I'm installing a new bathroom fan in an old house, it has a fancy switch that requires it's own neutral wire. The problem is that I am having no luck figuring out how to get a wire from the attic into that wall where the switch is located. I've drilled in a few spots directly above the wall but not able to get through to the empty space.

Any ideas or tricks of the trade to solve this problem? enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • 1
    A better description of the issue, some photos, and explaining what "not able to get through" means would really help – jwh20 Dec 8 '19 at 18:10
  • 3
    Tricks include a long drill bit with a tennis ball a few inches behind the bit to keep the bit centered in the wall the box needs to be removed then slip the bit up the wall and drill through the plate, this method has risks but doing this for many decades I have only 1 time hit a water pipe and another time hit a feeder not bad for doing this hundreds of times. Other than that just using a tape measure to locate the wall and drilling down through the plate, when all else fails sometimes removing some Sheetrock is needed. – Ed Beal Dec 8 '19 at 18:31
  • What @EdBeal said... the long drill bits are pricey, but come out cheap compared to the time for drywall patching. – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 8 '19 at 19:38
  • Can you find the route the existing cable to the switch box took? Also, are you sure there's no neutral in the back of the switch box? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 8 '19 at 19:56
  • 1
    Please get a pro unless you replace the in wall wiring, if built after 06 you may have blocking but I would really recommend replacing the wiring with Romex. K&T is long lasting if no changes are needed, if changes are needed your best bet is a pro, I have updated many Victorians, and kept quite a few original. But this is specialized work in both cases , yes a anal DIY can do it , and I have found a few that did professional work, but to tell the truth that may have been ~3% on close to 45 years , vickies are easy to find the walls but even easier to screw up the lath and plaster. – Ed Beal Dec 8 '19 at 21:26

You may be helped out by getting a bit extension, it sounds like you have standard tools, I currently live in a 30’ farm house, drilling to put a new sub in took close to 18” I had a son make measurements and thought 12 would be more than enough, ended up adding a set screw bit extension as I had to drill down in this case inside a cabinet . We got the feeder in but it took longer drill bits than any new home could even imagine, so find an extension if drilling straight and this is important straight down, because a slight angle you can punch into a room, not hard to fix but easier if centered and plumb.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.