Fishing a coax wire from attic to basement

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sidefx, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. sidefx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    #1
    I'm looking to set up a attic antenna. I have a typical new built 2 story house. All four bedrooms on the second level have a cold air return. In the attic there is flexible duct work connecting the return on one bedroom to the other. I can access the duct from that in the attic.

    My issue is the one bed room that had the cold air return down the wall seems to have a metal plate that Im hitting right around where the 1st floor ceiling would be.

    Looking it the basement where the cold air connects to the furnace it looks like it should be a straight shot down the wall.
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    There's lots of possibilities here. Here's just 3:

    Assuming you don't want to cut a hole so you can look in there and see the obstacle and figure out a way around it, have you identified any existing wire that runs from attic to where you want this to go? If so, and you think you can pull it up or down, attach the new second run and a piece of rope to it, pull it up or down so that all 3 end up where you now need it, then use the rope to pull the original back up or down so you can get it back to it's original jack.

    If you want to spend some money, you might pick up a wireless micro camera with light so that you can attach it to the new cable and see if you can see the obstacle inside your wall and look for any way around it. Basically, if you've tried to fish it through too much, you need to lay eyes on it one way or another OR change the path you want to use to some other wall.

    Since you are thinking antenna in the attic, consider putting it up outside. Yes, that won't be invisible but it will almost certainly pick up more signal and perhaps pull in a few channels your roof might block out (with the antenna inside the attic). Do this and you can run the new cable down the outside wall and find the most opportune place to poke into the home. People sometimes worry much about "unsightly" but how often do you actually look at your roof line? I've had one up outside for about 10 years now and I've probably actually looked at it 5 times. An antenna will almost always work better outside. And that can make the wire routing much simpler than what you are trying to do.
     
  3. sidefx thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    #3
    After investing more last night, the wall that had the cold air returns for those bedroom is load bearing. So I'm not quite sure how they have the cold air ran between the first and second floor.
     
  4. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #4
    THAT could be a bigger problem than fishing a wire....you should have a heating contractor come in and look at that.

    As for your original topic....I was able to fish network and RG6 TV cable from my attic to basement using the space next to my furnace chimney (cement block chimney).
     
  5. sidefx thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    #5
    Yeah I would think its all per code the house is only 20 years old.

    The only other run from the attic to basement is the vent for the sewer gases but the contractor cut the subfloor to the exact fit of the subfloor.

    My only other option is to use the attic above our garage this is only one story but I'm just trying to pull stations from 11 miles away.
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    11 miles away would probably work with rabbit ears at the TV itself. You probably don't need an antenna in the attic. And rabbit ears these days aren't rabbit ears of long ago; you can probably use a compact design that doesn't look anything like 2 long chrome poles that yielded that name.
     
  7. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #7
    Fishing a coax wire from attic to basement

    Typically a cold air return utilizes the the walls and studs as the "duct". It should be a straight shot to the basement. Then panning (light gauge metal) nailed to the joist that utilizes the space between the joist, floor and panning as the duct. At the end is an end cap that closes in the area opposite of the return duct work on the basement.

    My suggestion would be remove the piece of panning nearest the end cap and look up the return into the walls with a flashlight to see what is obstructing your wire. You can also have someone shine a flashlight away the top to see if you can see it in the basement.
     
  8. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #8
    Btw there could be an offset between the 1st and 2nd floor. Generally though there is a wall that lines up with walls on both floors to support the load.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    Here is Redondo Beach CA. No one has really use heating or AC in their house so we don't have air returns or ducts like you would have. But still it's not a big deal to run a wire. You just cut some drywall near the ceiling and floor of each wall drill holes through top and bottom plates and fix the holes. The part that takes the longest is waiting for the dray wall mud to dry, It takes at least 24 hours. I've used a 2' hole saw to make a cut through the drywall, save there 2" round part to use as a patch.

    If you don't like patching drywall, at least near the floor you can put in a ring and cover plate and maybe even an f-connector for another run of coax for a TV.

    If you do place cable inside a duct, I think it has to be a special kind of cable approached for that. It costs a bit extra. It uses a special type of insulation (teflon??) that does not make toxic fumes if it catches fire. It will be marked "plenum cable"
     
  10. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #10
    LOL....watch "Holmes Inspection" or "Holmes on Homes" some time, it'll give you a whole new idea of what builder's do "up to code"
     
  11. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #11
    I found an offset when I was running wire for a network jack in a house I had a few years ago. The cold air return ran up, next to a lot of other pipes, and for some reason, they went one way, but the return took a different direction.

    I popped the baseboard off the wall, and drilled an 1 1/2" hole that the baseboard would cover, and was able to see where the return took the bend, and was able to run the fish tape up from the basement, and hook with a fish stick from the hole I drilled. Then it was simple to put the jack panel right above that and snake things to it. I was surprised the return jogged, but it's common I guess.

    Another thing I've run into is fire blocks. Those things are a PITA! I lost 12' of a nice stainless tape after getting it snagged on one on a client job.:mad:

    If you want to stay 'code', look for 'plenum rated' cable.

    It's hard to know whether a duct goes down or not. Mirrors and flashlights help, but try dropping a penny, or knockout slug, and listen for where it stops. Good luck!

    ----------

    Building codes are almost like that 'pirate code' in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies; just guidelines. Some inspectors don't even look well enough to catch things. In this county, they look at everything, which is a PITA, but also keeps you on your toes...
     

Share This Page