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I am planning to install PoE Camera DoorBell. The current wired door bell is installed on the siding near the front door and has wires running from the attic to the doorbell. There is also a power outlet right below the door bell. There are 5 wires running in total through the wall. There is also fiberglass insulation in the wall and firestops. The roof is also low pitched and since these wires are running through an exterior wall, there is not much space to operate in the attic let alone where the attic slopes down towards the exterior wall. I am guessing I am only left with fishing the wire through the exterior siding doorbell hole which itself is about 2 inches wide (diameter) so there isn't much space for me to navigate the fish tape.

The two options I considered were to tie a pull string or the new wire to the old doorbell wire and pull it up through the attic. This would mean I lose the ability to revert back to the old bell in the future. The other option is to first fish a pull string through the wall using a fish tape and then tie the Cat5e/6 cable to the pull string and pull it through.

I wanted to know the best strategy to fish the Cat5e/6 wire through the wall without damaging existing wiring.

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    Are you really married to the POE Camera doorbell? Why not use a WiFi one which uses the existing doorbell wiring for power?
    – brhans
    Mar 7 at 11:05
  • How do you feel about drywall work?
    – Huesmann
    Mar 7 at 13:07
  • @Huesmann I am not a fan of drywall work but if I must I will do it.
    – Null
    Mar 7 at 20:37
  • @brhans I have a great WiFi network at home and around my home but I don't think it is right for the doorbell. The doorbell is exposed to direct sun and will get quite hot. I am afraid WiFi performance will be compromised leaving me with dropped packets and connection dropouts. Therefore I am not considering it.
    – Null
    Mar 7 at 20:40

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There really are not many good options here, since you don't know what sort of holes you have in the firestops, etc. I guess you could get a borescope type camera and try to look. Insulation makes that annoying/difficult.

If the old wire will pull through, you could pull in a pull string/ pulling tape, attach both the new and old cables, (and more pull string/pulling tape) to that, and pull both back in - if they will fit. Could work, everything would be as you wanted You'd have a string/tape in place for the next time, even, but it also could fail to work, depending how the present wire was run (size of holes, was it stapled, etc...)

Cutting and patching the drywall inside is always an option, though it's one many people will go to excessive lengths to avoid.

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  • Digression: Yeah, I was looking at something like that for my (in-wall rated) speaker cables, in a wall with blown-in insulation. Best approach I could see would involve cutting an access near the speaker to grab the fiberglass rod as it comes up. May yet do that... but for now I'm routing the cables neatly just under the ceiling trim (3d-printed some guides to do that neatly), which makes them acceptably unobtrusive... and they'll vanish completely if I ever put up crown molding (never mind if I do the mock-coffered-ceiling on the maybe-someday list).
    – keshlam
    Mar 7 at 2:33
  • I already have a borescope and I should have mentioned this but the borescope could not make it past the insulation. It is fairly well packed in there and very dense so I could not shove it up so that it could make it past the insulation. That also makes me skeptical if a pull string would even work. I could open up the drywall but it'll have to be likely the whole length of the wire which I am not very comfortable doing.
    – Null
    Mar 7 at 3:46

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