Running network cables

With the basement torn out, and access to all of the main floor, I started running wiring for network and video. I’m running two network cables and one cable to each of the bedrooms, two spots in the family room, and one spot in the dining room.

Since the upstairs is finished, I wanted to disrupt it the least amount possible, so I purchased a 54″ flexible installer’s drill bit. It’s 916″ which is big enough for all the cables I’m running. The basic process is to cut out the hole in the wall where the wall plate will go, stick the bit in and drill a hole from inside the wall to the floor below, and then pull the wires back up through.

Picture of drill from inside the wall

The bit came with a special tool that goes inside the wall and directs the bit straight down. I had to use this a couple of times when a joist was directly below part of the wall. It also came with a special sleeve that clips onto a hole in the drill bit, grabs the wire, and lets the drill bit act like a fish to pull the wires back up through – very convenient.

I used a low-voltage plastic retrofit box to finish it off. This is easier than a metal retrofit box simply because I’m using keystone jacks and quite a few wires. The retrofit boxes are typically not that big, so trying to terminate several wires, including RG6 coaxial (which is not really that flexible), is easier.

I’m still waiting for all the plates and keystone jacks to arrive, so I haven’t terminated too many of these yet (just a couple to get phones and my media server going). I’ll follow up with a post about the termination later.