I'm planning on a security camera install. All of the connections will start from the 2nd floor and go to some cameras on exterior at the ground level. The 1st floor has a roofed deck that extends out from the main house. Because of this I'll either need to bring the wires through the 1st floor roof, or run on top to the edge (~7ft from the side of house).

What is the best way to send the wiring from the 2nd floor down to the ground level?

I might be using a conduit on the 2nd level, and then transition to exposed wires when under the covered deck.

Looking for suggestions on how to approach this other than putting a hole in the roof and ceiling.

  • 2
    I would come out of the wall a right below the roof.
    – Justin K
    Feb 20, 2014 at 1:45
  • @JustinK, Can you elaborate with a full answer? The wiring starts on the second floor, so how do I get it down below the roof line and out the wall?
    – cmcginty
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:09
  • Without seeing the house I cant tell you exactly what to do. If the wire is starting from above the deck then I would probably send the wire out of the 2nd floor wall above the deck. My point was to come out the wall and not through roof.
    – Justin K
    Feb 22, 2014 at 17:38

2 Answers 2


The best way is to go around the roof, not through it. As soon as you have a hole, you are providing a path for water. You can seal it, but it's always going to be a weak spot. Additionally, if you ever need to redo the roof, it will be a pain to deal with the wires that are now in the way.

Better to come out of wall, then go up to the roof. You still have to seal the hole to keep water out, but you don't have to deal with water pooling/sitting on it. Use outdoor caulk (which is UV resistant) to seal the hole. You can also use expanding foam if it's big or you really want to keep the insulation factor up, but even that should be covered in caulk on the outside (because it's not UV resistant).

If you're using a bare wire, then you should also use a drip loop: this keeps water from running down the wire and driving into the hole.

drip loop

If you use conduit, be sure to keep it all glued and sealed to keep water out. You can use a cable gland at the end where the cable comes out to keep it sealed.

cable gland

  • By going "around" the roof, I need to run the cabling on the singles. What is a good way to do this?
    – cmcginty
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:11
  • 1
    @Casey do you mean shingles? Post a picture showing where you want the camera and where you have access to from the inside, maybe I or someone else can suggest something.
    – gregmac
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:17

I don't recommend it, but if you MUST come out the roof, here is what I would do.

I would purchase a roof flashing suitable for 1 1/2" PVC pipe and a short piece of pipe too, maybe 3 ft or so.

Roof pipe

Set about 2 ft of it inside the attic and anchor it with framing and a clamp to keep it stable. Next purchase a glue on PVC trap for a sink, and use just the 180 degree bend.

trap 1trap 2

Glue that to the top of the anchored PVC pipe set through the roof, and it will last as long as the neoprene boot does on the roof flashing.

If you want to get fancy you can get a cap or plug to go in the end of the pipe to seal the end better, of course, drill it for your wires to go through. a little caulk can be applied.

Using a wye and another cap, you could even use it as a mast to mount a lightweight ( a few ounces to a pound of weight) camera to.

This could be done in copper or another weather resistant metal as well.

  • 1
    This is basically an improvised weatherhead, except that a weatherhead seals abound the wires. You can pick up a proper weatherhead online for ~$10.00 or so, and 1 1/4" rigid nonmetallic conduit for ~1.00/ft.
    – Tester101
    Feb 21, 2014 at 13:10
  • This is kinda of what I was expecting the answer to be, but I was hoping there would be a more compact option.
    – cmcginty
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:13
  • The weatherhead that Tester mentioned is a bit more compact. If it is made out of copper, it could be made smaller, but it would be a homebuilt assembly.
    – Jack
    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:56
  • IDK if the PVC in a P-trap will have anything in the way of UV protection.
    – Huesmann
    Oct 5, 2020 at 15:15

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