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New House/extra Conduit?

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    New House/extra Conduit?

    I am building a new home (Just getting it in the dry this week). I have done quite a bit of research but have a few questions for others. I have put dual voltage boxes in the walls and stubbed out 3/4" conduit into the basement for each one. This way I can pull cat 5/6 RG6 etc when I want. I want to do a whole house audio system (ceiling mounted speakers) but don't want to invest in the equipiment right now. Did you all run conduit into your ceilings from the basement? (This is a 1.5 story house will a basement so no Attic)

    Also I plan on putting conduit to the side of each window and the top of each external door framing so I can do security.

    I will have a few 2" runs from the basement to the crawlspace in the 2nd floor so I can pull cable up to them and then in the back of the walls for each room.

    What about connections outside of the house? For speakers etc? Is it best to have conduit to the eaves or something?

    My wife is already conserned with dual gang boxes throughout the house but I just ignored most of her concerns. Should I go ahead and do Dual Gang light switches with conduit to them? Also I am picking about 3-4 locations for touch screens that I will have conduit ran to but enclosed in the wall.

    Question Recap:
    1. Did you all run conduit into your ceilings (locations identified for possible ceiling mount speaker/microphone) from the basement? (This is a 1.5 story house will a basement so no Attic)
    2. What about connections outside of the house? For speakers etc? Is it best to have conduit to the eaves or something?
    3. Should I run conduit to each light switch box and just close it up in the wall with no box? or Should I go ahead and do Dual Gang boxes for the light switches with conduit to them? Does this look bad or is it OK (Wife Friendly)?

    Thanks so much for any help.

    After drilling and pulling a little under 10,000 ft of wire I was in no mood to then add a bunch of conduit. To accomodate future goodies I placed about 12" of 2" conduit in the floor plates at strategic locations. I used a muffler clamp around each to keep them from falling down. I put pull rope in each. Some went to mud plates in the wall and some spanned crawl space to attic. There were some places that I now wish I had access, but I would have the same problem had I run conduit since I would not have put conduit there either. I've found that even with 2" openings the hole become tight with each additional wire added.


      I put dual gang boxes prewired with cat5 and misc other wiring everywhere, and now I regret it.

      I have some rooms with 3 or 4 dual gang boxes with blank plates on them for 'future use'. The wife doesn't like it, and even I wish I hadn't done it that way.

      In hindsight , I would have just have pre-run wire, or even just conduit, to appropriate spots behind the wall, and then when I wanted to install something, cut the drywall and used an 'old work' box.

      The other problem I ran into was that, no matter how much thought I did about furniture placement (to decide where boxes should go), when I moved in and bought furniture things changed. So now I have dual gang boxes in spots where they will never be used.

      I've since learned that cutting drywall to install a box is not a big deal. Even removing a pre-installed single gang box and replacing it with a dual gang later on is do-able.

      IMHO - run all the conduit you can, but only install the appropriate box for the immediate need you have in the room.

      Steve C.


        They are starting insulation and drywall goes up next week in my house!
        I hope I ran everything I need.
        No conduit, just tons of wire. I am over 5000 feet now and that is just the upstairs. I have no attic so the upstairs was a priority.
        On the first floor I have crawl space under the house so I ran eveything that had to go in ceiling.
        I dont know about your electrical codes but in Austin TX, they dont inspect low voltage. I have tons of wire just dangling in the walls for future use.
        My electrician showed me how to use a sawzaw to cut out a single gang box and replace it with a dual, triple etc. without tearing up the drywall. So I went with all single gangs and will replace as needed in the future.
        I trick I was told, if you can talk your electrician into it, is to not nail the gang boxes to the studs. Instead have him use drywall screws. This way you can come back later and just unscrew them and replace them with remolding boxes.
        Any questions let me know.
        I have run so much freaking wire I tendinitis from using the drill!



          I built my house 7 years ago and thought I pretty well covered where I would need wires. Oh Well. I did not plan on in wall touchscreens, RFID readers, ...

          The saving grace is that drywall is infinately repairable (unless wall papered) but even then not a big problem.

          learn how to fish wires, get some 4' and 6' fiberglass drills, get some good brass tiolet chain (always drops vertically) and practice drywall repair. Baseboards come off and give acceess to sole plates. Get around cats with a 1/2x 2" slot. With long fiberglass drills you often only need to open the hole for the box.

          Before the drywall goes on, take pictures of each wall to see where there are cats and non standard framing. Keep the pics.

          I am not saying don't prewire, just be ready to pull more stuff later.



            Thanks for your recommendations. I'm kinda worried about the dual gang boxes but atleast I haven't put them everywhere. I think I'm gonna put lots of conduit in and give a best effort to make sure I have it in the hard to reach places like eaves etc. I think I'm gonna go ahead and get Ceiling speaker mounts and install them pre sheetrock. I Could see that being a pain in the future. The walls etc are no problem for repair I've rewired my old houses and patched sheetrock. It just sucks to think that when in a brand new house you have to cut open the walls . Did any of you do anything nifty with the light switches so you can do extra controlls etc? I think the inwall touchscreens are a good way to ensure future control/functionality since they are just PC's and can control about anything through software.


              take pictures, pictures pictures! We have been in our house 20 years and I still take out pictures we took when it was being built to find studs, wiring, vent runs etc. Now with digital pictures I would take an internal picture of every wall, floor and ceiling. Make sure that you have points of reference so that you can measure if necessary. It's nice to know 'approximately' where a wire is, but after you decorate and change things a point of reference will make sure that you don't open a wall 5 inches too far to the left!


                Point of Reference

                Can you give me an example of what you used as a point of reference? Like the edge of the wall or something?


                  I guess it could be anything: a light switch, a window frame/door frame, I even put down a tape measure where there wasn't another point.

                  Other things you might want to know later are things like:
                  - which way the joists run upstairs
                  - what's inside the bulkheads
                  - where are the cold air vents between floors
                  - what's in the box in the closet?


                    So I got home from work today the entire house is insulated.
                    What did I learn? Leave the wires in the ceiling hanging down until after the insulation.
                    I plan to put in ceiling speakers later so I ran the wire to the spot I needed it and ran it back and forth between 2 rafters and marked it.
                    The insulation guys shoved the insulation up and now my wires are on top of the insulation instead of bewteen the insulation and the drywall ceiling.

                    Thank goodness for all the pictures I took. Going to go find all my wires and pull them down below the insulation before the drywallers come next week.



                      Careful about leaving wires hanging out, it's a lot easier to pull wire out of insulation that it is to try and get it out from between the drywall and the joists. A lot of wire gets damaged by drywallers, pinched, cut, nailed or screwed. My opinion is if you know where they are, leave well enough alone, the insulation is good protection from drywallers.

                      No offence to you drywallers out there, you know who you are
                      XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard, HSTouch Server -, HSTouch Client HSTouch Android -, HSTouch iPhone -
                      Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.


                        How good of an aim do those putting up your siding have? Good chance you will have some nail tips to contend with depending upon the type of siding you are using.


                          This is not what I need to hear right now.
                          I will have nightmares about nails shot through my wiring.

                          Point well taken.



                            Don't Forget The Pull Strings!

                            I think someone already mentioned this, but make it a priority! ...and use good quality stuff.

                            A good friend of mine built a house and put 1 and 2" conduit EVERYWHERE and even had a lot of it converge into a 4 incher down into his garage. It looked BEAUTIFUL. The one problem was that he forgot to run pull strings through it. Depending on your configuration and how many bends you have, it can be nearly impossible to fish a pull string down through it all. We finally hooked a flexible tube up to a SCUBA tank and "blew" a small ball with a heavy thread attached to it through the system until we got most of the strings run. A few we could never get. ...even with a fish.

                            The best I have seen was at new "mansion" built in Austin by some software mogel. He put multiple conduits to each room and each conduit terminated in a wiring "room." Each room and conduit had color coded pull strings. Sweet.

                            I live in an old one story place so wiring is a snap.

                            Best of luck.



                              I have run enough conduit in my own house and others, the way that works best for me to fish a pull wire through is to tie a light string around a sandwich baggie blown up a little smaller than the pipe. And use a Good Wet/Dry vac taped at the other end of the conduit.

                              Why oh why didn't I just leave things alone, they had been working.