I am adding more structured wiring to an existing home. Home is wood
frame, stucco, tile roof.
I was able to add some cat5 to nearby rooms but it wasn't easy.
previous owner had pulled some sat cable already so I was able to use
that cable to pull my cat5 down.
However, on the other side of the house that seems impossible to reach
thru the attic, there are 2 rooms lacking cable. Would it be ok to add
cat5 and coax on the outside to those rooms ? I don't see any way to
get to it.
Thankfully the basement already has some cat5, but Ideally it could
use 1 more pull. How I would even get to that is beyond me.
The wall in which I want the cat5 to go in the basement has no wall on
the ground floor (above it).
How do you pull cat5 in existing walls, if you do have access above it
? Aren't there horizontal beams in the 2by 6 walls? Can someone point
me to the right tools ?
rookie cable puller
Why pull CAT5? Unless you want/need speeds faster than 100mb/s
wireless will cover the whole are better than fixed jacks, provide
more flexibility of use, can be secured so the neighbors don't get
free internet, and is probably just as cheap as CAT5 is.
As for landlines, a good multi-unit 5.8 cordless works just as well
as real wire. If you are worried about power failures just make
sure you have at least one real handset somewhere so you will still
have use while the power is off. Otherwise, get one of the small
UPS units designed for home use and plug the base into that.
Now, I have to admit that coax would still be a problem. No good
ideas on alternatives here.
As far as how to do if you decide you do need to actually pull
wire, all of the big box hardware stores have whole sections
devoted to strutctured wiring, including all the tools and supplies
needed, as well as nice brochures and books on How To.
BTW, if I were to run some wire outside on a stucco house, I would
run it along the bottom of the sillplate behind the bottom drip
edge of the stucco for as long as possible. Remember, with the
right paint coax and CAT5 can be painted to match almost any color.
Except that wireless connections seldom meet their rated throughput,
the throughput being measured under lab conditions that don't exist in
the real world. And all wireless connections aren't 54 Mbps. Mine runs
about 3.2 Mbps, and I'm ten feet away. My wired connection is about 87
Mbps. If I could pry my wallet loose and buy a gigabit router, my wired
connection would speed up by a factor of 10. I transfer files within my
own network all the time. My bookkeeping file is about 40 MB. I can't
use it wirelessly.
Having structured wiring is a great selling point when you put your
house on the market.
The point I was trying to make was that the OP said there were
areas where it would be hard to run wire. Wireless is a quick and
easy way for MOST users to avoid running additional wire. How many
people do you know that have the need to move large amounts of data
around withing their home on a regular basis? Yes, within a few
years having your media centers as part of your network and/or
having fiber to the house will stress wireless as it exists today.
But it is still a quick and easy solution for 90% of current home
I move large groups of 4-5MB pictures around on my wireless all the time.
(perhaps sometimes 100 photos) I can't imagine it taking any less time.
It's a nothing point really. Wireless is the way to go unless you're
building from scratch.
Well, yes, I am well aware of wireless and I use it for the laptops.
however, I use media center and transfer large amounts of data of the
wire to several computers running media center. I also use a hdhomerun
which picks up HD signals from cable and transfers it over cat5. Those
HD feeds are not small. Do a couple at the same time and wireless
won't cut it unless I invest in wireless N on all computers. Even
then, I'd have to throw in repeaters to get great coverage (4200 sqft
home, part is basement).
I've managed to run 2 cat5's so far. Still, biggest problem seems to
be to drop down from the attic to a wall. Horizontal studs block it.
Invest in a flex-bit or two. They're cheap and available in amazingly
long versions. (I got one six-footer free when I bought a house one
time, left by the previous owner. I suspect he got it free from the
owner before him, based on the crude repairs he also left.)
Here's a sample link:
You might also need an extension if your wall is really tall.
> at best, an internet connection MIGHT be 10Mb/s. Seems to me that 54
> is more than 10. So unless you're actually transferring files within
> your own network , you'll never need the wire for the speed.
(Top posting fixed)
Wireless, if it is secured, has quite a bit of overhead added so even if
you could get the theoretical 54Mb speed it still wouldn't be half of
100Mb wired connection. In reality it's closer to 25%.
Networks are good for a whole lot more than just internet sharing. Once
setup people find they are ideal for backups, file consolidation and
sharing. If you setup a wireless you just limit yourself down the road.
Cat5 or Cat6 is fairly cheap. If you put a little effort into pulling
wire you can have a 100 or 1000Mb network with room to grow.
FIOS is just around the corner and will be provide considerably faster
download speeds than most wireless can handle.
If someone is willing to put in a wired network you really shouldn't try
to tell them a wireless is better or just as good cause it's not and
never will be. They are just not in the same league.
Wireless is good for renters, hotels, wifi spots, outdoors areas, and
other places where wires just cannot be run. (and for the lazy.)
Wireless is fine for surfing the web, I do it from my laptop all the time.
However, if you need to transfer files between computers, wireless is
extremely slow. I have a network media player in my living room and stream
HiDef media files over my home network. Wireless wouldn't even begin to
keep up with that.
Creativity is a necessity when it comes to fishing wires! :)
When we built our house, I installed conduit running from wall outlets to
our crawlspace. This has really simplified upgrading cable, phone,
ethernet runs, etc. I just remove the cover plate and feed up the new
But, I've had to fish a lot of wires in my in-laws 100 year old house as
well. If your house is insulated, you'll probably have better luck
fishing wires through interior walls (usually no insulation in those).
My basic technique, drill a hole from the top and another from the
bottom. Tie a small nut or washer to the end of a string and drop it down
through the hole till you feel it hit the bottom. Then reach up through
the bottom hole with a bent piece of wire and snag the string. Yeah,
easy, eh? :) Then firmly tape the string to the cable you are pulling and
pull it through.
Of course, there always seems to be some kind of obstruction. My in-laws
have blocking in their walls about midway up, so I've had to buy long
drill bits and extensions to drill up or down through the blocking
(depending on which direction is most accessable). Most home centers sell
long flexible drill bits, but they're fairly expensive if you won't be
using them a lot. I find combining extensions works just as well and lets
me fine tune the length as needed.
When possible, I've found it helpful to drive a long screw up through the
ceiling or down through the floor to help guide where I need to start
drilling. The small screw hole is easy to patch afterwards.
Look for other alternatives like running cables in a closet, behind
baseboards, etc. In your case, you may be able to remove the baseboard
and cut a channel in the drywall to lay your cable in. Then reinstall the
Sometimes remodel installations take a LOT more cable than you would
otherwise need. For instance, I had to run a power cable across a
basement ceiling, up inside living room wall, across the attic, and down
into a bathroom. Long trip, but it was the easiest way to get power to
the bathroom that was hard to reach from the basement.
Worst case, if you have drywall, don't be afraid to pop a hole or two and
run whatever cables you need. Drywall is fairly easy to patch and
repaint, though this would still be my last resort. If I did opt for that
route, I would probably install conduit to make future runs easier.
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