What’s the Best Way to Fish Wires Through Insulated Walls?

If you’re installing new cable or wire in a Sacramento, CA home that’s already been finished and insulated, it’s understandable to be a little daunted by the task. However, there are techniques you can use with insulated walls that will still allow you to push wires through exactly where you need them.

Walls with fiberglass batt insulation were primarily used in homes beginning in the early 1960s, especially in outside walls, or walls that separated “conditioned” spaces from “unconditioned” spaces. This material was frequently used in areas where sheetrock or plaster is the interior wall covering, rather than drywall. With older homes, you’re more likely to see either no insulation at all, or retrofits with blown-in fiberglass.

If you’ve put a hole in your wall before to set in an anchor or add an outlet, you likely already know whether or not you have insulated walls in Sacramento, CA, because it can make a mess when disturbed.

So, after you’ve drilled the holes in the wall, how do you go about fishing wire through the area if you come across this insulation? There are a few techniques you can try.

Technique one

If you’re fishing cable up or down, follow the same path you made when drilling. Use a fiberglass rod that has a bullnose end. If you’re sending through small cables, such as security cables, attach the cable to the end of the rod. If you’re fishing larger cables or cable bundles, or if you have someone who will be feeding the cable to you from above or below, you can use a pull-cord and thread it through the bullnose.

Push the rod to the area where you drilled the hole, and the rod will pass through the hole you made with the drill bit. Have a partner attach the cable to the pull-cord, so you can pull it down with the cable. Or, if you’re feeding cable up or down a wall cavity from an attic or crawl space, you can attach the cable to a fiberglass rod and send the rod to a corner (ideally on the same side as the opening). Once you’ve attached the cable to the pull-cord, pull the cable out with the cord.

Technique two

Attach a ball chain to the end of a rod with a screw-on attachment. Measure how much chain you need to be able to feed the rod up or down the wall so it will always be either just to the left or right of the hole you made in the wall. Feed the rod down into the corner, and use a magnetic retriever tool to grab onto the chain and pull it to the hole. You can then pull out the retriever with the chain attached, and keep the retriever against the inside of the wall.

Technique three

You’ll need a paddle magnet and wire leader magnet for this technique. Attach the cable you’re fishing to the wire leader, which has a hook for the wire with a strong magnet. You can then push the leader with the attached cable toward the side of the wall with the opening. Press the paddle magnet against the wall and move it until it connects with the leader magnet, then use short pulling motions to bring the magnet through the insulation.

For more information about fishing cable through insulated walls in Sacramento, CA, contact 5 Star Performance Insulation, Inc. today.

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