I am about to hook up a cable box, and the current configuration of the television and existing coax junction box have me scratching my head a little bit.

Please refer to the below picture of what I mean. I have my TV mounted above the fireplace, and the interesting thing is that behind the TV on the fireplace is an empty junction box. There appears to be a "laced line/string" from this junction box to an identical junction box closer to the floor on the right hand side. And then on the other side of the stud from the empty floor junction box, there's a coax junction box.

What exactly was the builder's intention here? I'm guessing the connected empty junction boxes are a guided tunnel to easily run coax? But on the floor how would I tie that bottom coax into the existing coax junction box?

Any ideas here on how to get house coax behind this TV is much appreciated. I have also included a picture of one of the two identical "empty" junction boxes (really quite confusing what the intentions are here).

Thank you in advance!

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2 Answers 2


You would just need a jumper from the COAX plate to the new box next to it. Or you could just run a COAX through a hole in the blank plate then up to the TV.

Question is, WHY do you need COAX at the TV? Do you not have/need a cable or sat box?

Typically for new TVs we just run one or more HDMI cables form the cable box/blue ray/game console/etc up to the TV.

You are lucky to have that sleeve from the floor area up to the TV.

(And my post is fine. Writing "COAX" does NOT come off as shouting. That's just silly.)

  • 1
    Oh my goodness, you're absolutely right. Why do I need coax behind the TV? It would make more sense to have a nice looking "container" to house the cable box, and then just run the HDMI through the sleeve and pop out behind the TV (then plug into the TV). So that's what that "sleeve" is for? Any trick to running wire through it? Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:30
  • 1
    @ThomasStringer Or depending how old it is, it may have been intended for an old-style cable box or VCR which had coax coming out of it. But the nice thing about conduit (if large enough) is that you can run whatever cables you need, even if they were not what was thought of when the conduit was put in.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 20:23

The nylon rope inside the conduit is to help you pull cable through the conduit. Usually it is at least twice as long as the conduit itself. Here is how you would pull cable through the conduit:

  1. Without untying any rope, from the "near" junction box, pull the rope all the way through the conduit. If your piece of rope looks long enough for the length of conduit, skip to step 3.
  2. Your rope is not long enough. Get a long piece of rope. Untie the rope from the "far" junction box and tie it to your piece of rope. If necessary, tie your new rope to the "far" junction box (this is to prevent the rope from disappearing inside the conduit if it's too short). Go to step 1.
  3. Tape your cable to the rope, at the point that is nearest from the "near" junction box.
  4. Push the end of the cable inside the junction box.
  5. From the "far" junction box, gently pull on the rope. If you feel any resistance, try a few slightly hard tugs. Be careful not to break the rope. If you are unable to pull it further, pull it back from the other end and try again.
  6. Once you see the end of the cable, pull it out. Untape it from the rope and tie the rope back to the junction box. You are done!

Note that depending on how tight the conduit is, you may be able to run more than one cable at the same time. I suggest running a length or of Cat-5 (6 or 7 is even better) or two.

If you are pulling network cable from a box, you usually do not need an excess length of rope: you simply pull twice the desired length of Cat. 5 through the conduit using the rope, then you tape the rope to the cable so that you can pull back half of the cable, bringing back the rope with you. Do this only for short runs though, otherwise you end up with meters of cable that you will have to carry outside of your box of cable. It's a bit risky though, because if the tape gives way, you lose the rope.

Without a puller rope, you will need a fish tape. The principle is the same, except that the fish tape is made of steel, so it is a bit more rigid. You can push it inside the conduit and it will follow all the bends (to a certain extent).

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