I was wondering if anyone had a really clever way to fish an electrical wire through a wall.
You can count on the fact that every wall and every fishing requirement will be different, so there's no way to answer your question easily. I've been doing it for a while and can attest that experience is really the best teacher. I find that many times it takes so long to fish the wire that its actually easier and takes less time to open the wall up and repair it later, so don't be afraid to go that route. Good luck.
As Danlieg stated, all instances can be different. A popular way is to use a piece of jack chain (be sure to orient it the correct way so it slides down the hole at the top easier) and allow the weight of the chain to carry it down the wall. Allow a few extra feet of chain to make it easier. Use a wire to pull the chain out of the wall. I assume you are doing a vertical drop, perhaps from an attic or upper floor?
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Thanks also for the good ideas. I'll give the jack chain a try.
Ok - I have a more difficult fishing expedition. Just installed a nice LCD on an outside wall on the lower floor of a two story home. I want to fish a wire from attic down thru wall in second story thur that floor into wall of first story - any ideas?
The chain works good in some situations. I use a ball type chain because it seems to slide better than some of the other types of chain. I bought some small crimp on fishing weights to give it some extra weight. I use a snake or a piece of wire to catch the chain and then I use the chain to pull the snake back up and hook the wire to it, or if it is a really light wire such as a low voltage type then I will use the chain to pull the wire through without hooking up the snake. As the others suggested you have to practice with it to get good at it.
Going through a 2 story wall is even more difficult because being an outside wall you're probably going to run into fire blocks. Since the wall is undoubtedly insulated, there's even more stuff to get in your way. At the risk of sounding redundant, cut an opening near the floor in the upstairs room to drill a hole through the plates, and try to fish it both up and down directions from there. With that opening you'll be able to judge any other obstructions and where they are, and you can make a decision about getting past them at that point. Good luck!
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