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How to Run Cable Wire in Your House

Running Cable Wire between the Main Cable Line and a Finished Drywall Location

By Mark J. Donovan

Running cable wire in your house can be fairly easy if you have access to a basement or attic. It also helps if you only need to fish the cable wire from one level above (e.g. just above the basement), or from one level below (e.g. just below the attic). Running cable wire up or down multiple levels within the home however can be nearly impossible, without having to remove some drywall. If you have the opportunity to plan and build a home, put a little extra time and thought into your cable wiring plans. My recommendation is to run cable to all main living areas and bedrooms. You may also want to consider running cable wire to even the bathrooms.


Attach Cable Splitter to Main Cable Line

To run cable wire in your house first locate where the main cable line comes into the home. From there cut the main cable line and attach a cable splitter to the end that enters the home. You’ll first need to attach a coaxial end connector to the main wire entering the home before you can attach it to the cable splitter. Also, make sure to attach the main wire to the input end of the cable splitter.


Then attach a coaxial end connector to the other end of the cut cable wire and attach it to one of the output ports on the cable splitter. You should then have one or more output ports on the cable splitter to connect additional cable lines to.

Install Remodeling Box in Room for Cable Wiring

Next install a remodeling box in the wall where you want the cable service. The remodeling box, a.k.a., old work box, is a special type of electrical box that is designed to be installed in finished drywall.


You can use a drill and then a drywall cutting saw to cut an appropriate sized rectangular hole for the remodeling box.


Running the cable Wire in Your House

Next measure the distance between the cable splitter and the remodeling box. Make sure you also account for any required turns or special routing of the cable wire in your measurements.

Then cut an appropriate length of cable wire and run it between the remodeling box and the cable splitter. I always prefer to run the cable wire starting from the destination (e.g. remodeling box), to the source, the cable splitter.

To run the wire you may need to cut a hole or two in a subfloor or through a 2x4 top or bottom wall plate. I suggest using a ¾ inch cutting blade drill bit for creating a large enough hole to fish the cable wire through easily. A modified coat hanger can also come in handy to help fish the wire through a wall.

Here's an example of how not to run cable wire.

Photo by Mark Donovan

Connecting the Cable Wire Ends

Connect the end of the new cable wire to the cable splitter after attaching a coaxial end connector to it. Then connect the far end of the cable wire to the back side of a cable connector wall plate. Again, you’ll need to first attach a coaxial end connector to the cable wire before attaching it to the back side of the cable connector wall plate.

Lastly attach the cable connector wall plate to the remodeling box with a couple of screws and your cable wiring project is complete. Attach a television to the new cable outlet to confirm that cable service is now available to it.


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