Home Technology eMagazine Article

April 2010

Pre-Wire Your New Home: Plan For The Future
Chapter 5: The Actual “Pull”

Author: David Feller,
BOCS Company

This is the fourth installment of a multi-part series covering all aspects of low voltage wiring in the home: entertainment, security, automation, and future planning. A new section will be published every few weeks.

Table Of Contents:

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Chapter 5: The Actual “Pull”

Whatever systems or wires you choose, these general rules and procedures will make the job easier.

Overall Considerations

A possible source: http://www.crutchfield.com/g_32300/In-wall-in-ceiling-Brackets.html?tp=1165

The Media Cabinet:
Yes, it is part of the pre-wire normally:


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Coordinate with your Electrician, LOTS to think about:
Unless you really know what you are doing, and preferably have both professional training and a license, leave the high voltage stuff to the professionals. Yes, it looks straightforward but there are just too many codes and good practice items to cover in a document like this. A decent inspector can spot an amateur job a mile away and will most certainly give any such job undue attention – for good reason.  That said, there are quite a few things that should be considered and specific instructions given to the Electrician:


Pulling Wires:
This might actually be the easiest part. There are a few things to consider however:

Prepare the spools

Plan the ends

Keep Wire in walls 

In the room itself, it is common practice to run the wire through the top ring of the mud ring, loop it and then continue “out” the bottom ring. Better to leave the loop of wire in the wall instead of having a drywaller cram it all back in himself. A small piece of electrical tape can hold it in place as necessary. Leave about a foot of wire that will hang out the mud ring to make termination easier later.

Plan the Run

Load Bearing members (if the member carries the weight of the structure above it):

NON-load bearing members

So –
If your walls are 2x4 walls (actually 3.5” wide):
If it is load bearing your hole can be 40% diameter 3.5”X.4= 1.4” or a 1 3/8”  hole through which 1 ¼”  OD conduit will slide.
If it is non-load bearing your hole can be 60% diameter 3.5”X.6=2.1” or a 2” hole
If your walls are 2X6 walls (5.5” wide) the same math applies
Load bearing up to a 2.2” hole
Non-Load bearing up to a 3.3” hole

Pull Carefully


Secure the Wire properly and finish per code
Be sure to strap wires as is done with electrical wires. A Strap within 12” of a mud ring, within 12” of a joist penetration, every 4.5’ vertically and every 6’ horizontally is reasonable. For just a few cables, zip ties with a screw hole and a drywall screw work very well. For larger “main” runs, a piece of Romex stapled at each end to a joist that droops to form a big U makes a nice horizontal hanger for attics and in horizontal chases. Home Depot and Lowes both sell a very nice staple gun that shoots out big staples with plastic bridges just for this purchase that can greatly speed things up.

Extra Tips


Appendix A: Links to sources, references, and products:

Other good how-to and pre-wire guides:

Products referenced in this guide:


With 20 years in the Consumer Electronics space, David pioneered wireless LAN for home use in partnership with Linksys, rotating storage for portable electronics at Cornice, and is most recently a founder and chief marketing officer of BOCS Inc, the manufacturer of a new whole home A/V distribution system for retrofit applications