Low voltage conduit?

Discussion in 'DIY Lounge' started by Eric, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    I had a walk through/inspection with my builder yesterday afternoon. Just to make sure they had the plans right and everything looked like it was going together correctly.

    Anyway, we got on the topic of things to do "after hours" that would benefit me in the long run that they don't do. I'm going to get together with the construction supervisor one more time next week before hanging dry wall. He recommended something I was thinking about already...going in and hanging fiberglass insulation in the interior walls to help with sound isolation. I broached the subject of me getting in and pulling a bunch of low voltage wires...got shot down pretty hard. :evil:

    So my new thinking is maybe I'll just go in and put in a bunch of flex conduit and empty boxes. I don't think they'll have much heart burn with that. Then, as I settle in to the new place, I can pull the low voltage wire on an as-needed basis.

    So, anyone have any good recommendations for some light duty plastic conduit, and where to get it? Definitely don't want to spend as much on the conduit as I will on the eventual low voltage cabling.

    Also, how about a recommendation for a decent distribution box/panel? I'm only looking at (at most) a couple of cat-5 and RG-6 to each room.
     
  2. Rich Kraus

    Rich Kraus Active Member

    so you figure anyone would notice if you pulled the wire anyway? :twisted:

    just hate to see you spend a bazikllion dollars on conduit, that could be spent on wire.

    my guess is no one that will care will visit after the high voltage inspection, right before drywall. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    for a pannel, i used levitons 28" model, like this one:

    http://www.smarthome.com/865108.html
     
  3. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    Thanks Rich. Still mulling over my options. May be SOL, though. I think they're supposed to start drywalling this week (Wed-Thurs timeframe). No chance to get a decent price on cable. On the bright side, they ran the existing cable and phone lines to the same point in the garage, so I at least have a start to a decent structured wire setup. Maybe I'll just spend some quality time in my attic this fall.

    I am going to go hang a bunch of insulation one evening this week. Probably just to attempt some sound isolation for the bedrooms.
     
  4. I wouldn't go the conduit route. It's a waste of money.

    Given the resistance to running wire, I would take some time to drill some holes in the top plates from below where you want to run the wires. Then hammer in your low voltage boxes. Once the walls are closed up you just have to use a fish tape from the attic to run the wires (note if you have to go through two floors, line up the holes and place some pull string from the attic to the "first floor"). I would drill 3/4 or 1 inch holes in case you decide to run multiple wires. Think about the boxes as well, as some locations may require two gang boxes.

    You might want to run some pull string from the attic to your low voltage panel as well, as it makes it a little easier to line up the fish tape the first time (or you can use ridgid conduit from the low voltage panel to the attic (one for cat5 and one for RG6 or RG59)
     
  5. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    Yeah, I was thinking at the very least I could do that. Just screw in the boxes (steel studs) and throw in some strings to help pull the lines later. They already ran conduit down from the attic to the location in the garage where the lines are going to pass outside. Unfortunately, they only used 3/4" conduit, so the 4 RG6 lines they strung have pretty much filled that. I also thought it would be nice and easy to use the holes in the top plates they made, but after running the wires through them, they filled 'em all up with expanding foam. What a PITA.
     
  6. John Gonzales

    John Gonzales New Member

    I wouldn't bother with the low voltage rings before drywall. You can use a retrofit cut-in ring just as easily after the fact and it won't confuse the drywallers or other trim crews if it gets left open. In other words, if the drywaller cuts the opening to accommodate the low voltage rings you snuck in, you might get complaints when another trade comes in and sees that they didn't install these pieces. I also don't recommend running anything in-wall without the permission of the builder. The potential liability really isn't worth it in the long run.
     
  7. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    Thanks for the advice John. I ended up doing exactly what you said. Though I did make sure the existing low voltage wasn't tied to any of the studs. I've got low voltage boxes most of the places I'll want them (some with Cat 5 some with RG-6). I'll probably just use the existing wiring to pull extra though. In cases where I need a new boxes, I'll just do what I always do and fish fresh wire to new boxes.
     
  8. John Gonzales

    John Gonzales New Member

    Cool. I looked at the pictures of your new house in your blog. Very Nice!
     

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