowes or Home Depot, in the metal stock section.

    When crossing a doorway, you will have to pull up the carpet a little and cut away a section of tack strip wide enough for the wire to fit between. Naturally, you’ll have to do this on both sides of the doorway.

    You will need to make a tight bend in the leading end of the wire that you will be pushing across the doorway. Make it as small as possible, and bend it all the way back in a tight “U.” This will keep the wire from snagging on the underlying padding, even if you have to pull it back out.

    Tape a pull-string to the wire, and then push the wire across the doorway. It will probably be helpful to have a helper lift the carpet slightly as you push across. A good way is to grab the knap with some needle-nose pliers. Pull the wire all the way through and out, leaving the pull-string in place under the carpet. The pull string will work better for pulling the speaker wire than the ceiling wire will. Use something heavy-duty for your pull string, like electrician’s jet-line or weed-eater line.

    Now you’re ready to pull your speaker wire across. A common problem with pulling speaker wire under carpet is that the pull string slips off the speaker wire. The trick is to properly secure the pull string, as well as “taper” the bare speaker wire.

    First split out the speaker wire’s two conductors 3-4 inches back, and cut one of them off. Strip the insulation off the remaining conductor about 1-1/2” back, and bend it into a “u.”

    Tie the pull string into a knot around the stripped-back section of speaker wire and situate the knot in the apex of the “u” of the bare wire. Then twist the bare wire in a tight spiral.

    Next spiral-wrap some good-quality electrical tape around the speaker wire/pull string junction.. Use high-quality 3M electrical tape for this that cost $2-3 a roll, not the cheap, stiff 99¢ stuff. Start the wrap past and the cut-off conductor of the speaker wire and wrap towards and fully cover the knot in the pull string. This will help taper the cut-off conductor (wouldn’t hurt to help that taper along buy trimming the cut conductor at an angle).

    When you are finished, you should have a reasonably smooth and gradual taper from the pull string all the way to the second conductor. This will make it easy to pull the string and wire across the doorway without snagging on the padding. Again, it will be helpful if someone slightly raises the carpet as you pull the wire in.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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