I bought this house with phone cable wiring though PVC pipes all over but no Ethernet at all. I'm wondering if there's a way for me to fishing Cat6 cable through those pipes. Note that it's concrete house, there's no way i can drill through it. And it has five floors...


Should be trivial; conduit (which is probably what your "pipe" is) is ideal for this.

Either use the phone wire to pull in a rope and use that to pull in the Cat6, (and use one for phone if you are still using a landline) or vacuum in a string if there's conduit, but no phone wire. If you need multiple wires, figure out how long they are, cut that (or a bit longer) and pull them all in at the same time - you'll need someone keeping them from tangling on the way in.

For single wires, if you buy the usual box of wire you can feed straight from it with no tangling.

Hollow braided rope is nice for a pull string, as you can expand the end by pushing on it and slip the wire(s) inside the braid, then smooth it down & tape the end in place. Allow about a foot of overlap so the rope can get a good grip on the wire.

Don't pull too hard or bend wires sharply (it ruins Cat-whatever wire) and where possible, pull down, not up (let gravity help you - carry the box of wire to the top end and pull down through the house.)

  • If you put too much strain on a small string it can cut right through the inside of a PVC 90°. We actually use nylon kite string to cut through PVC pipe in a trench. A fishtape, larger nylon rope, or soft polyester rope is safer. Lubricate the cable with wire lube and try not to pull too hard as this can deform the cable and change its characteristics. Ditto for pulling the cable over the edge of a box. Good,luck!
    – ArchonOSX
    Jul 29 '17 at 10:15
  • +1 I'll add that you should pull at least 1 more cable than you think you'll need. Or at the very least pull another string along with your cable, so it's very easy to add another cable later on.
    – mmathis
    Jul 30 '17 at 2:08
  • Unfortunately, i found out that around 10% of the old cable was buried inside of concrete wall (I really couldn't tell how much the space was made for those cables). I tried to pull the cable with fish-tape attached, the cable didn't seem to move. Should I try pull it harder or there exists a cleverer way...
    – Cecile Y
    Aug 12 '17 at 12:50
  • If the cables are embedded in concrete, not run through conduits the whole way, you may need to learn about masonry drills (i.e. there is, indeed, a way to drill through a concrete house.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 12 '17 at 14:20

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