How to Fish Speaker Wire Through a Wall

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How to Fish Speaker Wire Through a Wall
Fish tape is indispensable for running speaker wire through existing walls. (speaker wire image by Paolo from Fotolia.com)

When installing a speaker system in your home, whether as part of a surround-sound system or for another use, you probably want to hide the speaker wire, if possible. Aside from the sloppy appearance of speaker wires hanging down a wall or being strung across the floor, they can be a tripping hazard. The task of hiding speaker wires inside a wall can seem daunting, but it is a fairly straightforward procedure if you have the correct tools.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Stud finder Drill Wire coat hanger Keyhole saw Fish tape Speaker wire Electrical tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the electricity to the wall through which you are running the speaker wire. Make absolutely sure the power is disconnected.

  2. 2

    Locate the studs inside the wall with a stud finder and determine where you want the speaker wire to emerge from the wall.

  3. 3

    Drill a small hole where you want the speaker wire to emerge from the wall. Bend several inches of a straightened wire coat hanger at an angle and insert it into the hole. Move the coat hanger all the way around the hole to make sure there is nothing inside the wall near the hole, such as electrical conduit or plumbing.

  4. 4

    Enlarge the hole slightly with a keyhole saw if there is nothing near it. Keep the hole as small as possible but large enough to run the wire.

  5. 5

    Make another hole in the same manner at the source of the wire. This can be either in the attic, in the basement, or above or below the first hole on the same wall. It is important that it be in line with the first hole so that a weighted line would fall straight from one hole to the other.

  6. 6

    Insert the fish tape into the upper hole and reel it out until it reaches the lower hole. You may have to use a bent coat hanger to grab the end through the wall. Pull the end of the fish tape out of the lower hole and use electrical tape to tape the end of the speaker wire to the end in two places a few inches apart.

  7. 7

    Reel the fish tape back in, drawing the speaker wire up to the higher hole. Pull the end of the speaker wire out of the upper hole and remove it from the fish tape. Attach the wire to the speaker.

Tips and warnings

  • Bundle wires together with electrical tape if you are fishing more than one wire into the same location. If you will ever need to fish additional wires in the same location, fish a string through the holes along with the wire and leave it there so you can use it in the future. Use electrical face plates to attach wires where they emerge from the wall for a neater appearance. Then just plug the speakers into the face plates.
  • Never attempt to drill into a wall without turning off the electricity to the area. Never install speaker wires within 16 inches of electrical wires or grounding lines. These lines can cause interference in the speaker wire. If you have to cross them, cross them at right angles to minimize the effect.

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