I'm doing some electrical work and need to snake a new romex from the
basement up to an existing wall switch box. It's an exterior wall
with fiberglass insulation. From the bottom plate in the basement, I
can see where the existing cables go up to that switch. I can drill a
new hole or maybe use the existing hole. Question is, are they any
tricks or suggestions on how to do the snaking? I've done it from the
attic down before, but never had to deal with an exterior wall with
Drill an extra hole or two in the plate, lined up as close as possible with
the box, then drop a steel snake from the box down until it taps the plate.
Keep tapping it on the plate while spinning it in small amounts, until it
pops through one of the holes... if your lucky
Most people are hesitant to cut into a wall, but if you have paint to match
a repair, it isn't a big deal to
make a hole near the switch box, and then patch it back after the electric
work. The work of the patch
is usually worth it in order to do the electrical work correctly.
The only luck I have ever had was to get a very stiff, very thin shaft
that's a couple of feet longer than you have to go. Drill you hole
from the bottom and get the shaft between the wall and the insulation.
Snake it up to the hole for the switch. After you get the shaft
through the top hole, tape a string to the bottom. Pull up the shaft
until you get to the string. Then tie the wire to the string and pull
For remodelling old houses electrical, especially on the old war time
1 1/2 story sloped ceilings I have a roll of 100 ft. fine chain that I
drop down from the outlet. The chain behaves like sand and will
eventually find the hole that was drilled in the plate. jesse
I have a 50' Greenlee tape that I unroll and straighten out but just
enough to reach the floor plate. The stiff wire ones are best for this.
I then fish down the wall until I hit the plate. Often this takes a
shake and a jiggle to get by the insulation. Then from the basement I
fish up through the hole in the bottom of the plate until I contact the
down snake. I use a cut piece of the fish tape for this. It has a hook
bent on the end of it and when you search for the down you can hear the
metal to metal contact. Easy since it's not BX. I'll face the down hook
out and the up hook out also until I feel the contact. Then I'll twist
the up and try to hook the down. If I can do this I then go upstairs
and pull the down up until the two hooks are hooked together. Usually
I'll weight the up with a vice grip to keep tension on once it's
hooked. I've seen old timers with a wired buzzer setup that buzzes when
contact is made! Thought that was overkill however.
If the existing cable is fairly straight you might be able to make a
"traveler" a looped fish tape that is then pushed down/up the cable
until it can be seen at the hole/box. I find a lot of bright lights and
small mirrors are also very helpful as is a good helper who can sing
out when he/she sees the end of the tape near the hole.
MAYBE you can use the existing wire as a pull wire.
Connect the new wire AND a pull wire, pull thtem down, disconnect the new
wire and pull the original back up.
Some of the younger electricians at the supply house finally convinced me to
try the fiberglass rods for fishing wires. I have found them to be an
excellent choice for snaking past insulation as they do not flex and bend as
easily as a fishtape. One technique that I have used successfully a few
times is to take some monofilament fishing line and make a few 2" - 3" hoops
on the end of the snake or rod. I tape the hoops on tightly with electrical
tape and push the snake or rod up the wall until it is not quite up to the
top. Then I go to the other end with a short fishtape with a good hook on
it. After a few minutes of twisting and pulling I was able to hook onto one
of the hoops and pull the fishtape or rod through the other end.
On 9 Dec 2006 14:40:00 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If you had tto do a lot of this stuff, there are four and six foot
flexible drill bits. From the attic, it's easy to find the place and
drill down, and you have already foudn the hole in the basement, but
if you hadn't, you can drill down from the place where the switch,
outlet, etc. will go.
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