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Ceiling Cable Is Making Me Frustrated.
October 12, 2006 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Ceiling Cable Is Making Me Frustrated.

I need a downstairs coax-cable outlet, but the only outlet in the house is on the second floor. The original owner solved this problem by drilling a hole in the floor and running the coax through it, so the cable now dangles from a hole in the first-floor ceiling. Here's a picture (the cable on the second floor currently runs to a splitter, and then goes into the fire-caulked hole).



1. How do I install a second coax outlet on the ground floor, when the only outlet in the house is on the second floor?

2. Is there a way or a telescoping tool to thread the cable through the wall without tearing out a section of drywall?

3. Recommendations for contractors in or near the East Bay (Berkeley, California) who specialize in this sort of thing would be appreciated.
posted by fandango_matt to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
 
Do you have access to the place on the outside of the house where the cable enters? You could put a splitter there and run your downstairs cable on the outside until it reaches the downstairs room you want to wire. The, just pop a hole through, fish the cable through one of those plastic hole-filling grommety things and into the room.
posted by baltimore at 4:16 PM on October 12, 2006


posted by baltimore Do you have access to the place on the outside of the house where the cable enters?

Unfortunately, no, I don't.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2006


Can you determine the path of the cable from where it enters your home to the wall outlet? Is it a short run on the same wall, or does it enter on one wall then end up on the wall with the cable outlet?
posted by sailormouth at 4:28 PM on October 12, 2006


If you're willing to pay for an hour's work, any good electrician can do this quite easily -- with the added bonus of a nice neat outlet when he/she's done. (You could also buy some fish-tape of your own, but the expense and frustration won't be worth the savings, believe me.) I just had my house re-wired, and my guy didn't blink at making new coax outlets along with AC ones.
posted by turducken at 4:56 PM on October 12, 2006


posted by sailormouth Can you determine the path of the cable from where it enters your home to the wall outlet?

Not easily. More on this in a moment.

Is it a short run on the same wall, or does it enter on one wall then end up on the wall with the cable outlet?

The house is actually part of a condo complex, so it's more of the latter--much of the wiring is within the walls between the units, so the cable enters my collection of units out by the electric meters.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:00 PM on October 12, 2006


You might be able to pull the cable outlet cover and determine if the cable drops down to the outlet box, comes sideways through the wall, or comes up to the box. If it is the last then the cable is already in the downstairs wall.
I have found that there is enough gap between the outlet box and drywall to see where the cable is coming from just using a flashlight. A few times I even knocked out a slug on a metal box or drilled a hole in a plastic box to see better.
If the you find the cable is in the downstairs wall it would not be too much work to split the cable and mount a new outlet box yourself.
posted by sailormouth at 5:33 PM on October 12, 2006


When I needed cabling work like this, I called the cable company directly. It cost me $150, I think. He ended up running the cable outside the house, though.
posted by astruc at 9:27 PM on October 12, 2006


You shouldn't need to tear out a section of drywall. At worst, you might need to put a one-inch hole in it above a noggin, to give you enough access to drill another one-inch hole through the noggin on a bit of a slant. Use an electronic stud finder to locate your studs and noggins behind the drywall.

Once you have enough holes inside your wall framing to get from the upstairs outlet to the hole you make for the downstairs one, tie a small fishing sinker on the end of a long piece of string, throw that down the upstairs hole, and use wire hooks through each hole in turn to navigate it down to the bottom hole. Then you can pull your cable through with the string.
posted by flabdablet at 11:53 PM on October 12, 2006


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