Running wiring under carpet...?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Darrell Carney, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Darrell Carney

    Darrell Carney Auditioning

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    Hello All... I'm new to this group but by the looks of it there are a lot of very knowledgeable folks out there.

    We are looking to replace our old stereo system with an out of the box home theater (surround sound) system. The problem is our living area is open to the second floor of the house and the wall the system will be on does not reach the roof. This means we are unable to run the connections for the rear speakers over top the room and have to run them out around the walls or under the carpeting some how.

    The question is can speaker wire be run under carpeting and is there an easy way to do this?

    Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Darrell Carney
     
  2. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    is there a basement? under carpet is a pain (most carpet is not one piece and the seam is stuck down well)around baseboards is the easiest then drill into the wall low, and come out above where you want the speaker
     
  3. Darrell Carney

    Darrell Carney Auditioning

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    Thanks for the response...
    No, no basements here in Texas! Even getting to an adjacent wall is complicated by the fact the "main wall" is not connected to either side. On each side of the main wall there is a doorway or hallway. This means trying to cross a pathway with the speaker wire so even getting to the baseboard on the adjacent wall is going to be painful..

    I'm open to suggestions!

    Thanks again.
    Darrell
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'm not totally clear on your situation but this is what I have done. I ran the rear wires to each end of the room, and then found a spot where the carpet met the wall that wasn't as secure as the rest, and pulled it up. Once I got started, it wasn't hard to get a bigger opening.

    Step 2. I unfolded a wire coat hanger and slid it under the carpet to an adjoining wall, and attached the speaker wire on to the end of it.

    Step 3. Pull the wire hanger out and then tuck the speaker wire in where the end of the carpet meets the wall. It will usually fit there quite nicely! Make sure that it goes inbeteeen any carpet nails.

    Try to keep the speaker wire that is under the carpet twist free too, so there won't be any bumps on the carpet. If the carpet has the end pieces with the nails on them, grab onto the edge of the carpet with some pliers and pull it towards the wall and up. And yes, when you get done, it isn't too hard getting the carpet back so you could never tell that it had been lifted.

    Glenn
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Darrell,

    It’s not too hard to get a cable across a doorway.

    As Glen noted, you will need a long, stiff wire. Often doorways in living area are much wider than regular doorways (where there is an actual door), so if you find an unfolded coat hanger isn’t going to go the distance, pick up a small-diameter aluminum rod at Lowes or Home Depot, in the metal stock section.

    First you will have to pull up the carpet a little on both sides of the doorway and cut away a section of the tack strip with a chisel and hammer, wide enough for the wire to fit between. You don’t want your speaker wire laying across a tack strip. If you don’t have a chisel, a flat-blade screwdriver will get the job done.

    You will need to make a tight bend in the leading end of the rod (or coat hanger 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 rod from snagging the underlying padding and bunching it up.

    Okay, the leading end of the rod is prepped. Before you start pushing it under the carpet, go ahead and tape your speaker wire to the other end. What you don’t want is to have a “stair step” transition between the rod and speaker wire. That can lead to snagging the pad, so wrap enough tape around it so that you have a nice smooth transition between the wire and rod.

    When you push the rod under the carpet, it will help to have someone pulling up on the carpet. Some needle nose pliers can help here. This will help the rod go across easier, and will lessen the chance of it snagging on the pad.

    As the rod gets to the other side of the doorway, idea is to get it to go through the open section in the tack strip that you made earlier. As Glen noted, when you pull the speaker wire through make sure it doesn’t go under the carpet twisted.

    So, that’s the way to do it when the speaker wire is going the same direction you’re pushing the rod. If you have a situation where you have to push the rod through, attach the wire to it and pull the rod back out in reverse, there are other tricks to accomplish that. Let us know if that’s your situation.

    Once you get across the doorways, you should be able to tuck the speaker wire down between the carpet and the baseboard all the way around to the speaker location.

    If your rear speakers are on a bookshelf, speaker stand etc. you’re done. However if you want to mount them on the wall you’ll probably don’t want a speaker wire draping down. The link below is an old post of mine that will tell you how to drop the wire in-wall between the speaker and baseboard.

    Dropping Wires In-Wall from Baseboards, Part 1

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Darrell Carney

    Darrell Carney Auditioning

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    Wayne,
    Thanks a bunch for the help! This sounds very doable and is what I'm going to have to try given my situation.

    Now all I need to do is actually plunk down the money on the sound system!

    Thanks again for the assistance.

    Darrell
     

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