How to Run Electrical Wire Through Wall Studs

Updated February 21, 2017

Electrical wire follows one of three paths within a house; through the attic, the basement or crawlspace, or through the walls. The best time to run electrical wire through a wall is when the wall is being constructed. Installing large conduits with room to fit additional wires while the wall is being constructed allows you to add more wire down the road if necessary without having to damage the wall. Installing electrical wire in a finished wall requires opening holes in the wall and drilling the studs.

Use a studfinder to locate the position of the studs between the source of the wire and the destination. Mark the location of each stud with a pencil.

Cut a hole into the wall to the side of each stud. Use a 3-inch hole-cutting attachment to your drill to cut out the hole. Make the hole on the side of the stud nearest the source of the wire. Place the hole as close to the stud as possible. Make sure each hole you cut is level with the other holes.

Insert the 1/2-inch drill bit into the hole and position it against the stud. The ideal hole is parallel to the wall, but you will have to drill it at a slight angle due to the limited access the three inch hole gives you. Drill the hole approximately one inch from the wall. A longer drill bit will allow you to drill through the stud with a minimal angle.

Feed the wire through each hole starting at the source of the wire. The wire is very tense so you should be able to feed the wire through one hole and immediately see and grasp the wire in the next three-inch hole. Bend a clothes hanger into a small hook if you are working with highly flexible wire. Attach the wire to the hook and feed the hanger and wire through the hole. Continue with this until you reach the destination.

Patch the holes with drywall patches. Follow the instructions on the patch kit to properly mask the holes you created.


You may want to position the holes high in the wall if you will be going towards a light switch outlet. It is easier to lower wire down a wall than it is to fish it up from the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • 3-inch hole-cutting bit
  • Drill
  • Drywall patches
  • Studfinder
  • Pencil
  • Clothes hanger
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author