Wiring electrical wires to a new outlet, lighting fixture or an entertainment system can require running the conducting wires horizontally. This ensures a seamless flow of electricity.
Getting wires through walls can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with old plaster and lath walls that aren’t easy to work around. But if you plan ahead, you can get the job done.
Use a stud finder
If you want to hang art, mirrors, or other heavy things on your wall, you need a way to secure them. That means running wire through walls horizontally rather than drilling holes in the drywall.
The easiest way to do this is by using a stud finder, which you can buy at hardware stores or online for about $10. They can identify studs in drywall and detect electrical wires.
They also can detect the presence of pipes, ducts, and other materials in your walls. The trouble is, these devices aren’t always accurate.
To use a stud finder, first mark the edge of the stud you’re interested in using with tape or a pencil. Hold the stud finder against the wall and move it slowly along the mark until it finds a stud and beeps or lights up.
Drill a hole
If you’re installing a piece of framed art or wall-mounted shelving, it may be necessary to run wire through a wall horizontally. This is a little more difficult than running it vertically because you need to drill a hole in the wall before threading your wires through.
To make the process easier, choose the right drill bit and mounting hardware for the material of your wall. Drywall, plasterboard and brick will all need different kinds of fixings.
You should also use a stud finder to ensure you don’t drill through electric cables or pipes. It will show you where the studs are in your wall and what electrical supplies are hidden behind it.
Use a compression connector
If you need to run wire through walls horizontally, consider using a compression connector. This method avoids the expensive and time-consuming process of opening up walls and patching them after wire runs are done.
Compression connectors grip cable firmly without crushing the inner foam jacket, as crimp-style connectors can do. They also provide a solid connection that doesn’t degrade the signal.
They are a little bulkier than soldered connections, but they work best when tightened once and not disturbed. They are not as tolerant of flexing and bending, though.
You can buy compression connectors that have a ring for the wire conductor. You insert the conductor into the ring, and then press it down until you hear a click.
Use a fish tape
When it comes to running wire through walls horizontally, one of the best ways to do it is by using fish tape. This is a metal tape that can be used to help push or pull the cable along the wall and out of the next wall box opening.
A reel of fish tape is available at most hardware and electrical stores. It can be purchased in a variety of lengths and can be made from different materials, such as steel or fiberglass.
A reel winder is also available for many fish tapes, which makes them easier to use and store. This can be useful when working in a confined space or when the fish tape is being used on a long run.
Use a drapery rod
There are many reasons why you may need to run wire through walls horizontally, including when installing a home security system or upgrading existing wires. Using a drapery rod is an effective way to do this without having to drill holes in the wall.
Curtain rods come in a variety of styles, sizes and finishes to complement any decor. You can choose from metal or wood options that will add a more modern look to your space.
Drapery rods can also be used to hang curtains that are hung from hooks, rings or clips. For concealed rods, hooks are the best choice.
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