I am a new home owner. My home is 10+ years old. The builders never installed a future tube or wiring chase. I'm not really sure what the proper name is.
The basic idea is I have a 4 story home where the basement is level 1 and the attic is level 4. I want to install a 2" PVC pipe that runs from the attic to the basement one for cable/cat 5e/telephone cabling and the other to be used for electrical wiring or wiring of that type.
I've searched for 2 or more hours on the internet on how to install the PVC tubing in a finished home. There are no examples out there. There are plenty of examples or discussion stating how that is a great idea but none showing you how to.
I would like someone to explain the best way to install the tubing in a house with finished walls and an unfinished attic and basement. How do I start? How do I run the PVC tubing? What is the best approach?
When I say how do I run the PVC tubing. I mean step by step. Do you start in the basement and insert the tubing up then cut an opening in the floor above?
Any help you can give is greatly appreciated and welcomed.
My goal is to install the tubing and then use it to re-wire my upstairs with cable and Cat 5e cabling.
Normally this is not a retrofit and is done in the construction stage. If the basement is unfinished you may find a chase they used to run the wiring up to the other floors or partially up to the second floor. Maybe adjacent to a closet if you are lucky. I doubt that you will be able to run it without some refinishing of drywall(cut outs). If you can find an area where you can penetrate the partition sill plate and cavity you will need to hole saw at least 3" hole for the 2"PVC and couplings to clear. If by chance you can determine a direct path then starting at the bottom with a section pushing it up, adding (glue) a coupling (union) another section of pipe, and so forth until you reach the desired heigth.This message has been edited. Last edited by: redoverfarm,
With that many floors, you are going to have to cut open some walls. The only other option is to run the PVC inside some closets.
Step by step:
1. Find a clear path from basement to attic. Let's call your floors (B)(1) (2) & (A). The problems will be with floors #1 and 2 with the area of greatest difficulty the transition between 1 and 2. This is because both are finished. I would look for closets or mechanical spaces that are stacked on top of each other. A set of plans would be most helpful in this. As you may expect, the hard part is verifying the location of two stacked closets on floors 1 and 2 - takes some careful measuring and an understanding as to how houses are built.
2. Once you find your two closets, then try to find the locations of the floor joists. This is best done by checking around floor or ceiling heating ducts to find a joist, then measuring back to your closets from there. Here too, careful measuring and some knowledge on house construction is needed.
3. Drill a pilot hole from the floor of closet on floor 2 into the ceiling of the closet of floor 1. This will verify your location. If it's good, use a hole saw to make a 3" hole in both areas. If this one works, then you are 90% there.
4. Drill a hole in the ceiling of the 2nd floor closet into the attic space and from the floor of the 1st floor closet into the basement (hopefully an unfinished basement). You should now have all your holes in line from basement to attic. If you are running two conduits, then just do the same thing alongside your new holes.
5. You'll need 2" PVC and 2" couplings. 2" PVC couplings are 2-3/4" in diameter, which is why you need a 3" hole. Unless you have tall ceilings you'll need to cut the PVC to 8' lengths. You can start from the basement and work your way up, from the attic and work your way down or from the middle and go both ways - it really doesn't matter. The process is the same: Feed in a section of PVC, attach a coupling and then add more lengths of PVC.
That's pretty much it. The install itself if fairly easy as long as you have a heavy duty drill and a hole saw. The hard part is finding the location.
If you do not have suitable closets, then you are going to have to go inside walls. This is a lot harder process as you must cut open the walls to get in to make your holes, plus you will be drilling through top and bottom plates of the walls - an extra 4-1/2" of wood. Then when you are 'done' you still have drywall repair and painting to do.
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