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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hey,
so my house is getting built and i asked the electrician to run the speaker wires for the family room. if you guys can look at the photos i've attached, he has run the wires for the rear speakers to the front by running it through the ceiling (picture 1). Also for the side speaker, the wire runs behind the heat ducts.
Just wondering if the heat would cause any distortion for the sound or should that set up be fine. And also for the rear speakers, wouldn't it have made more sense if he had run the wires through the basement and up?
Any feedback?
 

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Re: speaker cable configuration

hey,
so my house is getting built and i asked the electrician to run the speaker wires for the family room. if you guys can look at the photos i've attached, he has run the wires for the rear speakers to the front by running it through the ceiling (picture 1). Also for the side speaker, the wire runs behind the heat ducts.
Just wondering if the heat would cause any distortion for the sound or should that set up be fine. And also for the rear speakers, wouldn't it have made more sense if he had run the wires through the basement and up?
Any feedback?
I don't think that heat from the air ducts will make a difference in sound. Just be sure that the cable is CL-2 or CL-3 rated for in-wall runs. Cables that are not rated for in-wall runs will burn easier, and may not be approved during your inspection.

As for running it up in the ceiling rather than into the basement, it won't make much difference, assuming your wire gauge is sufficient. The electrician probably chose to run it in the ceiling because it's easier for him -- otherwise he would have to run downstairs, he couldn't see if there was a kink, it would be harder to pull more cable, etc.

Good luck!
 

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Re: speaker cable configuration

I would be running in a path that does not take it through the same hole as electrical cables when there is another path nearby.
 

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Kind of the same thing, but it is never recommended to run audio/video cables parallel to electrical lines. Most people avoid this at all cost. You will not know about the problem until the walls are closed and the damage gets costly to repair 60Hz humming.

Me personally, I would get the cables separated before any wall sheathing is installed. No matter what it took. I'm not a big fan of having any wire coming into contact with the flue pipe either. I don't think your inspector will as well, but I could be incorrect on that:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hey,
i'm not sure what you guys mean by the electrical panel, for the speaker wires, i got the monster cable xp with magnetic flux tube and lpe dieletric... not sure if that makes a difference

what i highlighted in yellow is where the multimedia box is going: coaxial/phone/cat 5 and what i highlighted in green are where the electrical outlets are going to be:
 

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hey,
i'm not sure what you guys mean by the electrical panel
You want your speaker wires one stud away from any wire that will have electricity running through it. Same with the junction boxes. While you still have the wall open, grab a drill and relocate your speaker wires.

Also, I'm of the opinion these days that you can never have too much cat5e/6 in wall. Feel free to double up on that while your at it (good for phone/security/extending Video and audio/etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hey, thanks for the reply, i cant change any of the electrical locations anymore... so the monster cable that i have right now will not pass the inspection? so why didnt the electrican say anything... and also if it's not cl2 what's gonna happen once they put the drywall in?
 

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Well, your inspector may not notice/care, but it would stink if your house burnt down and your insurance claim was denied because the cable was not rated for in-wall. Seems like it would be worth it to take the time to pull some CL2 through.

As for changing the electrical locations, you don't have to. Change the speaker/data wire locations.

No offense to your electrical guy, but a lot of electrical installers are operating under the same techniques that have been used for the past 30 years (before surround sound, HDTV or Internet...and guidelines about fire safety). Yes, he shouldn't have installed anything not rated for inwall.

I could certianly be wrong about the Monster Cable not being rated for CL2, can anyone find otherwise?

Would it be difficult for you to just pull the wire/change the locations yourself?
 

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I didn't ready through all the posts here so some of this may be repeated:

Rule 1: Use plenum rated cable inside wall and ceilings, this cable generally costs a little more than what you are using in the photo, what you show there looks like standard "zip" cord and should not be used. You can pick up a 500 foot roll of 14 gauge plenum rated wire at Lowe's for around $100-150, it pulls through the walls MUCH easier than the "zip" cord does.

Rule 2: Never run audio cable parallel to other AC cables, if you must keep it at least 12" away from other AC wires. You can cross AC wire at a 90 degrees but avoid it if you can.

Rule 3: Try to keep your holes in line when drilling your "pigeon holes" through the cross boards. Doing this helps feed the wire through the walls

Rule 4: If you ever think you might have to pull new wire, use conduit this way when you need to pull new wire it will make it easier. Also run an extra stringer cord/string to facilitate the new runs. Using a vacuum cleaner to "suck" the stringer/string though the conduit works great!

Rule 5: If your not using conduit then be sure to secure your wires as close to the center of the boards/cross members as you can, remember in most cases you are going to lay drywall and you don;t want to miss the 2x4 and hit your wire! Remember if you are not using conduit you more then likely not going to be able to move your wires without yanking the drywall so make sure its secure and leave enough "extra" wire that you are sure you are going to reach your final destination/termination at your AMP/AV and Speakers.

Maybe some other rules but that was all I could think of right off. Good luck and keep the pictures coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
i'm going to go buy some in-wall speakers. I've attached photos of the family room speaker wire set up, can you guys please help me out on telling me what i should tell the electrician in terms of where to run the cables and where i should set the panels, so i can tell him on monday morning.

thanks a lot for all the help so far btw
 

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I looked back at the photos you posted and you definitely want to move those wires you are running paralllel right against what appears to be AC wire runs, and while you at it I would replace it with CL rated wire. Again Lowe's has it and its not that expensive, in the scope of things.
 

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i can pull the wire and change it to cl2 but changing the speaker locations would be tough, where should i put them?
You do not necessarily have to change the physical speaker locations as long as you can run the wire to them so that the wire is away from the AC lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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if i put in a protective sleeve or conduit can i put that cable in it and would that work?

ps: for lowe's i'm in canada, they dont have a lowe's in ottawa... this is what i was thinking: http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CatalogSearchResultView?D=905480&Ntt=905480&catalogId=10051&langId=-15&storeId=10051&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntx=mode+matchall&recN=0&N=0&Ntk=P_PartNumber
Not sure but that looks like 1/2 and that stuff is a pain to pull wire through, I still would not run it parallel with the AC lines.
 

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if i put in a protective sleeve or conduit can i put that cable in it and would that work?

ps: for lowe's i'm in canada, they dont have a lowe's in ottawa... this is what i was thinking: http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CatalogSearchResultView?D=905480&Ntt=905480&catalogId=10051&langId=-15&storeId=10051&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntx=mode+matchall&recN=0&N=0&Ntk=P_PartNumber
I'm no housing code specialist, but I would say no. I'm not trying to shut you down, but really, your best, if not only option, is to re-run the wire with the proper in-wall stuff. It seems like a pain now, but you really need to consider it a measure twice, cut once scenario. Spend some time and money now, and save yourself big headaches in the future.
 

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if i put in a protective sleeve or conduit can i put that cable in it and would that work? [/url]
I agree with the suggestions to separate the audio/video wires from A/C ...even if you use the conduit (better safe than sorry) :bigsmile:

I'm sure HomeDepot carries plastic conduit too, compare the prices first; I don't know what others think about using schedule 40 (for sprinklers) :bigsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ok so i'll do the re-wiring, hopefully they haven't put the up drywall and everything.
So I am going to go see the electrician on monday and ask him to rewire it based on teh diagram
yellow boxes are electricity panels
red boxes are speaker panels
blue box is the multimedia panel
so the red dotted lines are the speaker lines going through the basement except the front left speaker that will just go through the drywall
the blue lines are pvc conduits that i will ask him to install so that when i get my cables from monoprice i can just run the speaker wires myself.
This set up will have the a/c panels 16'' away from the speaker panels and they wont be running parallel since the speakers will go through the basement ceiling ?

Can you let me know if this will work, also what size pvc conduit should i ask him to install?

Thanks
 

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