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NewHomeOwnerJaye

10:01AM | 09/12/01
Member Since: 09/11/01
2 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I wish to install Ethernet (CAT 5E) twisted pair network cables into my existing walls. One or two jacks in a bedroom on the 2nd floor of a two story home and have that same cable run to the "office area" in the basement.

I basically want a step by step type of overview on what tools are needed (drills, bits, etc.). I have the cabling and jack faceplates, just don't know how to proceed and I want to do it all in one weekend without having to hire someone. I am reasonably technical-minded and mechanically inclined, as I often work on cars and computers.

Please HELP.

Thanks

Jay J

05:50AM | 09/13/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi NewHomeOwnerJaye,

Well, I guess it depends on how you're running your lines. Assuming you have all the materials you need, it's a little simple to just look at that and see how 'big' things are. And assuming your studs are wood, buy a drill bit that's 1/4" larger than the LARGEST piece of wire, head included. You can always make a hole larger.

Now, I've seen wiring run a NUMBER of ways up to a 2nd floor (or the like). I've seen it 'fished' along a Vent Pipe (for a bathroom), I've seen it run through Return Ventilation Ducts, I've seen it run through 'tubes' that go from basement to attics, and I've seen it done every-which-other way including the cutting of walls. Soooo, again, your 'tool list' is going to depend on how you're going to do the install.

I will advise that you consider running other types of wiring along w/what you're doing because either you or a future owner will benefit from it. AS LONG AS the wires can be 'run together', run them together. This means that you need GOOD, QUALITY wire that's insulated. And keep the low-voltage wires AWAY from the higher voltage wires. Even with good insulation, it's not safe to have them 'next' to each other. Don't go drilling holes any larger than 3/4" in your studs or otherwise. And keep your holes towards the middle. Before you drill and cut, you need to be VERY CAREFUL of what's behind the wall. What you don't see could kill your or flood your home!

One final note - Visit a Radio Shack or any Electrical Parts Store (like Circuit City or Best Buy or the like) and look for a GOOD BOOK on 'Wiring The Home For The New Millenium'. (No, that's not the title of a book, although it sounds good, but that's the kind of book you want.) If you were to hire a Pro to do this job, you KNOW it could get expensive. So, do yourself a favor - Spend some of that SAVED $$$ on a GOOD BOOK! In cases like this, it's $$$ well spent.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

NewHomeOwnerJaye

09:23AM | 09/13/01
Member Since: 09/11/01
2 lifetime posts
Jay J, thanks for the hints. I am planning on doing it this weekend and the way I plan to run the wires is by cutting head sized holes in the drywall and just dropping the wires down, drilling through the floor boards to the floor beneath and so on until I get to the basement.

Anything you see is wrong with that plan? Please advise...
J

Jay J

12:07PM | 09/13/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Uh, Yup! You're gonna have a LOT of clean up to do.

All you need to do is cut out a piece of drywall that's about 4" high and about 1-2" wide where you're drilling through the bottom plate. (The bottom plate is the piece of 2 x 4 that 'runs' along the floor and is nailed to your studs.) My height measurement is made from the floor, upwards. You only need enough room to get a drill bit in there. You'll want to use the looooong bits because you won't have the room to 'insert' the drill into the wall. Only enough roon to insert the drill bit. Heck, if you're GOOD enough, you can drill right THROUGH the drywall and THROUGH the bottom plate. No other 'access hole' needs to be made (except where you're installing your boxes. The latter method requires only spackling. The former method requires more work.

You have to know what's behind the wall before you try the latter method. The former one allows you to look inside. If you have insulation, wires, plumbing, or the like, you could do other damage.

Like I said, buy yourself a good book. Home Depot has decent general books on home repair. Drywall repair is in there, I'm sure. There are some 'tricks' that the Pros share w/you to make the fix look nice and go easily. If you do it the way you think it should be repaired, you could be doing more work than you want AND it may not look as nice. You're saving some $$$ so invest some of that savings in a good book.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: I did this type of repair recently. I re-ran a CATV wire from the attic. I had to 'notch' the top-plate because I couldn't get a drill bit to do what I wanted it to do. I ended up 'hitting' the attic roof! (The top-plate is double-layed unlike a bottom plate which is single-ran. Oh, it's OK to drill on an angle as long as you know where the bit will come out. Be careful when drilling and drilling and drilling. If you were to do my CATV wiring, you MAY have drilled right through the outside wall (assuming you hadn't any 'experience' w/this type of work.)

Jay J -Moderator

rpxlpx

10:08AM | 09/14/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
One suggestion: take care to ensure that your signal cables are not in contact (or extremely close proximity) with AC power lines inside the wall. AC can sometimes generate a lot of signal noise and cause you unlimited headaches.

Arrowhead

06:32PM | 09/14/01
Member Since: 09/13/01
1 lifetime posts
NHOJ >> Do yourself a favor and check out all possible routes for running the cable.

Get a stud finder for checking for fire breaks. A little hand held mirror for looking up and into wall cavities. Be prepared to find alternative routes.

Do not rund data or video cables parallel to power cable's, you can cross them but it's a good idea to be at least 4" away from them.

Spend some time under your house or in the attic. Find landmarks that you can measure inside the room as well as under the house, such as AC/Heat vents.

If you have some specific questions email me.

Good Luck.

Jerry

Mr_Roth

09:52AM | 10/14/01
Member Since: 10/13/01
1 lifetime posts
If you have the time and really want to do a nice job along with some additional features, check this product out. This is what I am in the process of installing.
http://www.leviton.com/lin/pdf/productcat/recommendplatforms.pdf

rpxlpx

05:42AM | 10/15/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
One more thought: you could make the whole job a lot easier if you're willing to run the wires OUTSIDE the house, then just come in through the walls, like is often done by cable tv and phone lines.
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