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Old December 12th, 2003, 10:45 AM
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Default Fishing wire down insulated walls?

#44: Fishing wire down insulated walls? Author: williamsmithaud, Location: Dallas, Texas Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:25 am
Here's a question for you "old pros" out there.

What is the best method for fishing wire down through a top plate to a device box in an exterior insulated wall? Obviously, the use of a fish tape is one answer. However, I had an old time master electrician once tell me he uses the following method:

He carries a 10 foot peice of light steel chain in his tool box. He drills the ceiling plate hole as close to the sheet rock as posssible without penetrating the sheet rock. He then drops the chain into the hole and gravity takes care of the rest of it. From there on, it is a matter of pulling the other end of the chain out through the device box cut out hole with a hook made from a coat hanger. The only thing I can't remember is what side of the plate that he drills the hole (exterior or interior) to be sure he is between the craft paper side of the insulation and the sheet rock.

Perhaps some of you can enlighten me on this subject. I'm sure thoes of you with lots of experience have found a "best way" that works well for you.


#48: Fishing Wire Down Insulated Walls Author: jtmerritt, Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:25 pm
If you want to get between the kraft paper and the sheetrock you need to drill close to the inside wall. Insulation is attached between studs with the kraft paper side out before the drywall is hung.


#67: Author: RidinHigh, Location: Maine Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:28 pm
I'd consider drilling up into the ceiling with a "marker" bit to know where to start from if you can't see the top plate very well. You might be better off messing up some sheetrock in the corner to make sure you get on the right side of the insulation. I can't imagine you'd have much room to work (or see) if this is the outside wall of an existing structure. I've used a heavy nut or bolt on a string when fishing walls before but the chain might give you better feel.


#82: Author: Guest, Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 5:56 am
I don't know what's considered an old timer BUT! What I would first recommend is to make sure you can even drill down your outside wall's?? Roof pitch and drilling clearance. IS THIS a second floor instalation or are you unable to come up if first floor installation?(finished rec room.) Outside wall should'nt present a problem locating wall. Normally use finish finish nail if needed to locate exactly when not sure where plate is. I would recommend what you said in the start a Fish tape. I cant remember ever using anything but for an insulated wall. Also your now placing that cable within reach of a panelling nail, subject to damage. (next post)


#84: Author: Guest, Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:09 am
(long posts have been creating probs reason for 2 here) Another thing I woudn't like about this is you chance of hitting a nail'. Let me say from experiance when in an attic drilling full boar(possibly face down) asside from causing arthritis, you'll get a nice view of your drill bit from inside your room, maybe even outside. If this works for some fine and I'd have to guess that you'd want that remedy, on the inner part as generally your going to have nails pertruding somewhere in that wall holding on poss siding. Whoooo! Hey GL Wannabee


#103: Author: Guest, Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:38 pm
They also make a set of thin fiberglass sticks with an assortment of heads for open walls as well as insulated walls. These "green sticks" are much more controlable than the old steel fish tape.


#180: Author: Wgoodrich, Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 7:55 pm
If the insulation if properly installed it will push against the inside of the drywall. This would not allow gravity to pull a jack chain down that wall. The insulation will stop the wieght of the jack chain from causing it to fall in the first foot or less.

If you have a soffit outside then remove a soffit vent. Drill you hole in the attic if you can through the top plate. Shove your romex through the top plate. Open a hole in the tectefoam or celetex inside the soffitt area. Run your hand into the wall and grab the romex. Then pull that romex out through the soffit vent making a loop outside. Tehn bend over the end of the cable to make a rounded end of the cable. Then grasping that cable end reach back into the wall through the soffit and celetex hold pushing the rounded cable end through the bisquine running along the back side of the drywall. Using your hand straighten the cable best you can and push the cable down the wall between the drywall and the bisquine. Best chance of fishing holes I know of. If the cable is stopped half way then cut a hole sized by a cut in box without penetrating the bisquine or insulation. Then reach your hand in and grasp the cable and again shove the cable down the wall along the back of the drywall between that drywall and the bisquine to where you need it. then using the bisquine and insulation as a backing spackle the hole shut making about a 1/2" patch then repaint.

If a receptacle or switch these are mounted low on the wall. Best choice is to fish from crawl space up. Much shorter distance to fish wire. Much easier and much faster with much less chance of needed drywall repair.

Hope this helps



#191: Author: wannabee, Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:45 pm
Never have used the "green sticks". Are they workable in an attic where you may only have 12" between plate and roof rafters? I have seen them used when fishing across dropped ceilings with computer cabling and phone wires.(nice) Another reason I like fish tape in insulated wall will tell you if a fire stop present.You also may want to be sure you can get down walls before cutting boxes in. I guess the vent is an idea but if there in right location and depending on house construction. What ever works. GL
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