Hi everyone and welcome to today’s edition of your Edmonton electrician where we bring customer service back to the trades.
In today’s edition of your Edmonton electrician that we’re going to be talking about, fishing cables and fishing wires, uh, through walls, through tight spaces.
As always at Hauer Power electrical. We are happy you answer all of our customers questions and concerns. If you have a topic you want to hear about, we want to hear about that topic as your professional Edmonton electrician. Our mission is to provide you with power through customer service.
We’re going to get into it here. We have a bunch of tools. We have, uh, what, where, when, why, what, why you would ever want to fish wires. The first thing about fishing wires is you don’t want to hit other obstacles. You’re going to find all sorts of obstacles in your walls.
You’re going to find a plumbing lines, maybe sprinkler lines, gas lines. You’re going to find HVAC piping, other electrical lines, data. Co-ax you’re going to find TV cables in your walls. Fiber optic cables. They’re not typically run through your studs, but you might find those through your walls too. You’ll find security, fire alarm wires also.
Maybe in more commercial institutions, you’re going to find that stuff running through your walls and you don’t want to hit any of these when you’re fishing cables through your walls. So we’ve got a whole bunch of different methods.
Other than that, support beams, you don’t want to drill through a main support beam or glue beam, says your Edmonton electrician. Um, you don’t want to compromise the structural and structural rope integrity of a, of a building. So you don’t want to drill through those main beams. In really old homes, you’ll find wind braces.
That’s where your walls at a 45 degree angle. Uh, and you won’t know that unless you’ve dealt with that before. As a professional electrical contractor, that’s the kind of the stuff that we deal with here in Edmonton as your Edmonton electrician.
We’ve seen that stuff. We know what to do with it. Um, that’s why we’re the Edmonton electrician fishing masters. So the most common areas in your home, you’re probably in a fish cables in a, maybe in your utility room, your panel room or your utility closet. In those rooms you’re going to find your old panel and you’re going to use to bring new circuits over to your bedroom.
You need a space here or uh, maybe in your bathroom you don’t have a GFCI or a plug. Maybe you want any fart fan in your bathroom but your circuits overloaded.
So you need to add any circuit for that. You would need to fish a new cable into your panel up probably into your attic depending on where your bathroom is and get to a switch, get to a fan. And that’s all stuff we worry about as your Edmonton electrical contractor.
You may have an entertainment unit, you’ve got a nice TV and you got all the lights and bells and whistles for that stuff. Perhaps you need to fish the cable so that you don’t have to see them cause they are an eyesore cable should be in your walls, not sitting out in the open.
It’s more aesthetically pleasing when you have cables fished in your walls. If you’re going to install them in a new construction phase, then that’s ideal. But fishing cables is very common just because of all the retrofit installations that are required.
Once your home is built, you’re going to think after the fact, you’re gonna say, Hey, I need HDMI here at this TV, uh, or I need cat six at this TV so I can have a hardwired, uh, internet connection for my modem, for my fiber optic TV. Right. You’re going to have all sorts of issues where you’re going to need to fish a cable and that’s where we’re going to talk today.
Some of the tools and methods that we used to fish cables. Um, if you want to learn more about different methods, if you want to elaborate more on that, reach out to us. We’re always happy to explain. Um, and if you have a situation in your home here in Edmonton that you need a cable fish, give us a call, (780) 935-0622 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to answer your questions, concerns and give you a free in home estimate.
So we’ll get into some of the tools that we, we like to use as an Edmonton electrician. Then we’ll go onto the methods of how we use these tools to get cables fished into walls. The most common one is going to be your fish tape. Everyone’s seen it, you see it at home Depot. Maybe it’s a ring of orange or a ring of green and it’s got a whole bunch of metal in there, maybe 50 feet, maybe 250 feet depending on the make and model and brand.
Those are perfect. Those are a great starter tool for fishing. Like I said, they’re a starter tool. You, uh, if you’re going to fish cables everyday, you want to have the right tools for the right job. And that’s where we come in as your electrical contractor.
Other tools you might find a flex bit or a shank bit, whatever you want to call that, a flexible spade bit, whatever you want to call that tool, it’s going to be, uh, maybe five feet, maybe six feet, maybe even three feet long.
It’s going to go on the end of a drill and you’re going to drill into your wall and it’s going to have a hole on the tip. So once you get to where you need to go, you can tie on a string or even your cable. If you strip down your copper wire and just throw a ground wire through that, tape it up, make a nice head on it, maybe spit on it or use some dish soap to lubricate it. Then you’re going to pull it back.
The other lubrication is key. Some guys don’t do it. We think it’s a good idea here at Howard our electrical because it’s going to reduce friction, which is going to reduce the stress put on that cable. So when you’re pulling a cable and you’re pulling it real tight, uh, as with anything, when you put more stress on it, it’s going to fail.
It’s going to break, it’s going to disintegrate. When you pull on a cable, the insulation is only rated for so much pressure and while it is quite a bit of pressure, you’re going to lessen the structural integrity of that cable’s insulation and you don’t want to do that.
You’re gonna want to use some sort of lubrication, even cable loop, yellow lube, yellow, 77, whatever brand you want to use. That doesn’t matter the fact that you’re using some sort of lubricant, um, that’s what matters. As long as it’s rated for cables and it’s not going to damage that, you can wash it off after or even cut that cable off and pull some extra.
But regardless, that’s what, that’s what a flex bit is going to do is it’s going to be real long. It’s going to flex through your studs, through your joists, and you’re going to be able to drill through commonly.
You’ll be using that and you’ll be drilling blindly. That’s the scary part because if you hit a cable, you might not know, or if you nick a gas line, maybe you won’t know, right then. Maybe in time that gas line will shift, move with the seasons and uh, cause a break. And, and now you’re in big trouble.
A plumbing line. You usually know that one right away, but same thing. Maybe it doesn’t have enough pressure in that line. And then over time builds up enough pressure and you’ve made a weak spot with your drill. Now you’re gonna set off that plumbing and you’re going to have water in your walls and you don’t want that.
Sometimes it’s best to just cut out a drywall channel, maybe six inches wide, maybe eight inches wide, cut that channel across perpendicular those beams and get to where you need to get and then drill through your woods, duds, route your cable and patch that drywall after the fact.
That’s always the safest method of fishing cables. If you roll in parallel to the joists, that’s no problem at all. That’s where fish sticks come along. Uh, fishing sticks or fishing rods or glow rods commonly called. Oftentimes they will have islets or hooks on them and they’ll thread together. You can get them in one foot increments, two foot, three foot increments, even five foot increments. And they all thread together.
There are about a quarter of an inch wide. You can buy them at your local hardware store, you can get them just to put anywhere here in Edmonton, uh, princess auto even sells. Then you can get them anywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind you get. Depending on your type of work, they’re going to be typically fiberglass and you can extend them out to however long you need and they’re going to go a nice and rigid through a channel.
It’s better than pushing a cable through cause that cable doesn’t have the rigidity to make it that distance. A fish tape might not make it that distance cause it might coil up. I might hit something and coil up, where’s the fish state fish sticks or he is a, you’re going to be able to shake it and bounce it and get it to where you need it.
Other than that, you’re going to have your fish tape. Sometimes you, you might want it to be insulated. If you’re using a, a fish tape and you’re going to go into a conduit to fish out more cables through a pipe, then you might want an insulated fish tape.
If that conduit goes to a live panel and you’re sticking that metal fish tape all the way to that live panel, it might touch the buses and that might short it to ground, which then is going to provide you with a shock and that’s going to cause you with some bodily injury or worse.
We always recommend a fiberglass fish tape and insulated fish tape. Yes, they cost more. But as your Edmonton electrician, we have all the right tools for your job. And that’s a tool that we will use in the case that we need it. Other than that you, can get into some other more tricks of the trade items for fishing cables through walls.
Maybe you’ll have a snake camera, you can connect to your phone. Maybe you’ll have a drill style snake camera. What a snake camera is, it’s just a long cord with some rigidity and you can feed that into a stud or a channel or a chase or a box, whatever your case may be. Some will have a light on it, a little nightlight if you will. And you can visually see it on your phone or on the screen, whatever monitor system it has.
And then you can see what’s in that wall real time. And then you can navigate some of those with a fish tape, tape them together and, and get them to where you need to be. It’s a, it’s a great tool to have, but it won’t work in every scenario. And it’s just another tool for your arsenal if you’re fishing cables really, really often.
Another trick you can have is a stud finder you go through and if you are fishing through ceilings, maybe you’re doing some recessed lighting, maybe you’re installing some living room pot lights and you don’t have an attic that you can access. Or maybe you just don’t want to go in the attic because there this best as installation.
In which case you would want to get that abated prior to drilling any holes in that ceiling cause that asbestos is just going to follow and spread everywhere in your house. You don’t want that.
But as we’re saying with a stud finder, you can go out, lay out that structural stud and use masking tape to actually Mark out where those studs are. It’s always easier to use masking tape cause you can just look up and you can see exactly how that structural layout is. So you can get a better picture of equally where to put your pot lights in a equidistant fashion where they’re not going to hit a stud and they’re going to look aesthetically pleasing.