How to Fish Wire Through Walls With a Hanger and Soda Straw
Running wires through walls is a common task when setting up electrical systems or installing new outlets. However, it can be a challenging and frustrating process if you don’t have the right tools or techniques. In this article, we will guide you through a simple and effective method of fishing wire through walls using a hanger and a soda straw.
– Hanger (preferably a metal one)
– Soda straw
– Electrical tape
Step 1: Prepare the tools
Ensure that you have all the necessary tools and materials ready before starting the process. Straighten out the hanger, remove any bends or twists, and cut off the hook end. Cut a small section of the soda straw, roughly 3 inches in length.
Step 2: Find entry and exit points
Identify the entry and exit points for the wire you want to fish through the wall. The entry point is where you will start pushing the wire, and the exit point is where you want the wire to come out. Make sure the path between these two points is clear of any obstacles or obstructions.
Step 3: Create a small hole
Using a screwdriver or any other suitable tool, create a small hole near the entry point of the wire. This hole should be large enough to fit the soda straw through.
Step 4: Attach the wire to the hanger
Strip the end of the wire and securely attach it to the end of the hanger using electrical tape. Make sure it is tightly wrapped to avoid any chances of it getting detached while pushing through the wall.
Step 5: Insert the hanger into the soda straw
Insert the non-hooked end of the hanger into the soda straw. This will provide stability and prevent the hanger from bending or getting stuck inside the wall cavity.
Step 6: Thread the hanger through the wall
Insert the hanger with the attached wire and soda straw into the small hole you created near the entry point. Start pushing the hanger gently while guiding it through the wall. Use a flashlight to help you see inside the wall cavity.
Step 7: Guide the hanger to the exit point
Continue pushing the hanger carefully through the wall until you reach the exit point. Be patient and avoid applying excessive force, as this may damage the wire or the wall.
Step 8: Retrieve the wire
Once the hanger has reached the exit point, gently pull it out while keeping a firm hold on the wire. Make sure the wire is securely attached and doesn’t slip off the hanger during retrieval.
1. Can I use any type of hanger?
It is best to use a metal hanger as it provides better stability and durability compared to plastic or wooden ones.
2. What if I don’t have a soda straw?
You can use any small, cylindrical object that fits onto the hanger and provides stability, such as a pen tube or a small PVC pipe.
3. Can I fish multiple wires at once?
It is generally recommended to fish one wire at a time to avoid tangling or damaging the wires.
4. How do I avoid damaging the wall?
By using a hanger and soda straw, you reduce the risk of damaging the wall as they provide a flexible and non-abrasive guide for the wire.
5. Can I fish wires through insulated walls?
Yes, this method works for both insulated and non-insulated walls. However, you may need to make a larger hole in insulated walls to accommodate the additional thickness.
6. How do I locate studs or obstacles inside the wall?
Use a stud finder or tap the wall lightly to listen for any differences in sound, indicating the presence of a stud.
7. Is this method safe?
As long as you follow the steps carefully and avoid using excessive force, this method is safe and effective.
8. Can I fish wire through exterior walls?
Yes, you can fish wire through exterior walls using the same method. However, you may need to consider weatherproofing the wire and sealing any holes to prevent water infiltration.
9. What if I encounter resistance while fishing the wire?
If you encounter resistance, gently pull the hanger back slightly and try a different angle. It may be helpful to have someone on the other side of the wall guiding you.
10. Can I use this method for longer distances?
For longer distances, you may need to use a fish tape instead of a hanger and soda straw, as it provides better flexibility and control.
11. How do I patch the hole created near the entry point?
After fishing the wire, patch the hole using spackling paste or a suitable wall patching compound. Sand it down and paint over it to match the surrounding wall.
12. Are there any alternatives to fishing wire through walls?
If the walls are easily accessible, you may consider running wires externally using conduit or raceways to avoid damaging the walls.
Fishing wire through walls can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and techniques, it becomes much easier. By following the steps outlined in this article and considering the FAQs, you’ll be able to successfully run wires through walls and complete your electrical installations or upgrades efficiently and safely.