What to use to 'push' wire through ceiling?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Chad Viro, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello All!
    Well, I am about to install hanging speakers from my ceiling and was wondering if I could get some advise. I am going to try to explain my situation!

    My utility closet (contains the hot-water tank, etc) is right next to my HT room. The HT room is finished; however, the utility closet is not. Using a ladder in the utility closet, I can actually see everything above the ceiling in my HT room (the beams, etc). What I need to do is push my speaker wire across the ceiling so that I can get it to where the speakers will be located. I am guessing the distance I need to cover is around 10-15ft.

    Exactly what can I use to 'push' the wire across this distance to the area the speaker will be located? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. LeeArmet

    LeeArmet Auditioning

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    1. Go to HomeDepot and buy a 'fish tape'
    2. Find someone with REALLY long arms
     
  3. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    hahah!
    Thanks for the help! [​IMG] Now, do I want to put the fish tape in the hole where the speaker is going to be, or do I want to fish the tape from my utility closet to the hole (with the wire attached to the fish tape?).
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'd try it from the speaker side first as that's the smaller hole then what's at the other end.
     
  5. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    My only concern is is that I have to get over the ceiling studs (or should I call them ceiling braces?). The ceiling studs are running horizontal and I need to get the wire through them vertically? (does that make sense? Maybe not. What I mean to say is, is that I need to take the wire 'through' the huge openings in the ceiling braces).

    Considering all this, is fishing wire going to help? Is fishing wire strong enough to bend and get over each brace in the ceiling?
     
  6. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Fish tape is a stiff metal strip that comes in a roll. You could probably wiggle it around in there to get it where you want it. It may take some swearing to get it through, however. [​IMG]
     
  7. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Dave! Any reason to go to Lowes or Home Depot is good in my book! [​IMG]
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    A fish tape is going to be difficult to work with in this situation, Chad. They work fine for confined situations like going through condiut or in a wall cavity. However, since they come on a roll it will not be easy able to push it in a straight line between points A and B in an open area like you have. You will first have to uncoil the length you need and make sure it has been flatted out.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. MikeTC

    MikeTC Stunt Coordinator

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    On top of the fish tape, one thing that works great in a straight run is fiberglass rods used for camping tents, you could duct tape the joints and tape the wire to the tip and it goes wherever you want. Since the rods comes in 2-4' sections, its pretty easy to use in close quarters. They do sell fiberglass rods for fishing wires but they're pretty costly ($200-500). If you have a tent or know someone with one, try it and let us know.
     
  10. Laura_R

    Laura_R Auditioning

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    This might sound crazy but you could also try sending a R/C Car with a long run of nylon string attached down to where you need it. Have used this method before to get wire through duct work. It works.
     
  11. MikeTC

    MikeTC Stunt Coordinator

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    Laura, that's a great idea with the remote control car but it wouldn't work when trying to go between open ceiling joists. Remote control airplan or helicopter may work in this situation [​IMG] [​IMG]. I have to try the r/c car someday, thanks.
     
  12. Jeff Detiege

    Jeff Detiege Auditioning

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    Chad, you can try using a sinker from a fishing tackel box. Tie a string to it and either throw it or use a slingshot. It may take several throws but you will eventually have your drawstring over your hole for your speaker wire. Attach your wire and pull it back. Also, a fishing reel and line works well for this instance due to easy release and retrieval.
     
  13. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    I'm not really clear on this, because I don't know what the "huge openings in the ceiling braces" are.... I can't envision what your design looks like. If the traditional metal fish tape won't work (like Wayne indicated, because of the natural bend in it), then there are other fiberglass products that are essentially what MikeTC referred to as "tent poles"-- I think they are commonly called "glow rods" and come in various section lengths--
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...ID=10556&DID=7
    (I've also seen these at HDepot/Lowes)

    Or, there is a fiberglass fish tape that springs back to straight--
    Fiberglass fish tape
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...ID=10554&DID=7

    If you can push something along the top of the joists, perpendicular to the direction they run, then you can do what I did---

    I taped two long broomstick handles together (overlapping ends by about 4-5 inches and using duct tape), then pushed that across. The pole ended up above the hole, and I just taped the wire to the other end and pulled the poles back.

    I've also used a similar method as Jeff's-- using string taped to a baseball.... BTW, Jeff-- someone is making money off your design:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...ID=10566&DID=7
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out the Cablecaster from Greenlee. If someone explained it to you, you'd think it was laughable, but.......Greenlee Catalog
     

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