Wondering how to run wire through finished basement. Let us show you how we do it. There’s a secret to it so read on and we will tell you all about it.
The key to running an electrical wire through a finished basement is a metal fish tape and a lot of patience. Notice we said patience.. If you get wound up then have someone else do it for you.
How To Run Wire Through Finished Basement The Easy Way
Running wire through basement can be relatively easy if you know what you’re doing.
Patience is the key to running the wire without damage. When using a fish tape we always use a metal one. A metal fish tape is easy to work with and we can cut it where we need to.
The first important step to using a metal fish tape is to make sure that it is perfectly straight.
We also put a hook on the end that is close ended. This enables to fish tape to go past any obstructions but still enter small enough holes to pull the wire through.
We always take time to assess the wire run before we do it to figure out if we will need to make any holes. Generally we try to run with the strapping of the ceiling.
When fishing in a wall we try to stay in the same stud cavity or space.
When fishing a plug we will cut the wall box in and fish up the wall to the top plate.
We can the notch the top plate in the basement wall to get the fish tape. Sometimes this results in us trying to hook two fish tapes together to pull the long fish tape through the wall.
When we hook the wire on we securely put a loop and hook it to the fish tape. This ensures that the wire does not pull off the fish tape when we try to pull it through.
We also like to have someone on either end of the Hole. This means someone pulling the fish tape and someone keeping back pressure on the wire in case it gets caught.
How To Run Wire Though A Finished Basement The Hard Way
The biggest culprit to running a wire through a finished basement is running out of patience we’re getting agitated.
When you’re trying to fish a wire the biggest key is to remain calm. Once you get frustrated or your temper starts to flare you might as well just walk away.
You cannot get the wire through if you were not concentrating.
When you’re frustrated this usually adds up to holes in walls and wire not being run correctly. There’s even been cases were we have pinch the wire trying to run it through the wall.
Having said that this may be a conversation you wanna have with your electrician.
As time is money you may have to weigh out your options to whether or not you’re better off to cut a hole anyway and just repair the hole after the wires run.
How To Fish Across Basement Ceilings
When we fish wires across basement ceilings we first talked to the customer to see if they wish to have any damage done.
Of course they do not but not in every situation is it easy to get the wire across the ceiling.
Although we follow the strapping which gives us enough space to run the wire we often hit blocking.
This is a point where there is another basement wall in between two rooms and we cannot gain access between the two rooms to fish across .
It is always a good idea to put a T-bar ceiling in the basement.
You never know when you’re going to need to get in to the ceiling whether it be an electrical issue a plumbing issue or a ventilation issue.
How To Fish Down A Finished Wall
No matter if it is a basement wall or any wall we always like to try to assess the situation first.
We will drill a small hole down the top plate to the wall and drop our fish tape as far as we can.
This usually tells us if there is fire bracing or blocking in the middle part of the wall. Once we find a route to get down the wall entirely then we will cut a hole for our outlet or switch.
This is where our experience comes into play as we will usually have one electrician above the wall and one electrician where the outlet or switch is to be cut in listening for the fish tape.
Once he or she finds out where the fish tape is they can narrow down to the wall cavity and cut it in place.
Can I Wire My Basement Myself?
You should not attempt to wire basement by yourself and you should always consult in your local qualified electrician.
Having said that you can run communications and speaker wires.
If you have a home theater then you can run the wires for that is they are usually a minimum voltage.
Running phone and cable wires or internet wires is also a possibility. When fishing these types of wires take care and making sure that the wire itself does not bend.
As an example if you were running a piece of cat six communications wire and you get a crimp in the coil this could impede the performance of the cable and the speed of your internet.
As mentioned earlier in this post patience is the key.
How To Fish Electrical Wire Through Walls With Insulation
When we run wires through insulated finished walls we take extra care not to hurt the installation.
In this case the only option is to use a metal fish tape. A metal fish tape is durable enough to poke through the insulation.
The bats or blown in insulation tape can be quite dense.
This results in us having to use extra force to get through the wall. Having a straight fish tape is another important key to getting through the insulation.
If the fish tape is bending then it will most likely not reach the destination on the other end for the plug or switch you were trying to fish.
Can I Run Cable Wire Through My Basement?
When running call axle or TV wire through a finished basement it is also important that you do not bend. Call axle RG six cable is a little more durable than Internet line. It’s important that you tape the coaxial cable at least 6 inches up the end of the fish tape to ensure that it doesn’t come off. You may also want someone on the other end of the coax a line to keep a small strain as you’re pulling the fish wire through. This will keep any kinks from getting in the cable and also ensure a street pole.
How Do You Run Phone Wire?
Running phone wire through a basement can be tedious as well.
Phone wire is much more sensitive to bends. Let’s face it, hardwired phones are now starting to become a thing of the past so it’s most likely you won’t even need to run a phone wire.
However if you do the same rule applies. You should tape the phone wire onto the metal fish at least 6 inches back to provide durability when pulling.
You should also keep phone wires or any type of communication wires at least 2 inches off of electrical wires. This will ensure that there is no interference or signal reduction in the communications lines.
What About Speaker Wire?
The good news is that you can run speaker wires yourself.
Most commonly these are only 12 or 24 V.
We recommend a strong secure speaker wire. For more on those you can check out here under a recommended products.
You should be using a minimum of a 14 gauge/2 speaker wire.
Speaker wires are quite durable and flexible they can be run through finish ceilings or finish walls quite easily. Remember to use a metal fish when doing this.
These are all great topics when it comes to how to run a wire through a finished basement.