How to thread speaker wires through walls

Written by james clark
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How to thread speaker wires through walls
Feed speaker wires through a wall faceplate and install for a custom look. (

Threading speaker wire through a wall can give your home-theatre a custom, professional look. Use this easy tutorial to learn how speaker wire can be threaded behind a wall without the expense of hiring an electrician.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fish tape
  • Stud sensor
  • Speaker wire rated for inwall use
  • Wire strippers
  • Electric drill
  • Screwdrivers
  • Speaker-wire faceplates

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  1. 1

    Shut off the circuit breaker that powers the room in which you'll be working. Verify the electricity has been turned off to all outlets in the area where the speaker wire will be threaded behind the wall. Plug a lamp or radio into the outlet to make sure the power is off.

  2. 2

    Use the stud finder to locate the stud behind the wall where each speaker will be mounted. Drill a ½-inch hole where the speaker will be mounted. Drill a second ½-inch hole close to the baseboard, where the wire will emerge from the wall for connection to the amplifier. Make sure the two holes line up.

  3. 3

    Thread the fish tape through the top hole and guide it straight down to the bottom hole. Attach the speaker wire to the fish tape at the bottom hole. Use speaker cable sheathed with a low-toxic outer covering. This meets the National Electrical Code (NEC) for inwall wiring, CL2 or CL3 rating. Unspool several feet of speaker wire to make it easier to thread the wire behind the wall. Pull the fish tape back up to the top hole, remove the fish tape and pull the speaker wire through the top hole for connection to the speaker. Tape the wire to the wall to prevent it from falling back inside while the speakers are being mounted.

  4. 4

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mounting the speaker(s) and supporting brackets to the wall. Feed the wires through a faceplate, attach wires to the speaker and screw the faceplate into the wall. Install a faceplate near the baseboard and run the speaker wire through it, connecting it to the amplifier.

  5. 5

    Switch on the circuit breakers to restore power to the room.

Tips and warnings

  • Use faceplates, available from any hardware store, to cover the holes in the wall.
  • Never attempt to thread wire or insert any metallic object behind a wall until you are certain the power has been switched off at the circuit breaker. Never connect speaker wire to an amplifier or receiver while the power is on. The component could short-circuit.

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