Wiring a home under construction or during a remodeling project is easy, mostly because the walls are accessible. The real difficulty comes when you are trying to pull a new wire through a wall – an already existing wall.
Ideally, this is something you can do with some electrical knowledge and a step-by-step procedure. Here’s how electrical technicians get it done.
Tools you need
- Stud finder
- Drywall saw
- Electricians fish tape
- Wire stripper
- Electrician’s tape
- Auger bit or drill
- Before diving into any electrical work, it is crucial to shut off power to that area completely. Go to your electrical panel and turn off the power. To ensure you have proper lighting without electrical power, carry out this project during the day.
- Ensure there is a clear path to thread the wire through by using the stud finder to check for studs, pipes, or obstacles in the wall. Plan your route with this.
- Next check the attic, basement, or crawlspace to confirm you have a clear path for threading the wire.
- On the main floor, identify where the wire will exit. Draw the outline of a box and ensure it is in line with others you have before. For example, if you are fishing the new wire through an outlet, check that your outline is on the same level as others. This is usually 12-18 inches above the floor. Use a drywall saw to cut out the hole following the outline. After cutting the hole, use a drill or auger bit to drill through the wall plate. Repeat similar procedure with the drill in the attic or basement where you would like the wire to enter through.
- Tape the fish tape tightly to the cable and make sure you have excesses or enough wire and fish tape to grip. Slide the wire through the opening. It is easier to fish a new wire through a wall if you have someone on the other side to help you pull on the wire if anything happens. Fish the wire gently by pulling at short intervals on one end while your helper feeds more wire from the other end.
If you run into any roadblocks, you will have to repeat the earlier process of drilling another hole in the wall to fish the cable’s free end.
To make it easier to pull the wire you can employ a method that professional electrician’s use. Coat the cable with a lube product. This lubrication makes the cable slippery and easier to pull while protecting the sheathing from tearing.
If the procedure is just too difficult or time-consuming for you, the best option is always to call a professional electrician.