How to run wires over a suspended ceiling

Written by anne rose
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How to run wires over a suspended ceiling
A suspended ceiling provides access for wires. (electrical panel wiring image by Jake Hellbach from Fotolia.com)

A suspended ceiling includes a series of tiles supported by a framework suspended from a room's natural ceiling. Suspended ceilings offer simple access to utilities such as plumbing, electric, and heating and cooling systems. Suspended ceilings also provide excellent accessibility when running wires from one part of a room to another. Wiring should never be laid across the top of suspended ceiling tiles; a simple system of clamps and conduit should be installed along the route of all wiring.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic or metal "U" clamps and screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic wire ties
  • Rigid or flexible metal conduit
  • Clamps and screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the electricity at the service panel. Remove the ceiling tiles to expose the ceiling and framework above the suspended ceiling.

  2. 2

    Map the most efficient--shortest and most accessible--route for the wiring to run from the electric source to the device or appliance.

  3. 3

    Screw small plastic or metal "U" clamps to the framework or walls above the suspended ceiling every 12 inches, following the route for the wires.

  4. 4

    Feed the audio or data wires through the clamp supports. Bundle the wires and fasten them with plastic wire ties.

  5. 5

    Check for loose supports or sagging wire. Tighten or adjust as necessary.

  6. 6

    Replace the ceiling tiles. Turn the power on at the service panel.

  1. 1

    Following the procedure above, install rigid or flexible metal conduit using the recommended support clamps.

  2. 2

    Turn off the electricity at the service panel. Feed the Romex or flexible electric wire through the conduit.

  3. 3

    Check for loose supports or sagging wire; correct as needed.

  4. 4

    Replace the ceiling tiles and turn the power back on at the service panel.

Tips and warnings

  • Correctly installing wiring prevents ceiling tile sag and ensures that wires stay in place if tiles are removed for any reason.
  • Always refer to local electric codes before any electrical wiring project. Always turn electricity off at the service panel before starting the project.

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