Existing wiring installed in walls. May or may not be stapled. Some of it is stapled with newer plastic staples, older runs with metal staples. I've had varied success with this by twisting and taping the new wire to the old wire together and pulling it through but in cases where there are staples, bends or tight spaces I've had the connection break. Wondering how exactly others accomplish this.

In most cases I'll be replacing one wire with a similar or thinner wire. Example, quad phone cable with Cat5e cable.

In some other cases I might want to pull 2 or more cables through runs where I know the holes in the framing are wide enough but there may be staples. Ex existing Cat3 cable, want to use it to pull 2 Cat5e and 2 Coax cables.

Is there a very strong way to connect the old and new wires together such that the splice will be strong enough to not break while pulling, thin enough to pass through existing fasteners or strong enough to pop out fasteners by yanking hard?

1 Answer 1


This sounds like an exercise in frustration. Even if you do manage to bond the wires together strongly enough, you will surely damage them by pulling them through staples or around corners. I have frequently seen damaged cables from being pulled through tight spaces. If you damage the outer sheath of a coax cable you will lose a lot of signal strength, and if you damage one of the wires in CAT cabling you will not get any signal at all (or it will drop down to 2 pairs instead of 4).

If you are really insistent on trying to pull the cables through without opening up the wall (which is probably what you'll have to do in the end), try this: get some tough wire pulling twine and tie that to the end of your old cabling. Then when you're pulling the old cable out you will pull the twine along to replace it. This will give you an opportunity to inspect the old wiring: if you damaged it pulling it out, you will surely damage the new ones going in. If you were able to get the old wiring out successfully, it will probably be easier to pull the new ones through with the twine since there will be less resistance. However I still think this is going to be very annoying and you'll never know the condition of the cables.

  • 1
    Open the walls. Once. Run conduit. Then pull as often as you need to upgrade the wiring....
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 28, 2015 at 1:36
  • Conduit can be good, but if you do that, don't run the new wires inside it, run them along the outside and leave the conduit empty (or just with twine inside). It's likely that cat 5e/6 will be useful for many years to come, and it's easier to pull new wire through an empty conduit.
    – gregmac
    Jan 28, 2015 at 3:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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