My home is 1988 built and I put my modem and router upstairs. I want to have a music system around house and also want to run Ethernet cable to my tv downstairs.

How can I do that?

I do not want to open walls for this if possible :-(

I am running tv on wireless but it sucks.

Any help is appreciated.

Edit0: I do not have a crawlspace, its a concrete base. And not sure if attic would also be of any help based on what I need.

The comcast cable that I have enters my home from a hole upstairs. Right in the room where I have my cable modem. Can I run an ethernet cable in reverse direction and then wrap it around my home and reach my tv? I have a previous dish networks cable hole on a wall near my tv. Question is, is it a good idea to run Ethernet cable aournd the house? Would whether do anything nasty to it?


4 Answers 4


Having done a LOT of this over the years, your options are basically - find something else to follow, go plenum-rated and use ductwork if you have it as @Comintern suggests in a comment, run wires on the surface or go though a lot of agony trying not to open up walls. In many cases, opening up walls would be a lot less agony. There are often inconvenient things like firestops in the middle of walls, and you can get into all sorts of excitement you'd just as soon not when trying to drill blind or around corners or any sort of fancy work like that. Yes, long flexible drills are made - without a long flexible camera to be sure what the heck one is drilling into, you can get into a world of misery trying to use one...

My prime suggestion - open the walls, run conduit, never have to do this again (if you run the conduit right so that you can pull these wires out when you need to install whatever everything is using in 10 years.) In large part you may be able to minimize opening first floor walls if you can distribute across the basement and have short runs up to the first floor. The run from basement to attic will probably require it - you can distribute much of the second floor through the attic to minimize opening walls up there.

If you can't use plenum rated cables in air ducts (and DON'T use non-plenum rated cables in air ducts, since you and your family are the ones that will be subject to smoke inhalation for the savings of a few pennies) look around the plumbing for possible routes you might get a network wire in. However, most non-owner-built homes have miserable access to the plumbing, so that may not save you much if any wall opening. Builders who are not going to live there seem to love just sealing it all up in drywall to make more work when service is required...

Look around for things like stacked closets to try and locate space where you can open the walls with minimum area to repair/repaint to run your conduit or wires.

  • 3
    Wires should not really be run in ducts, even plenum rated. I believe the NEC only allows cables to pass through a duct. Another option is to run the cables via the exterior of the house.
    – Steven
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 22:01
  • Steven: yeah, I was wondering the same and updated my question too.
    – hari
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 22:08
  • @hari Just checked the code, and 300.22(B) says that to run them in ductwork they need to be metal clad. Seems like this is a catch-all section for environmental air handling systems. Learned something new today...
    – Comintern
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 1:31

If you don't have much experience running wire, an easy option in some cases is to run the wire along the exterior of the house. You punch out the wire at the source, run along the siding, under the gutters, etc. and then drill through the wall to bring it into the house. This is easiest on exterior walls, but you can also bring the wire into the attic and then down into a wall.

If you choose this route, make sure to leave a drip loop and seal all of the holes with caulking or expanding foam. Use a low voltage rework box on the inside, and seal and holes you made in the vapor barrier with tuck tape.

Running wire inside is usually doable with minimal damage but requires a good plan and some experience with a flexible drill bit, fish tape, etc. Remember that at every location you choose to terminate a wire, you will need a cutout in the wall for the rework box. This is usually close to the ground, so you can easily drill down through the bottom plate to get between floors.

You can remove other wall plates for existing phone lines/cable and use cutout as an access point for running the wire. Similar but more involved would be removing existing electrical boxes in order to use the hole (make sure to shutoff the power!).

This combined with a few techniques for hiding wires such as behind baseboards or crown molding will usually allow you to plan a wiring route with minimal wall damage.

If you've never run or seen cables run before, you could get an electrician, alarm installer or other installer to do a few runs for you while you learn about how they do it.

Do yourself a favor too and pull multiple cables to each location. 2-3 Ethernet and 1 RG6 is a typical run that I have to multiple locations in my house. Conduit is nice but gets expensive to run and is not as easily installed as flexible cables alone.


Stop! Before you start drilling holes everywhere - take a look at Homeplug adapters.

  • Plug one in near your Cable Modem.
  • Run ethernet from the modem to the plug.
  • Plug another one in downstairs near your TV
  • Run ethernet from the plug to your TV

Hey presto! Your Internet connection now runs over your power lines. Depending on the age and the quality of your wiring, you may or may not get acceptable speeds.

That said, adapters are very cheap and (if they work) you can plug one in every room which needs an Internet connection.

  • 2
    These tend to not work very well at all, I would not recommend this solution. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 22:10
  • 1
    They do work very well. IF your wiring is up to scratch. Like I say, they're very cheap, so if you don't get good speeds from them, you haven't lost out on much. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 10:57
  • See also the comments here Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 14:50
  • I've used several of the TP-Link adapters over the years. They work great as long as you're careful about what else is on the line (touch-sensitive lights, dimmer switches, etc. can cause problems...).
    – dat
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 15:20

I have run the odd cable in my house (wood frame, wallboard) by drilling down from the attic into the hollow wall. There's a 2x4 at the top of the wall, with vertical 2x4 studs. I've mounted a junction box on the stud by cutting into the wall, then made a small pilot hole into the attic through the ceiling to register the main hole through the 2x4. Then use fish tape, or just find the cable coming down the side of the stud.

  • This assumes your walls don't have blocking, which makes this a bit more difficult, though still doable with a long flexible bit.
    – Steven
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 16:50

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