Speaker Wire Help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Malo, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Dave Malo

    Dave Malo Agent

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    I'm looking to run speaker wires through a couple of walls and was just wondering if I need a special kind of wire for this application. I currently have 12g-speaker wire, which states not for in wall application. My question is can I use this wire or will I burn my house down?[​IMG]
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    No problem with burning the house down.
    I think they are admitting that the insulation, or jacket, will biodgrade faster than the Romex (tm) type cable they use for in the wall wiring. You can use Romex for that part of the speaker wiring inside the wall.
    Also that warning could be an idiot-proofing remark to keep people from trying to use the cable for 120 volt current inside walls.
    Other video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  3. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Dave, I am actually going through the same situation. I really don't think that normal speaker wire will cause a fire. But it is not approved wire which could void your homeowners policy if there is an electrical fire inside the wall. Just to be on the safe side I am using up to code 12g speaker wire to run through my walls. Just ask your local store about it. They will show you what you need.
     
  4. Dave Malo

    Dave Malo Agent

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    Thanks Jeff

    I'll go to the local Home Depot and see what they can recommend.
     
  5. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Monster Cable (monstercable.com) offers several types of high-quality, code-approved, in-wall speaker wire. In fact, I just ordered some on Monday from Crutchfield (crutchfield.com) for our new house, which is under construction. I'm having the rear- and side-surround speaker wires installed in the wall in two rooms.

    I learned that there are two types of in-wall wire: CL-3 rated for normal in-wall use and "plenum" rated for use within ducts. You can call your local government office for fire-code information.
     
  6. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    Home Depot sells in wall CL-3 rated speaker wire and there prices are good.
    They may not have 12 guage though. You can use 16x4 and twist 2 wires together which will equate to a 13 gauge wire.
    Another source is www.partsexpress.com You can get 1000' for under $200.
    good luck!
     
  7. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Dave, just came across this post since I'm in the same boat. Running non in-wall cable won't cause a fire but if there is a fire in the wall, it may help it spread faster. I believe this is the reason why code requires in-wall rated cable (CL3). I believe the idea is that this cable be wrapped in a fire retardant insulation so if there is a fire, it will not spread as rapidly to the rest of your walls via your speaker cable.

    Curious, did you find decent in-wall cable at Home Depot? I'm in need of about 100 feet of 2 conductor 14 or 16 gauge and 120 feet of 4 conductor and am currently figuring out where to get it from.

    cheers,

    --tom
     
  8. Roy Wallace

    Roy Wallace Stunt Coordinator

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    I have just started the process of wiring our new home as well.

    As well as possibly encouraging a fire to travel, your insurance may not protect you if the wiring is not UL approved and there is a fire in your home. Definitely NOT a risk I am willing to take.

    Home Depot does have nice 12GA UL approved wire, and as stated above the price is quite good.($0.92 per Meter or 3 feet)

    It is also nice and flexible which is making it very easy to route through the walls.

    RW
     
  9. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Roy, do you know if Home Depot sells the 4 conductor variety of the in-wall speaker wire? There are 3 runs I'd like to do with CL-3 in-wall 4 conductor wire thus making it easier to do (two are to my surrounds, including future support for 2 "center" rears). I'm thinking of getting 14 gauge since none of my runs are over 40 feet.

    cheers,

    --tom
     
  10. Roy Wallace

    Roy Wallace Stunt Coordinator

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    I looked at all of the Home Depot wire, and saw no 4 conductor. I was first going to use their 14 GA, but changed to the 12GA when I saw that the price was pennies apart.
    Because the cost is so low for this wire, I am able to double up the 12GA to all my speaker locations and still be considerably cheaper than a high end 4 conductor such as "Liberty 14/2 12GA" which is $2.00/foot here. I don't want to enter into a wire debate, but the money saved here will help with a much needed receiver/ speaker upgrade.[​IMG]
    RW
     
  11. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Roy. Since my house is already finished, I'm really interested in the 4 conductor wire since it'll mean less runs up into insulated walls and one more challenging run up into a kitchen wall [​IMG] It looks like Crutchfields has a pretty good deal on Monster in-wall cable. Has anyone dealt with them for cable purchases? Also, onecall.com will let me buy it by the foot, which is nice. Does anyone know of any other decent places to order this stuff from? I'll check out my local Home Depot as well.
    thanks,
    --tom
     
  12. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    OK/ This is what I did. I bought a 500' roll of white 12 AWG stranded(high volt house wire). Layed out all my cables in the yard to the exact length and labeled the ends. Taped the bundle together every 3 feet. Pulled the bundle through the walls[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] What can I say, this is not fun. Works great.
    PS/ I left enough on each end to hook up direct. Now these come in red/blue/black/Tan/yellow/Grey/White. I just like white about not showing on a white wall.
    Ps// stranded is the key word/solid is too hard to work with and you will need two pulls for every speaker. Also ohm out the whole spool before cutting it.[​IMG]
    PS//you can get this stuff as big as you want=8, 6,4,2,0,00,00,000,0000 etc[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. Pete Jennings

    Pete Jennings Second Unit

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    Try the Acoustic Research Professional Series in-wall stuff from AudioAdvisor. You can get 14/2 wire for $.30 a foot, or 14/4 wire for $.50 a foot. I went with the 14/4 and paired the individual wires up to make 11/2 for my two 40' runs. A little heat shrink dressing and it looks like boutique cables! Great stuff!
    Pete
     
  14. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Pete, thanks for the tip. Can I ask a technical question? What is the diameter of the 4 conductor cable? i.e. the total diameter of the cable inside the CL3 rated jacket. I just want to know if it'll fit through existing holes or if I will need to re-drill them.

    thanks,

    --tom
     
  15. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Thomas, go up in the attic and have some fun. Drill you a hole the size you can shine a flash light down or look down for a light. Go towards the light, the light is good.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Don't even think that your hole is big enough. Trust me, they are never big enough. Wait until you get in the middle of drilling your 3rd hole and your battery goes dead.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Oh yeah! Take a cell phone securely attached in your pocket with an ear piece. This is to save your marriage.
     
  17. Pete Jennings

    Pete Jennings Second Unit

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    Thomas, the 14/4 is 5/16" in diameter. It's thicker than the average Home Depot 12 gauge speaker/Zip wire. I had to drill out one of my holes when I replaced the Home Depot 12 gauge with the AR 14/4. The AR is an easy pull though.

    Good luck!

    Pete
     
  18. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Pete, thanks for the info. I just wanted to know if the 4 conductor cable will fit through my 3/8ths diameter holes. Sounds like it should. I went ahead and ordered 250 feet of the 4 conductor so I'll know when it arrives [​IMG]
    Earl, sounds like you had fun running your cable [​IMG] Luckily, all this is on the first floor of our home and the basement is unfinished making it easy to access the walls above. But if only I had done all of this when the house was being built, it would have been even easier. [​IMG]
    cheers,
    --tom
     

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