How to Snake Electrical Wire Through Finished Walls

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Fishing wires through finished walls is a task that requires both patience and good planning. A reference point should be established for all the wires going in the same direction. Fishing wire through the basement can be easier but the run might be longer. Perhaps one of the best places to snake electrical wires through finished walls is behind baseboards. A stud finder is helpful to determine where wall cuts will begin and end. When fishing wires from floor to floor, more holes will be required on the top and bottom of each wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Fishing line
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Wire shields
  • Paint
  • Nails
  • Cordless drill
  • Putty knife
  • Drywall compound
  • Mark the wall along the top of the baseboard using the pencil. Use the utility knife to cut along the traced pencil mark. Remove any screws holding the baseboard to the stud. Pull the baseboard out gently; it will be reused. If removing a baseboard is not an option, follow the next step.

  • Locate the closest stud to the point where the wire will begin traveling, using a stud finder. Trace both the beginning and end of the stud with a pencil. Use a cutter or a utility knife to cut along the pencil marks. Keep the cut straight and clean so the drywall pieces can be reused. Repeat the steps for the rest of the studs along the wire path.

  • Drill a hole through the middle of each stud along the wire path. The holes can be drilled with a 3/4 inch bit. If the holes are more than one inch in diameter, then a wire shield should be used. The wire shield installs on top of the stud and covers the area where the wire is installed. This will keep the wire safe from nails and other wall penetrators.

  • Use the fishing line to drag the wire to the desired location. Hook the wire at the tip of the fishing line and pull straight. Leave eight extra inches of wire outside the wall for circuit installation. Secure the wire so it does not roll back.

  • Cover up the openings of the walls using the pieces of drywall previously removed or cut new ones. Use a cordless drill and nails to secure the pieces in place and to the stud, then apply drywall compound on top of the drywall pieces using the putty knife. Even the compound straight with the wall and leave it to dry.

  • Trim the pieces and paint over it with the same paint color matching the wall. Leave it to dry

References

  • "Creative Homeowner Ultimate Guide: Wiring"; John Caloggero, Rex Cauldwell and Steve Wilson; 2010
  • Photo Credit drywall worker image by Sherri Camp from Fotolia.com
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