I respect this group's input: New to cabling : - Running cables from attic down walls

Hello, my computer office is dangerously hot with 1 server and 6
workstations that all run 24*7, To cool them, I need to place
workstations in various other remote rooms throughout the house. I
would like to run CAT6 cables from an 8 port Gigabit router, out the
office wall.
My plan is to run 4 - CAT6 STP Cables (all less than 100 feet) straight
up the wall , across the attic and then down the walls of 4 separate
rooms to socket plates. I understand everything about crimping, color
coding, and attaching the wires. I know how to test the connections.
However I have no idea how to get from a point in the attic straight
down to where I want the connector panels to be. How do I find the
spot? GPS? (Joke) I don't know how to drill down at the right spot and
drop the wire so I can find it at the hole where the connector plate
will be, and pull it out the wall
I would also like to avoid drilling into plumbing pvc pipes, 110 volt
wiring, or similar things that would kill me in the process - or later
by creating an electrical fire one night. I can't find a good site on
the subject of dropping the wire at the right spot and knowing I am
safely drilling and avoiding damage to electrical or plumbing wires.
Can anyone suggest a site with detailed instructions, pictures or
diagrams? Perhaps a good book? I need to learn how to do this and
exactly what tools I need to guide the wires down. Judging from the
posts this is the crowd that is best suited to offer me advice that I
If you have any links, book titles, or ideas please let me know. I
would be much in your debt.
Lost with a powerdrill in the dark.
Bryan E.
Reply to
Bryan E
Loading thread data ...
Yeah, that sucks when you drill through working things.
In house construction, studded walls are pretty easy to find in an attic, since you get reference points from the previously mentioned electrical and plumbing.
A good drill, long bit, flashlight,tape, stud finder, razor knife and/or drywall saw, chain, coat hanger, flexible sticks, and a tape measure become your friends. Inner walls are good, outer walls are bad.
Usually most inner walls are hollow. You can check that out by removing the electrical outlet covers next to where you are going to put your data drops.
Your local home improvement store will carry the set of flexible sticks, usually Greenlee brand. I don't like them much for going down side walls because of the size.
formatting link
has a set for about $80 but for a single job, you might just get the Greenlees for half that amount. I grab any good small chain and guard it pretty closely. They run about $1 a foot for the really good kind that's heavy and smooth. A Greenlee nail eater bit runs about $20.
A helper is good. You need to be careful when you drop your chain down the walls. The other trick is to drill a small hole behind the baseboard to check the wall before you cut a hole at outlet height. My builder frined likes to drill through baseboards instead of drywall, because baseboard setions are easier to replace than repairing drywall and wallpaper.
Anyway, hope this helps.
Carl Navarro
Reply to
Carl Navarro
Thanks Carl, I appreciate the time and advice. I've already printed it for my attic notebook. BSE Carl Navarro wrote:
Reply to
Bryan E
Alarm installers almost always drill UP into the attic from the wall below with a five foot somewhat bendable bit and a right angle brace...but they usually are way above the 18" level from the floor of electrical wiring that runs horizontal for the twelve foot or so required spacing of electric outlets now - a building code thing).
Since most of the non-drop ceilings encountered out here are actually two layers:
zone of darkness and things to trip on plywood cross braces and electrical wiring plywood painted ceiling
I don't have a reference point where the walls are, so I drill a small pilot hole up to the attic from from the point directly above where I'm going to drop the cable. A small 3/16 bell hanger bit or a length of stainless steel radio antenna with a angle ground at the tip to act as a drill bit also works. A dab of white caulk hides the hole.
Incidentally, I did ask an alarm installer how often they drill into electrical wire (remembering how I've seen electric cables stapled to the top of the horizontal studs above a wall). He said a visual inspection addresses that, but the biggest issue is drilling up through the roof to the outside sky.
Reply to
We use a GOOD toner (check Ebay and tool supply houses). Tape it to the wall at thr ceiling where we want the hole (make sure you are between studs) and go into the attic with the probe and hunt it down. A buddy tapping on the ceiling will get you in the neighborhood.
Also, we may drill a 1/8 inch hole at the ceiling/wall sheetrock intersection and fish up a wire to spot. You can see once moving the insulation that the top of the wall is right next to it (obvious difference between sheetrock, and wood). Fill the 1/8 hole with caulk.
Reply to
Before I make suggestions on how to get cables in and out of existing walls, here are a couple of thoughts:
First, you say, "I understand everything about crimping". Second, you use the term "connector panels".
There is no mention of where the "head-end" will be. Are you thinking the office? If so, I would suggest you reconsider the plan. Instead of putting together a system that will serve you current configuration, put your head-end in the utility room or basement {*R1}, wherever you current phone and cable TV connectors enter the building. The idea here is that you will be creating a FLEXIBLE DESIGN that allows you and any future owner of the property a system of value verses a system of convenience. The wall plates (or connector panels?) will make a more attractive and reliable system. The cabling run back to the entry point will make it easy for you or future users to connect to your broadband medium of choice. Over the last 8 years I have switched from DSL to Cable Internet with minimal hassle because I'm cabled as suggested. My modem, router, VOIP, signal amplifiers, switches, etc...- all reside at the "head-end" of the cabling system, as recommended by the TIA, BICSI, etc...
As far as crimping goes, there shouldn't be any. Each cable should be TERMINATED to a faceplate on the user end and terminated again on the head-end. On the head-end you can terminate to a multiport faceplate or patch panel {*
R2}. Then, use patch cords to make your connections. Hand terminated RJ45 connectors are a great source of failure and weakness.
About getting cables down walls (or up).
If your talking about cabling on outside walls, down is almost always easier, so if you have a basement or crawlspace you might consider working from there. Here's why: at the point where the hole will have to be drilled, in the attic you will probably be near the end of the trusses, where the clearance is minimal. There will almost certainly be no space for a drill to fit from above (even with a right angle drill or attachment), forcing you to drill from below (likely requiring that you open the wall) and leaving little room after passing through the wall's header before hitting the roof and possibly drilling through it! In the basement or crawlspace you will have a more accessible footer, above the foundation wall and your distance to the faceplate will be far less.
If appearance is not paramount and you must come from above, you might consider raceway {*R3}. I have even used short pieces of raceway (which looks much nicer) by doing this: 1) Drill a hole through the ceiling, really tight to the wall (this is almost always safe but look for electrical or plumbing first). Hints: a) Make sure you aren't drilling up at a stud, you need to be between wall studs. b) If you can, choose a location where there is no electrical. 2) Cut a 6" piece of plastic raceway (with adhesive), open it and drill a 3 / 4" hole in the back of it, close to the bottom. 3) Attach the raceway to the wall at the location of the hole going up 4) Open the raceway and cut a hole in the wall where your 3 / 4" hole is. This hole should about 4" from the ceiling and should make getting into the wall cavity a snap! 5) Feed the cable down the hole in the ceiling, through the raceway, and through the hole in the back of the raceway into the wall and down to your faceplate hole. This is where the chain mentioned in a previous post will come in handy {*R4} unless you need to fish through insulation. 6) Close the raceway, caulk around the top (at the ceiling) and put an endcap on the bottom of the raceway.
If your talking about inside walls, everything is easier! As already mentioned: 1) Get a long VERY SKINNY drill bit and drill up as close to the wall as you can. Hints: a) Make sure you aren't drilling up at a stud, you need to be between wall studs. b) If you can, choose a location where there is no electrical on EITHER SIDE of the wall - this will greatly reduce the likelihood of hitting any electrical wiring since the wiring (if any) will not be attached to the header except where it goes down to an outlet. 2) Locate the drill bit in the attic. Knowing that the drill bit is approximately 2" from the center of the wall, [1/2" of wall material + 1/2 of a 3 1/2 inch stud - adjust accordingly] move over 2" and drill a 1/2" or 3/4" hole (or a small pilot hole, if that feels safer to you) through the wall header and into the cavity. If you are using mudrings {*R5} and faceplates as I've suggested, you should have cut your faceplate hole first and put a flashlight in the hole before you go up into the attic to drill. This will give you a visual after you drill through the header!
Regardless of whether you are on an inside or outside wall, if possible, locate these holes where you can kill two birds with one stone. In other words, put two cables down the wall and feed one faceplate on each side!
On another note. This sounds like a lot of work. For little more cost, add home run cables for CATV and telephone (cat5) if it makes sense. If this is a house, a flexible design such as this will add value to a potential buyer.
Lastly, leave some extra cable length on each end of the cable. This used to be called a service loop but "loop" is not recommended in higher speeds of cabling. I tend to "snake" the extra cable.
R1.a -
formatting link
page 10 and 11 (voice and data distribution) Or *R1.b -
formatting link
home star topology
*R2 -
formatting link
page 21 for surface mount (field configurable) multimedia panels See page 23 for 12 port cat6 patch block See page 24 for 12 port (field configurable) patch block
*R3 -
formatting link
*R4 -
formatting link
down for a Noodle Fish Chain: $7.95 (invaluable for this kind of work, use with a telescoping magnet)
*R5 -
formatting link
favorite mudring for old construction.
Dorral Goforth Structured Wire Systems
Reply to
Take a look at the following link. Be sure to check out the rest of their site as well.
formatting link
These are extremely small (.047) wires used to drill up into the attic to be used as a reference point. Others here have mentioned doing the same but with a larger "drill" bit, which would leave a larger hole to patch. Not really a big difference, but these are made for this purpose. You could probably use a thin piece of wire hangar instead. Hope this helps.
Reply to
Peter Bogiatzidis

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.