How to Pull Electrical Wire Through an Existing Wall

Remodeling often brings with it the need to add electrical outlets or lighting. Working with preexisting walls can make the project more challenging, however using the right equipment and following a few steps will help you to know how to pull electrical wire through an existing wall. It will be help to have an assistant to manage the work from one location, while you work the wire from the other. The key is making sure that the wire is not kinked, cut, or damaged in any way during the installation so that it functions properly and safely.

  1. Locate the area where the wiring will need to exit the wall into the room. Using the sheetrock saw, cut a 2-3 inch hole in the wall.

  2. In the attic, locate the wall where the wall will be coming up into the attic. Using the drill and 3/4 inch wood drill bit, drill a hole in the 2 x 4 top plate over the wall to gain access to the interior of the wall.

  3. From the attic, insert the fish tape through the hole in the top plate down into the wall. Have the assistant use the flashlight to see the tape as it comes down to the hole. Pull the tape through the hole into the room with your fingers.

  4. Attach the electrical wire to the end of the fish tape with the electrical tape. Apply a liberal amount so that it it extends past the joint about 4 inches to each side.

    Make sure the bulk of the tape does not exceed 3/4 inches thick or it will not fit the hole in the top plate.

  5. With the assistant up in the attic, have them carefully begin to pull the fish tape back up into the attic with the wire attached. Feed the wire through the hole in the room at the same rate the assistant is pulling to avoid pulling the wire off the end of the tape.

  6. Apply wire lubricant to the wire as the wire is being fed into the hole. This will help the wire slide through each hole and avoid getting stuck or caught.

  7. Once the wire is though the hole in the top plate, pull the amount need though and remove the wiring from the fish tape.


  • Never attempt to pull any electrical wire that is connect to a power or electrical source, as this could result in serious injury or electrocution.

About the Author

Billy Brainard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Trinity College. As the department chairman he was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for 7-12 grade students. Currently he writes for eHow and works part time helping employees by creating and writing resumes to help in their job search.