17 posts / 0 new
Last post

So this may be the wrong forum, but there are some real home improvement sides to the question, so I'll give it a try.

I recently upgraded my phone service to FIOS. All's well. The tech did a nice job and used existing coax to connect a wireless router in my living room. All's well there.

Recently, I also had an electrician run a new circuit to my 2nd floor. This was a hastle since it's an old house with no super easy way to get the wires through the walls. Lotsa little holes..

Now that there's a nice route to get wires to the basement, I was thinking of fishing a cat5e and cat6 line through the same route as the 20amp romex line to add several phone lines and some data conectivity upstairs... It's an 1 1/2 or so inch hole through various boards, and one concrete block.

Do you see any problems with this, or have any advice on how to go about this, beyond just fishing line and running with it?

The other issue is then how to connect this new line to the network.. since the router is in the living room, and not the basement. Can you have 2 lines going to the box outside the house and a router on each end? My goal would be to have one wireless network downstairs, and one wired network upstairs..

Thanks for the input.

Re: cat5e?

I was thinking of fishing a cat5e and cat6 line through the same route as the 20amp romex line to add several phone lines and some data conectivity upstairs... It's an 1 1/2 or so inch hole through various boards, and one concrete block.

Technically speaking it's a bad idea to run the data lines along AC electrical lines closer than 3 feet ... other than crossing at 90 degrees. The EM from the electrical wires can cause packet crashes and losses to data.

Re: cat5e?

That's what I figured. The best way to get from the 2nd floor into the basement, on that side of the house is through a wall that connects to the stairwell on one side, and the bathroom on the other. 40's construction maybe, but they filled most of the wall with mud. Like concrete in there. It took 2 masonry bits to drill through for the electric, I'm not as excited about doing it a again. Maybe a shielded data cable? Or is there another trick to fishing data lines?

Crawling through the knee walls, I see bx cabling running through small holes, but there's no real clear chaise to drop wires down.

There's also no air conditioning return up there, only 2 supplies, so I can't drop a line through the duct.

I've heard of folks finding their drain vent lines, and following them down.

Any thoughts for a noob to look for?

Re: cat5e?

Why do you need a data cable going upstairs if you all ready have a wireless router?:confused:

Re: cat5e?

A wired network is more secure. There's an increasing amount of data theft, even with WEP encryption. I'd prefer to keep certain bits of traffic out of the air. Folks can roll around war driving, steal your packets, and crack encryption at home in their leisure.

In addition, I would like to have a wired FIOS data network on the 2nd floor for TV.

The tech spoke of running coax along the walls and up the stairs.. Maybe if this was a rental, but I want the wires in the walls where they belong.

I wish I had the time and energy to run structured wiring through the house, but .. well that's a different story, in the mean time I'd be happy for a little data up there.

Re: cat5e?

Another thought on why run data lines? The ability to have hard wired alarm systems, copper phone lines, secure faster data. A wireless router doesn't take full advantage of a fast connection.. there are many other reasons.

I just found this link:

It's a very nice how too on structured wiring.
I think I'll look into running a conduit from the attic/2nd floor to the basement. That way wiring can be updated at any later point with next to no hastle.

I'm still a newbie at this stuff so I'd love any expert advice on fishing lines in a 1940's house..

Re: cat5e?

The conduit would be the ideal thing. Try chasing along the vent stack ( not in the vent ) from the basement up to the attic.

This is what I had to do in my place to run electrical up to the second level.
Similar set up to you where the bathroom is on one side of the stair well.
On the other wall of the bathroom is where the plumbing is. I cut an access panel in the back of the cabinet for the sink and cut a hole in the wall which allowed me to fish wires up from the basement then up to the attic behind the knee wall of the 2nd floor.

Don't know you're particular home's layout but........... I suspect there must be interior walls on the main level that would line up approximately were you want to go on the 2nd level. These would be relatively easy since they are hollow walls ... unless they have cross-blocking.

Re: cat5e?

The house is a pretty typical 40's capecod style with a finished attic..
I crawled up in the knee walls again this evening, it might be possible to fish along the vents like you said, it'll be a little tough since they go under the floor, not just straight down..

Since I came up the bathroom wall to fish the electric, it may be possible to go up the opposite stair well wall.. I do think they are hollow, but I did have to cut a hole at the ceiling and floor to drill through...

While I was in the knee wall, I noticed one place about halfway back, in-between the joists, there was one board the same size as a joist, but it was laying flat on top of the plaster. About 2 or 3 inches away from the edge of the roof, there were 4 or 5 different lines of bx that came through the same spot. Each had it's own hole, I'm wondering if this was some sort of chaise...

The cool thing about this location is if I stuck my head under the floor, I could see all the way across to the other side.. so it'd be possible to have data jacks on either side of the room!

Here's a rough layout. forgive my crappy photoshop skills.. it's not to scale.. The dark black square is the layout of the second floor which doesn't take up the whole floor.. the stair well as I mentioned is in-between the bathroom and dining room.. There's a vent halfway up on the wall perpendicular to the stairwell in-between the dining room and kitchen that may be a good candidate..

Re: cat5e?

Thanks for the advice. Had there been cable on the 2nd floor, we'd be golden. :)
There's no cable, or phone up there. So one reason I wanted to fish a bundle of wires was to add a hardwired phone line, data, and possibly a security system, while leaving room for other stuff in the future...

My thoughts were to do a bit at a time, and start by fishing a several wires to the attic first, and then distribute the rest through the house at my leisure.

I crawled again in the attic, and there's no real way to follow the vents down since there's one on either side of the room, and they meet under the middle of the floor to go down a wall. It appears that there's no space around the ducts either.

Re: cat5e?

How about a closet in one of the bedrooms?

Re: cat5e?

Can't do it easily. The house is shaped like an L sort of. And the attic runs over the main part of the house, where as the bedrooms run under the smaller wing, not the attic, and for what ever reason, there's no access to the tiny bit of attic above the bedrooms.

I could try and cut an access hole in the closet ceiling, and crawl in and see what I find. I should be able at that point to cut another hole to get into the 2nd floor's knee wall area...

What a pain. I may wait to win the lottery, or just live with wireless..

I should get my camera out so you guys can see some pictures!


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.