06 February 2011

Full Circle

Last February Steve and I spent hours and hours every weekend in the cold, dark shell of our house working on wiring projects (audio, internet, etc.), rushing to get these special upgrades done before the insulation and drywall went in. Toward the end of the month, we decided to just install conduit in many locations, either because we were not yet sure exactly what we would want in each wall or, eventually, because we were simply running out of time to get everything done (and one piece of conduit was easier to install than 2-4 pieces of wire).

We first made use of the conduit back in September, when we ran internet and/or cable (I'm not sure which; Steve's our tech guy) to the TV armoire in the master bedroom, but it wasn't until today that we really put the conduit plan to the test. This afternoon, while rearranging the office a bit, we decided to run Cat 6 (internet) wire to one of empty low voltage boxes in an exterior wall.

Sure, everything is wireless these days, but we're still using a pretty old computer that depended on a power-hungry wireless router, so this change should save some energy and might also ensure better service for the computer and our printer.

I took about a zillion pictures of the walls before insulation and drywall went in but apparently didn't get a picture of the exact box before the insulation and drywall went in, so here's another one we put in on the other side of the office:

And here's the upper part of the conduit that we wired today, reaching up into the attic space:

Because the attic was going to be insulated with several inches of spray foam, it wasn't enough just to run the conduit up through the top plate (the horizontal pieces of wood at the top of the vertical studs). We also needed to route the conduit toward the middle of the space so the end wouldn't get lost in the foam. Here's that other one again, after the insulation and drywall went in.

(It's covered in cellulose insulation -- made of newspaper -- which was blown into the walls but pretty much got everywhere.)

I felt like we were in good shape to run the wire down the wall, but I wasn't entirely certain I could get myself and the wire to the conduit because of a lot of rather serpentine HVAC equipment impeding our access to that end of the house. I knew I was going to need to climb over and through and around all of this:

The space above the office is directly behind all of that. As I made my way across and under the ducts and truss members, the conduit into which I would run the wire was barely visible (right in the middle of this picture):

Once I got myself and the wire there, it was actually really easy to run the wire down the conduit:

Steve went downstairs to catch it and pull it out of the box. I also ran a piece of string to make it easier to pull another wire through the conduit if we ever need to do that.

If only actually organizing the office were this easy....


  1. crawling around in the attic was always one of my favorite things - rat runs are fun!

  2. Wow. The joys of home ownership, eh?