Tips For Fishing Wire Through Insulated Walls
Fishing wire through insulated walls is a common task that’s often part of installing wiring in a new home or remodel. Here are some tips to help you get the job done right.
The first thing you need to do is drill a hole into the wall for the wire to pass through. Then you can fish it through the insulation using a few different tools.
1. Drill a Hole
When you’re fishing wire through an insulated wall, you need to make sure that the new wire isn’t going to interfere with electrical cables already in the wall. That can affect your TV or phone reception and may make it harder to access the internet.
You can avoid this by drilling a hole in the insulation before you fish your wire through the wall. This can help keep the cable from rubbing against other wires, which could cause an electric shock or fire.
You can drill the hole with a spade bit or a flex drill bit. Many flex drill bits have holes on their ends that are perfect for fishing wire.
2. Fish the Wire
If your wiring requires running through a wall that is insulated, the task can be a little complicated. This can make it difficult to add a new outlet or thermostat, and it can also prevent you from running your wire around corners.
In most cases, fishing a wire vertically through the drywall and insulation is a straightforward process. However, horizontal fishing can be more difficult.
You may encounter problems fishing wire through glued-in cellulose or closed cell foam insulation, as these materials are very dense and hard to work with.
The best option is to find an electrician who has experience working with these materials.
If you need to run a cable through a wall cavity or down long lengths of joists, use a mud ring to prevent marring the drywall as you pull the wire. A mud ring is available at home centers for less than $2 each and will help you avoid patching.
3. Tape the Wire
When you’re running wires inside a finished wall, you need to tape the wire to make it easier to push it through. This technique works best with a fish tape, which is a semi-rigid piece of tape with a hook on one end.
The hook on the fish tape slides right down between the insulation and the drywall. This makes it easy to run the wire and helps prevent any damage to the vapor barrier.
It’s also important to pick the right kind of tape for your application, as some adhesives can cause damage to wires or insulation. For example, if the wire is facing moisture or dirt, choose a waterproof electrical tape that’s designed for those applications.
Once you’ve wrapped the wire in the fishing tape, you need to find the correct way to feed it through the wall. It’s a good idea to have someone else help you find the right angle so that it doesn’t snag any fiberglass batts or drywall.
4. Run the Wire
Fishing wire through insulated walls can be a frustrating task. The material used to insulate homes is usually thick and fluffy, making it difficult to push a wire through.
Luckily, there are several techniques that make fishing wire through insulated walls easier. You can run romex wire through fiberglass insulation, but you must be careful to bend the wire over so it doesn’t snag on the fiberglass.
You can also use a flex fishing drill bit to run a wire through the wall. This technique is more dangerous than using a magnet, but it can work for short distances and corners.
If you have a longer distance to run the wire, consider running it vertically. This will make the entire process much more efficient. However, you should be prepared to spend some time figuring out the best path for the wire to take.
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