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How to Pull a Cable From the Basement to the First Floor

Kimberlee Leonard

Cables need to be run from one room to another for many reasons. Perhaps you are setting up a second television. Maybe you moved your home office and need to install printer or Internet cables. Whatever the reason, if you need to pull a cable from the basement to the first floor, you probably want the end result to be invisible. This means that instead of going up the wall, you will go through the wall. Electricians have been making this look simple for years by using fish tape, a long strip of metal with a hook on the end.

Step 1

Look at the wall where you want to pull the cable through. Check the area for electrical outlets. Mark the spot on the wall where you will drill in the basement wall away from outlets or other wires going up the walls. Keep holes low to the ground so they are less visible. Measure the distance from the edge of the wall.

Step 2

Go upstairs and mark a spot above the basement spot. You don't need it to be directly over the spot, so you can place the spot in a discreet spot. Remember the more direct your route, the easier it will be to fish for the cable.

Step 3

Turn the batter light on and turn off all electricity to the house. Your mark will likely be in a spot free of wires, but in the outside chance it wasn't, you don't want to drill into a live wire.

Step 4

Saw a rectangular cutout in the drywall in both rooms where you marked the cable spots. While you don't need a large hole in the basement wall, you will need a hole large enough to get the drill into the 2-by-4 base from the upstairs room.

Step 5

Drill a hole in the 2-by-4 at the base of the upstairs wall to create an opening for the cable. This should be large enough for the cable to pass through.

Step 6

Strip the outer end of the cable and string it to the eye hook at the end of the fish tape.

Step 7

Place the wire in the basement opening just sawed. Start feeding the wire up through the wall and have someone upstairs pull it up through the opening. A coat hanger can help to grab the eye of the fish tape as it comes through the hole in the 2-by-4. Continue to feed the fish tape until the person upstairs has pulled the cable all the way to the end location.

Step 8

Remove the cable from the fish wire and pull the wire back down to the basement and out of the wall. Attach the cable to a splitter. Saw an opening into the piece of drywall you removed from the upstairs wall. The splitter will be screwed into the dry wall, so make sure the cutout in the drywall piece doesn't interfere with the screw holes.

Step 9

Patch the walls using a drywall repair kit. Attach a small piece of dowel across the back of the hole in the wall using cement adhesive. Give this some time to dry. Apply the masonry cement on the brace and place the dry wall cutout in position back into the wall. Cover the area with joint compound using a trowel for an even surface. Allow this to dry and then sand smooth.