I'd like to run new cabling for data, voice and tv but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get some of the wires up to the attic for the 2nd floor and would like some advice.
I've run cables, wire and conduit before but I've hit a wall (pun intended) and can't figure out what to do.
I was planning on using Cat6 for data and phone but might need to go with Cat5e for the thinner diameter. TV will be RG6 quad shielded. All together over 20 cables.
I could only find one section of interior wall that has a clean run from the basement to the attic but I still have to do some investigating. It's a 2x4 framed wall that may be be load bearing as all the joists run perpendicular to it but I can't remember if any framing members connect directly to the roof. I think I only have 1, maybe 1 1/2 stud bays I can use to run wires the whole way.
Here are the options I can think of:
Option 1 Drill holes with flexible drill bit
Using a 1" diameter flexible drill bit I can make 3 holes all the way up from the basement to the attic through all the sole plates, top plates and fire blocks.
- Do I need to fire block every penetration or just the top in the attic and bottom in the basement? What fire block material is good to plug around the cables at the end of the conduit?
- Is there any problem doing this with so many cables without conduit?
Option 2 Drill holes with forstner bit
Instead of using a flexible drill bit I can cut out the drywall by the top, bottom and middle of the wall near the fireblocking and drill the same 3 1" holes except I have more access for guiding the pull and fireblocking all penetrations.
Option 3 Use 1" or 1-1/4" Metal Conduit
I can run 3 1" (cat5e) or 3 1-1/4" (cat6) runs of conduit. I'd need to cut the drywall to drill the holes as I can't seem to find a flexible bit that is big enough for the conduit to fit. Thinking of using metal conduit because it has a smaller outside diameter.
- How do I get the conduit in the wall? If I cut the conduit in half (5') can I squeeze it in the hole and slide it up/down? I don't want to remove the fireblocking if possible and there isn't enough clearance in the basement or attic to feed the whole length.
- Does the conduit need to be attached to the studs? If I can only use 1 stud bay I only have two studs to nail the conduit to.
- What keeps the conduit from falling down? Even if I attach the conduit to the studs with straps it's going to be a straight run down. Are there some sort of end pieces that allow me to attach it to the top plate in the attic and bottom of 1st floor subfloor in the basement? Some sort of clamp and flange? I can't seem to find anything like that but I'm sure I've seen them installed.
- Along with Q3, is there some sort of bushing that can be attached to the end to protect the cables from rubbing against the edges of the conduit as it exits?
Option 4 Use 2" Conduit
If I could manage to do this everything would be so much easier as I can pull all the cables through 2".
As I understand it, if I cut a hole to accommodate a 2" pipe in a 2x4 framed wall I would need to reinforce the top plate with a steel plate. I've only seen them install on the side of the 2x4 (1.5" width side) which would be a problem since the walls are finished and I don't want to do that much damange to the drywall. In the attic I can attach it to the side but for the first floor is there something I can attach to the bottom? Maybe a 1/2" mending plate on either side of the 2" pipe?
Still same problem. How do I get the pipe in the wall?
Open to other options and suggestions and advice about how to run the cables up. Wifi isn't cutting it anymore and the ethernet over power options don't suit my needs either.
Here's a picture showing the walls in question. Keep in mind I'll only have 1 stud bay to run cables, maybe 1 1/2. There is a beam right under the wall in the basement but enough room above it to pass the cables around. I'm not sure of the exact height of the roof rafters over the wall in the attic but it's somewhere around the dimensions shown.