speaker wire for in-wall use?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by GlennB, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. GlennB

    GlennB Auditioning

    Jan 19, 2002
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    To run speaker wire from my receiver to rear speakers I must run the wires into the wall (regular wallboard) behind the receiver, then up to the attic and across (across open joists, insulation, etc.) to the far wall. The rear speakers will be mounted on the wall near the ceiling.
    My questions:
    1. Seems like I've heard that for this kind of run special wire is needed so as to meet building codes and keep insurance in force. I live in San Diego, CA in case that matters.
    2. In order to run the wires through the wallboard behind the receiver is there a recommended way to do this so that it looks neat and tidy. Or, do I just drill a small hole in the wall and poke the 4 wires thru it? Seems like there should be a special wall-mounted connector or at least a trim plate.
    Hope to hear from you folks about these questions.
    Glenn Braden
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Aug 22, 2000
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    Cut a hole in the wall that is the same size as a standard hole for a wall box. Leviton (available at Home Depot in the networking section) has a bracket that fits in the hole and lets you mount a wall plate to it. Just push the metal tabs through the hole and around behind the wall board to hold it in place. Pick out a wall plate at Home Depot to attach to the bracket. They have gold plated banana plugs or cheaper spring loaded speaker connections.

    Luckily there is no code here for low voltage wire. I just ran 12 guage speaker wire (Home Depot again) through the walls and attic.

  3. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 1, 2002
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    usually when you run wires in walls, you need to get a wire that is cl2 rated. it usually isnt that much more expensive, if at all.
    leviton also makes faceplates called "quickport" plates. these have a few holes in the front of them, and you can buy gold plated binding post connectors to hook your wire into, and then mount them onto the plate. then you just need a pair of banana plugs or whatever you like to use on the end of your speaker wire to hook into the wall plate from your speaker.
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Nov 1, 1998
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    For most single family homes, you may use 12-2 non-metallic sheathed cable, sometimes trademarked Romex for inside the wall runs. This will meet just about any building code. This is the same kind of wire used for AC power, and may be cheaper than 12 gauge speaker wire.
    In some cities, wires in the walls of commercial and apartment buildings must run inside conduit (pipe).
    Video hints:
  5. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

    Feb 11, 2002
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    When I did this I bought an 'old work' box at Home Depot for less than $2 (it's plastic, don't know if plastic boxes are OK where you live). This box has clamps that are tightened with a screwdriver to hold the box to the sheet rock. I then pulled 'in wall' Monster cable I got from Crutchfield from the rear speaker locations thru the attic down the wall cavity to the box. I purchased a plate from Radio Shack that has 8 binding posts on it, 4 will handle the 2 rears. The other 4 may be needed for future expansion [​IMG]
    I think they also have a plate that just has 4 binding posts.
    Not sure how the cost works out vs. the Levition stuff where you build your own plate with plug in modules (R.S. has this system also.
    I believe I've read that you should try not to run the speaker cables parallel with your house wiring, and that any points were the 2 wires cross should be at 90 degree angles. As for building code requirements, call your town/city building inspectors. They can fill you in on any special local requirements. BTW, if your attic is unfinished, I'd recommend a pair of knee pads ! [​IMG]

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